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Featured image: Google South Africa communications and public affairs head Mich Atagana (Supplied)

Google launches 18 new Womenwill chapters across Sub-Saharan Africa

In honour of International Women’s Day, Google today announced the launch of 18 new Womenwill chapters across Sub-Saharan Africa.

Womenwill is a Google initiative to create economic opportunity for women. Womenwill does this by helping women make the most of technology to build skills, get inspired and connect with each other through training, events and advocacy.

The initiative also aims to drive conversations promoting gender equality to benefit everyone. Google South Africa communications and public affairs head Mich Atagana said in a statement today (8 March) that the gender gap could be solved if women have the same access to resources and skill acquisition as men.

New Womenwill chapters in South Africa are in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Polokwane and Pretoria

“This is why we’re bringing the Womenwill chapters to South Africa and continuing our focus on diversity and gender equality into 2019 and beyond,” said Atagana (pictured above).

Womenwill already had chapters in Lagos, Abuja, Ibadan, Nairobi, Cotonou, Kampala and Jinja. Google said some of the new chapters in South Africa include those located in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Polokwane and Pretoria. In East Africa, the initiative will have new chapters in Kisumu, Mombasa, Kigali and Dar es Salaam.

Womenwill’s new chapters in West Africa are in Ikeja, Yaba, Festac, Lekki, Abeokuta, Ado-Ekiti, Uyo, Jos, Aba, Onitsha and Accra. Following today’s launch, there are now 25 Womenwill chapters in Africa, with the internet giant saying more will launch in the coming weeks.

The new chapters are being launched simultaneously today at events in Johannesburg, Nairobi and Lagos. The launches follow a week in which Digital Skills Masterclasses involving 5000 women were held at various locations in these countries.

Atagana said since 2016, Google has worked to upskill young people and small businesses on the continent through its Digital Skills for Africa programme. The initiative aims to help participants find jobs and grow their businesses.

“Our digital skills training has been offered in 29 countries across Africa with over a million people recording business growth, starting new businesses, finding jobs or growing in their current jobs. We have trained more than 3 million people in total, of which 48% are women,” said Atagana.

She added that through Womenwill, Google hopes to enable South African women to “take better advantage” of the opportunities that mobility and connectivity bring so that they can improve their lives and the lives of those in their communities.

Editor’s note (11 March 2018): The article has been updated to include Womenwill chapters across the continent.

Featured image: Google South Africa communications and public affairs head Mich Atagana (Supplied)

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