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Google is committed to providing digital skills training for journalists across the African continent coming next year, 2021. This  is according to David Steinacker, Google's head of Sub-Saharan Africa and Online Partnerships, Emerging Markets.

Speaking to Biztech Africa after a virtual news election training workshop organized by Google for Ghanaian journalists, Steinacker said that Google as company had a long-standing commitment to work very closely with Google News Partners around the world.

The company has invested in products to help news publishers succeed, so users have access to high-quality information online, he said.

Steinacker added that the Google News Initiative, which was launched in 2018,  has so far supported over 6 200 news partners in 118 countries and allocated $300million in development programmes to help journalism thrive in the digital era.

He quoted CEO Sundar Pichai who said: "Google cares deeply about journalism. We believe deeply in spreading knowledge to make life better for everyone. It’s at the heart of Google’s mission. It’s the mission of publishers and journalists.”

Workshop details

Around 40 Ghanaian journalists took part in the Google News Election Training Workshop. Part of the training involved  topics that could help them easily identify digital tools needed to assist them find, verify, protect and visualize the country’s upcoming Presidential and Parliamentary Elections due to take place on December 7th, 2020. This was the first ever training by Google for reporters on elections in Ghana.

Steinacker noted that the training focused on some of Google's key tools that are freely available for journalists, which will help them cover the election in Ghana from the perspective of data security and protection, visualization of key data sets and trends, and identifying trends on Google Search.

The workshop also included the official launch of the Google Trends Ghana Election in Search 2020 site.

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