By KODILINYE Obiagwu
THOUSANDS of youths have continued to plug into the Google Digital Skills for Africa programme as they seek opportunities to be acquainted with the knowledge to become more digital literate.
At a forum Saturday in Enugu, Enugu State, at least 50 youths were gathered for the offline training organized by Synaegis Global Solutions in partnership with Gloxina Foundation International. Other partners are Meks Conqueror and Youth Education on Human Rights and Civil Responsibilities (YEHRCR).
At the training, a Google Skills Instructor, Miss Immanuela Enechukwu said, through the programme, “Google plans to train 10 million Africans. Nigeria has a quota of that and it is heartwarming to see the response to the offline training in various centres in Enugu.”
According to her, Google had observed that “most African youths do not have the supports to embrace technology to enhance their knowledge of the internet. In the face of youth unemployment, the training will offer them a chance to be self-employed and also apply the training in other activities.”
The Chief Executive Officer of Gloxina, Mr Jeremiah Ameh, said that the training is designed is take advantage of Google’s free online certification and bring “young people up to speed on the modern needs of digital skills. In creating that awareness, we try to localize the impact of virtualization in the training.”
Ameh said, “the future is in the young persons and the future of the world is in ICT and this training is to offer the youths the necessary skills to meet the challenges of the future. With those skills, they could solve a lot of problems for themselves and the society.”
He added: “Google has done a lot for people by creating this platform on the acquisition of digital skills. The offline phase creates the awareness of the participants on the deployment of digital skills. With that awareness, the participants go online to be tested by Google, using various modules.
“Learning is going digital. In the nearest future, there will be no need to sit in a classroom because we will have virtual lecturers. There is need for people to position themselves to embrace that future.”
The Founder of YouthWing Africa, another partnering organization, Mr Onyedika Agbo, extolled the potential of the youths in the South East and Enugu in particular. He believes that “Google has come to sharpen the potential of our youths. We have spent years training youths and this digital skill acquisition is another platform for them to continue their learning.”
A participant at the training, Oscar Yagazie, 23 said, “with the world going digital, I believe that acquiring these skills will expose me, especially in my field of study.” Yagazie, a Higher National Diploma (HND) Chemical Engineering student of the Institute of Management and Technology (IMT), Enugu, believes that the new knowledge will also help him to understand the benefits of being self-employed and “hopefully be an employer of labour one day.”
Mr Precious Iheanacho, 24, a Content Generator (helps people get the right content for their blogs and online outlets) said, “am really impressed by the training. This will help me in my Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). By that I mean that I will be able to get my contents ranked higher.” A community mobilizer for an Abuja-based non-governmental organisation and health and psychological trust center, Project Pink Blue, Iheanacho noted that “my organization will definitely benefit more in terms of delivering precise information to the public especially in our core concern, which is eradication of late detection of cancer.”
Another participant, Anthony Claret, who is a chartered accountant, looks forward to using the benefits of the training to “promote what I am doing now. I have projects of diversified nature using various financial instruments, businesses and networks. I might be able to reach a wider audience now, with my knowledge of digital marketing. The major goal is empowering youths so that they can maximize their potential.”