is scaling up its digital skills training programmes to accommodate a million Africans in the next year, aiming to deal with high unemployment numbers on the continent.

The US tech giant plans to train 300 000 people in South , it said in a statement on Tuesday, a country where 35% of 15-to-34-year-olds are unemployed. A further 400 000 Nigerians and 200 000 Kenyans will receive free digital training while another 100 000 people will be selected from other sub-Saharan Africa countries.

“Google is in Africa for the long haul and we are making an investment in talent,” Google South Africa country head Luke Mckend said. “We hope that the people trained will become pioneers in the field and do great things in digital for companies and for Google.”

The company has partnered with Livity Africa to develop training programmes and is rolling out a new online education portal for learners in the region. “We’re also talking to a number of other potential partners across Africa with a view to scaling the digital skills training programme and helping to reach even more young people in more countries,” Google said in a statement.

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