In spite of the giant stride in the evolution on innovations of web-based businesses, etc., in the technology ecosystem in Africa, the impact of digital skills is still very low due to many extraneous factors.
Last year, Google, therefore, took it upon itself to train one million youths in Africa in digital skills. How has this impacted on the youths of the continent and lots more, was the thrust of the discussion I had with Juliet Ehimuan-Chiazor, the Country Manager of Google Nigeria recently.
Juliet has been involved in the development of youths on digital skills in Africa in the past one year.
On how the digital skill initiative of Google has been achieved in the past one year, Juliet said it has been very exciting. She stressed that Google committed to this in April 2016, although, it knew it was a daunting task because of its target which was the training of one million youths in one year, it was amazing to note that it achieved this in ten months.
As at today, she noted, about a year after, Google has trained over one million youths in digital skills across various countries in Africa.
Reacting to the impact of the progress for an emerging continent like Africa, Juliet stated that since technology has affected the way we everything these days, such as how we live, socialize, communicate, work, the emerging digital economy on the continent as well as having about 29% of the African population online, which is growing at a fast rate, this creates opportunities in the digital world.
The above, she stressed that the above reasons, therefore, makes it important or young Africans to acquire the right skills to enable them participate in the emerging digital economy to be able to build businesses, create new opportunities for themselves and become digital entrepreneurs.
Juliet further stressed the importance of this against the background that unemployment is a problem on the continent, where we have about 60% of the unemployed being youths, who must be taught how to fend for themselves and acquire skills which they can put in to generate income opportunities, etc.
Juliet stated that measuring the impact of the program has been a priority for it as they have stayed in touch with participants and have recorded a number of success stories of people who have been able to get jobs as well as those who have been able to start their own businesses through attending the training, such as Vanessa Morris and Segun Abodunrin respectively. Google, she said, has, therefore, seen the impact of the program in terms of people creating opportunities, expanding existing businesses, etc.
While reacting to a question as to the number of female participants in the program, Juliet said, among other things, that female to male participation in the program so far is about 47% to 53%. The idea, she said, is to maintain gender balance.
On what the reception was by the female gender to technology, which is erstwhile seen by them as a challenge, Juliet is of the view that the female gender are seriously taking to technology now as most success stories are from them.
Projecting on the next step to be taken by Google, Juliet said it will continue to train the youths because of the impact it is generating, but it is deliberately not announcing a new target for now because, although, digital skills will still be taught, the focus is being shifted to impact, thus, re-engaging with people that it has trained, supporting them along the way as well as to grow, looking at opportunities of matching people to jobs, etc.
Speaking on the number of Nigerians accessing the training through online or offline means, Juliet said that about 97% of attendees accessed the training offline while about 3% accessed from online.
She, however, stressed that many of those who were trained offline are quick to go online to acquire more training to deepen their experience.
As access is a bit of a challenge for online users in this clime, Juliet was asked if this sort of training can be accessed without the use of the internet, she responded by saying that Google is conscious of this, hence, it has ensured that it optimizes the portal so it can perform well a low bandwidth environment and also ensured that the courses are light online so they can be viewed on mobile phones.
Some of the videos, she said, are also transcribed to make access easy. Offline packs are also being produced that people can use, she stressed.
Stating what those who want to benefit from the training now should do, Juliet said they should visit the portal, g,co/digitalskills and choose from the available modules. It is completely free and if they successfully complete the training, they will receive a certificate which they can use to update their CV’s and use in obtaining jobs. Information on the classroom training are also available on the portal, she added.
Juliet encouraged everyone to take advantage of this free initiative by Google, because, in today’s world, one cannot really go far without having digital skills. “Digital literacy today, is what basic literacy was to the society, centuries ago”, Juliet concluded.
CFA is the Founder, www.CFAtech.ng & Co-producer/Presenter,Tech Trends on Channels Television
Join Inlaks Live TechTalk Edition on Hyosung’s Revolutionary MV 100 ATM Model
Inlaks, the leading Information Technology Systems Integrator specialised in the deployment of highly scalable ICT Infrastructure solutions, will on Monday September 28, deploy the second edition of its virtual thought leadership segment called “TechTalk”.
Techtalk which was formerly a pre-recorded segment hosted on the organisations YouTube channel has now transitioned into a live virtual event across Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. The virtual edition kicked off in August 2020 with a segment on Financial Crime Mitigation, honing in on the superiority of Temenos Financial Crime Mitigation Solution with Emmanuel Orororo, Sales Manager, Financial Business, Inlaks.
The 2nd edition of Tech Talk promises to offer the same measure of insights as it dives into the world of Automated Teller Machines (ATM) with a focus on MoniValue 100, a revolutionary ATM solution by Hyosung TNS. The MoniValue 100 is especially adapted to the present times as it is a cardless, contactless and changeless solution.
Join this virtual event live by logging on to any of the social media pages below on Monday, 28th September 2020. YouTube: Inlaks, Facebook: InlaksNg, Twitter: Inlaks, Instagram: InlaksNg
Inlaks is a leading system integrator in Sub-Saharan Africa. The company partners with leading OEMs in the technology industry to provide world-class information technology solutions that exceed the needs of its customers.
Over the years, Inlaks has built a reputation as the foremost ICT and Infrastructure Solutions Provider, helping customers effectively seize new market and service opportunities.
With an impressive customer base that includes six Central Banks in West Africa, 18 of the 24 banks in Nigeria and other major customers in the West African region, Inlaks has become the dominant Information Technology Company in Africa.
Inlaks’ customers cut across various segments including Banking, Telecommunication, Oil/Gas, Power, Utilities and the Distribution sectors of the economy. For more information, please visit www.inlaks.com
Millions of Cyber Attacks Launched on Nigeria, Others- Reports
There were 3.8 million malware attacks and 16.8 million Potentially Unwanted Applications (PUA) detections over a 7-month period in Nigeria, according to Kaspersky security solutions.
Elsewhere in South Africa, there were almost 10 million malware attacks and a staggering 43 million PUA detections, showing the growing desperation of the attacks.
The company reported on 28 million malware attacks in 2020 and 102 million detections of potentially unwanted programs (pornware, adware etc.) accounted for by the beginning of August 2020.
These numbers show that it’s not only the malware that attacks users but also the “grey zone” programmes that grow in popularity and disturb their experiences, while users might not even know it is there.
Potentially unwanted applications (PUAs) are programmes that are usually not considered to be malicious by themselves.
However, they are generally influencing user experience in a negative way. For instance, adware fills user device with ads; aggressive monetising software propagates unrequested paid offers; downloaders may download even more various applications on the device, sometimes malicious ones.
calculating interim results of threat landscape activity in African countries, Kaspersky researchers noticed that PUAs attack users almost four times more often than traditional malware.
They also eventually reach more users: for instance, while in South Africa, the malware would attack 415,000 users in 7-months of 2020, the figure for PUA would be 736,000.
“The reason why ‘grey zone’ software is growing in popularity is that it is harder to notice at first and that if the programme is detected, its creators won’t be considered to be cybercriminals. The problem with them is that users are not always aware they consented to the installation of such programmes on their device and that in some cases, such programmes are exploited or used as a disguise for malware downloads,” said Denis Parinov, a security researcher at Kaspersky.
By taking a closer look at PUA, it becomes apparent that they are not only more widespread but also more potent than traditional malware.
Evaluating results over the same 7-month period in Nigeria, there were 3.8 million malware attacks and 16.8 million PUA detections – which is four times as much.
Kenyan and South African threat landscapes have been more intense. In South Africa, there were almost 10 million malware attacks and a staggering 43 million PUA detections.
Kenyan users faced even more malware attacks – around 14 million, and 41 million PUA appearances, Kaspersky said.
Tech Giants Strike Deal with Advertisers over Hate Speech
Web giants including Facebook have struck a deal with advertisers on how to identify harmful content such as hate speech, after an impasse over the issue which led to boycotts of the platform.
The agreement — which also included Twitter and YouTube — laid out for the first time a common set of definitions for hateful statements online.
In July, hundreds of advertisers including big-name consumer brands suspended advertising with Facebook as part of the #StopHateForProfit campaign, saying the social-media titan should do more to stamp out hatred and misinformation on its platform.
And earlier this month a group of celebrities — including Kim Kardashian, Leonardo DiCaprio and Katy Perry — stopped using Facebook and Instagram for 24 hours, to push a similar message.
The World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) said in a statement Wednesday: “Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, in collaboration with marketers and agencies through the Global Alliance for Responsible Media have agreed to adopt a common set of definitions for hate speech and other harmful content and to collaborate with a view to monitoring industry efforts to improve in this critical area.”
The alliance was founded by the WFA and includes other major trade bodies.
According to the WFA, key areas of agreement included applying the alliance’s common definitions of harmful content; developing reporting standards for such content; establishing independent oversight; and rolling out tools for keeping advertisements away from harmful content.
The WFA said that properly defining online hate speech would remove the current problem of different platforms using their own definitions, which it said made it difficult for companies to decide where to put their ads.
“As funders of the online ecosystem, advertisers have a critical role to play in driving positive change and we are pleased to have reached agreement with the platforms on an action plan and timeline in order to make the necessary improvements,” said Stephan Loerke, chief executive of the WFA.
Luis Di Como, executive vice-president of global media at Unilever, a major advertiser, sounded a note of cautious optimism.
He said: “The issues within the online ecosystem are complicated, and whilst change doesn’t happen overnight, today marks an important step in the right direction.”
Speaking in July, Facebook’s founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said he remained adamant that the company did not want hate speech on the social network.
On Wednesday, the company’s vice-president for global marketing solutions, Carolyn Everson, said the agreement gave all parties “a unified language to move forward on the fight against hate online.”
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