IBM has committed $70 million to a new initiative aimed at building digital, cloud and cognitive IT skills to help support a 21st-century workforce in Africa. The initiative, dubbed IBM Digital - Nation Africa, will provide a cloud-based learning platform designed to provide free skills-development programs for up to 25 million African youths over five years, enabling digital competence and nurturing innovation in Africa. The initiative is designed to help raise overall digital literacy, increase the number of skilled developers able to tap into cognitive engines and enable entrepreneurs and would-be entrepreneurs to grow businesses around the new solutions. Through a free, cloud-based online learning environment delivered on IBM Bluemix, the initiative will provide a range of programs, from basic IT literacy to highly sought-after advanced IT skills, including social engagement, digital privacy and cyber protection, the company said.