Google has joined forces with Coursera, an open online course provider, to develop an online career certificate course in digital marketing and e-commerce for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the African continent.
The tech giant is also offering 1000 scholarships to Africans who wish to attend the course.
Zeph Masote, YouTube Lead for Southern Africa said: “E-commerce presents an opportunity for small businesses in Africa to reach new customers and grow. Through the digital marketing and e-commerce career certificates and specialised pieces of training and 1,000 scholarships, we want to be able to assist small businesses in Africa gain the expertise to connect online, expand their customer base and scale up”.
He continues: “Africa’s growing young population and urbanisation present huge expansion opportunities for small retail businesses. South Africa has almost 2,000 shopping malls covering over 24 million square metres. Wholesale and retail are the third-largest contributors to Nigeria’s GDP, with more than 90% of the industry made up of informal merchants, while Kenya, with an e-commerce market growth rate of 44% in 2021, has seen a steady rise in the number of outlets over the last five years.”
“E-commerce markets in Kenya and Nigeria increased by 40% and 30%, respectively, in 2021, while online sales in South Africa increased by 66% from 2019 to 2020, reaching more than $1.8bn. “As more consumers on the continent continue to search for goods and services online, it is critical that small retail businesses learn how to better harness online tools for growth,” Masote added.