#IWD2020: Google announces plans to train 20,000 women across Africa this year

According to McKinsey Africa, if current rates were to be maintained in the future, the overall global gender gap will close in 142 years in Sub-saharan Africa1 as opposed to 61 years in Western Europe. In Africa, Google aims to help close this gap by helping African women strive for equality with the right skills.

As part of Google’s commitment to train 10million African’s on digital skills, we have trained 5 million people in 29 countries across Sub-saharan Africa and 48% of them are women. Our digital skills training gives jobseekers and entrepreneurs access to new digital skills to grow their careers and businesses. One of those women is Khui Kharanja who runs a sustainable fashion business based out of Nairobi and has used the digital skills she gained from her training to improve visibility for her business. We also have Women Techmakers, our program to help provide visibility, community, and resources for women in technology.

In Sub-saharan Africa, there are 159 Women Techmakers Ambassadors in 24 countries with more than 4k members across SSA and more than 90% of our Google Developer Groups have at least one female organiser. In 2019, we launched Launchpad Women to help women in leadership in tech startups across Africa access the community and resources they require to excel. #IamRemarkable is a global movement that empowers women and underrepresented groups celebrate their achievements in the workplace and beyond.

In the heart of the initiative is a 90 minute workshop aimed at improving women’s self-promotion motivation and skills, by breaking gender-related modesty norms and exploring how to change social perceptions around self promotion. The initiative has reached 100,000 participants across 100+ countries with the help of 5000 facilitators. 3 months post the workshop participants have reported the following impact: 81% feel more confident, 89% more active in self-promotion and 49% achieved job/career growth.

With our CS First program, we are also helping young girls to build future relevant skills. Via our continued partnership with SAP to run Africa Code Week we trained over 115k kids across 18 countries in Africa last year. 53% of students trained were girls and 15% trained in underserved communities.

Through Google.org, we have given over 10 million dollars to over 40 nonprofits and social enterprises across Africa. Amongst them are women empowerment focused organisations like Solar Sister providing economic empowerment to women entrepreneurs by enabling them to build sustainable clean energy businesses to bring light, hope, and opportunity to energy-poor communities across Nigeria, Another example is Clothes For Good in South Africa that empowers mothers of children living with disabilities to find financial independence in a highly productive, fully inclusive value driven, green ecosystem.

Women Will is our initiative that aims to empower women with training, skills and communities to access opportunities, thus helping to close the gender equality gap and leading to positive social and economic impact. Women Will focuses on four key areas to address the gaps – Leadership, Entrepreneurship, Workplace readiness and Digital Literacy.

Following up on our launch in Sub-saharan Africa on International Women’s Day 2019, 26 Women Will communities across Sub-saharan Africa have trained more than 10,000 women via peer to peer learning engagements, community led events and networking to access opportunities. One of our community members in Lekki, Lagos joined the community with very little knowledge of tech and data analytics, only an avid interest and now has secured a scholarship to study data analytics based on her relationship within the community.

Post International Women’s Day, we will be embarking on a 17 city strong training tour where we will be delivering full day training sessions on Entrepreneurship, Workplace readiness and Leadership to 5000 women in the following cities where we have Women Will communities – Kenya – Kisumu, Mombasa, Nairobi; Nigeria – Akure, Aba, Abeokuta, Ado-Ekiti, Abuja, Ibadan, Lagos -Ikeja, Festac, Lekki, Yaba, Jos, Kaduna, Onitsha, Uyo; South Africa – Pretoria, Polokwane, Johannesburg.

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