Google South Africa has launched Digify Africa – an online portal where people can learn the digital skills needed for a connected world.

“The internet is at the heart of economic growth and the Digital Skills Program is aimed at helping more Africans play a part in the digital economy,” saidLuke McKend Country Director for South Africa. “Everyone can succeed online, start a new business, grow their existing one, or share their passion.”

Google has set itself the rather ambitious of teaching one million people across Africa the skills they need in the next year. Although the programme officially kicked off today, 150 learners have already completed some courses.

Google explained that the “Digify programs (which are all free) will provide tools and knowledge on subjects including building an online presence, creating content, understanding web design and user experience, social media and app development.”

The course material has been divided into two sections: a Bytes section, and Pro. The former primarily focuses on teaching people how to manage their own online profile. The Pro section on the other hand, is geared more towards people who want to work in a digital agency.

“Youth unemployment across Africa is high (35% in South Africa, 17% in Kenya, 13% in Nigeria) – developing digital entrepreneurship and creating new job opportunities for young people is critical to Africa’s transformative growth. But digital skills are still under-developed, making it harder for African economies to get the most out of the web,” Google said.

The main courses, of which there are currently three, are designed to be as light on data as possible, but Google has an ultimate aim of making up to 50 available by July.

If you ever needed an excuse to spruce up your digital knowledge or looking for an added challenge, there has never been a better opportunity than this. At the end of each 10 week course, there is a graduation ceremony where you will officially be handed a certificate of completion.

Charlie started his professional life as a motoring journalist for a community newspaper in Mpumalanga, Charlie explored different journalistic angles since his entry into the fast-paced world of publishing in 2006. While fostering a passion for the arts, Charlie developed a love for technology – both which allowed him to serve as Entertainment and Technology Editor for an online publication. Charlie has since been heavily involved in consumer technology for various websites and publications. He thoroughly enjoys World War II films and cerebral documentaries; aviation; photography and indie music. Oh yes, and he also has a rather strange obsession with collecting coffee mugs from his travels.