IBM Chairman, President and CEO Ginni Rometty with Johannesburg students at the launch in South Africa of "IBM Digital- Nation Africa", $70 million Watson-powered Skills initiative for the African continent. (Credit: IBM)
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In a bid to nurture and support innovation on the African continent, IBM has injected USD 70million into an initiative meant to provide free digital training for 25 million African youths.

The ‘IBM Digital-Nation Africa’ initiative which will run for five years will see free skills training provided over a cloud-based platform; offering a range of programmes from basic IT literacy to highly sought-after advanced IT skills including social engagement, digital privacy, and cyber protection.

Users will be able to explore career-oriented IT topics including programming, cybersecurity, data science and agile methodologies, as well as business skills like critical thinking, innovation, and entrepreneurship.

According to IBM officials, the initiative aims to raise overall digital literacy, increase the number of skilled developers able to tap into cognitive engines, and enable entrepreneurs to grow businesses around new solutions.

Over the five years, users will be able to access thousands of resources – in English – including mobile apps, web guides, demonstrations, interactive simulations, videos, online assessments, volunteer mentors, and there will also be an app marketplace.

IBM Chairman, President and CEO Ginni Rometty with Johannesburg students at the launch in South Africa of “IBM Digital- Nation Africa”, $70 million Watson-powered Skills initiative for the African continent. (Credit: IBM)

In East Africa, the initiative will be launched from IBM’s regional offices Kenya.