Google has launched a programme to support Egypt’s digital transformation through $9m worth technological training programmes, according to Hisham Al-Nazer, Director of Google Egypt.
Al-Nazer said the move comes on the back of the changes caused by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, which has prompted people to turn to the internet for various aspects of daily living.
The training programmes are expected to help more than one million companies and individuals learn digital skills and develop their businesses before the end of 2021.
Al-Nazer said that Google will secure nearly $9m in funding and advertisements as grants to governments and companies. A total of $4m has been allocated in the form of financial grants and loans to help small companies.
He explained that the programme in Egypt will focus on supporting small businesses and entrepreneurs through training courses for digital skills, undertaking commercial activities online, and securing financial support.
This will take place in cooperation with Kiva International, to provide loans to small Egyptian companies, so that they can obtain financing of between $200-$5,000 that can be repaid over two years.
During a press conference to announce the launch, he noted that, during the period from March to September 2020, Internet search rates increased by about 43%.
He added that, whilst 6 million jobs across the Arab world are at risk due to the pandemic, other job sectors have seen a significant rise in demand. The shift has seen a rising demand for software developers, project managers, IT managers and digital marketing specialists.
Al-Nazer said that a digital presence has become a must in the coronavirus era, and that there is no way to return to the pre-pandemic era.
This has been evidenced by rise in the company’s coach training application, whose user numbers rose by 300,000 during Egypt’s curfew period, and which uses technological tools by Google such as machine learning and artificial intelligence.