November 23, 2020

EastAfrica Herald

East African Views on Global News.

Samsung to Launch Digital Villages in #Africa

Samsung Electronics Africa announced that it will bolster
its Corporate Citizenship efforts in Africa in a bid to help the continent
achieve its Sustainable Development Goals.

Speaking at the 2016 Samsung Africa Forum, Abey Tau,
Corporate Citizenship and Public Affairs Manager, said: “As a global citizen,
we felt it was important to use our technology to give back to society. We do
this in four ways: by creating new learning opportunities so that young people
can enjoy access to better education; by using our technical expertise to
develop and provide access to new healthcare solutions; by supporting youth
employment through vocational training and skills development; and by reducing
our impact on the environment.”
According to the World Bank, Sub-Saharan Africa accounts for

more than 50% of all out-of-school children worldwide, which affects their
future employment opportunities. The dire situation faced by many African
countries is a result of a number of factors, including civil unrest, cultural
beliefs and a lack of schooling infrastructure and resources.

It is against this backdrop that Samsung Electronics Africa
has adopted an attitude of innovation by introducing technology where it
previously has not existed. The aim is to make sure that every African child
has access to education no matter where they are on the continent, using
state-of-the-art digital technology enjoyed by children in developed countries.
Education as seed of innovation
Samsung believes that digital technology can completely transform
the learning process, as well as the nature of teaching and learning, to create
inclusive environments for everyone. Its Solar Powered Internet Schools, Smart
Schools and E-Learning Academies provide solutions that deliver on this vision
and improve the quality of learning, enhance teaching effectiveness and allow
administrators to run institutions more effectively.
The company works with educators around the world to improve
learning experiences through the use of technology, facilitating a classroom
environment that is limitless and gives students access to a world of knowledge
from their desks or on the go.
Through these education initiatives, Samsung hopes to
instill a love of learning in students so that they may have equal access to
opportunities and go on to become active participants in the economy. This can
help to reduce the number of out-of-school children, giving them a chance to
Earlier this month, Nigerian president, Muhammadu Buhari,
attended the launch of a Smart School in the state of Ogun.
Samsung will continue to drive access to education by
launching a number of education initiatives in Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania,
Uganda and DRC in 2016.
Skills of the future
However, it takes more than simply providing access to education.
As a result of the work Samsung continues to do across the continent, alongside
governments, private sector partners and communities, it has come to light that
many graduates leave institutions of higher learning with strong theoretical
knowledge but lack the practical skills needed by industry.
Samsung’s Engineering Academy and Air-conditioning and
Refrigeration Academy aim to change this by providing free, intensive, hands-on
training to graduates. The Academies seek to develop skilled young African
leaders who are adequately prepared for the world of employment. The programme
forms a core part of Samsung’s vision to fast-track the entry of African youths
into the electronics job market and to reduce the shortage of scarce skills in
the IT industry. Zimbabwe will be a recipient of one of these academies this
“Investing in the skills of the youth also benefits Samsung
– the more young people we can develop with skills in the electronics industry,
the more we can be assured of our ability to provide excellent service to our
customers,” says Tau.
Access to quality healthcare
According to the World Bank, more than 60% of people in
Sub-Saharan Africa live in rural areas and are unable to access clinics for
proactive medical care.
To help alleviate this, Samsung Electronics Africa has put
initiatives in place through public-private partnerships.
In 2013, Samsung introduced the Solar Powered Health Centre,
a solution housed in a shipping container fitted with the most advanced medical
equipment and Samsung solar panels. Patients can be screened at the centre to
diagnose conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, tooth decay and
cataracts. They can also access information on health issues.
Samsung’s Mobile Health Centre, which uses technology to
remotely connect to specialist doctors anywhere in the world to get expert
opinion and diagnoses, communities quick access to primary healthcare,
screening, mother and child facilities, dental care, eye testing and emergency
care. This year, Samsung will be establishing a Mobile Health Centre in Togo.
Samsung’s Digital Village, which focuses on the challenges
in underserved and rural communities, provides access to new experiences by
bringing advanced Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) to
under-resourced areas. This helps to bridge the digital divide and serves as a
catalyst for local business and government service delivery.
The Digital Village is a hub where community members can
access educational and health solutions. Within a Digital Village set-up,
Samsung also offers a Mother and Child Unit, which is equipped to offer
comprehensive pre- and post-natal screening, care and education in an effort to
reduce Africa’s high infant mortality rate.
In 2016, Samsung will be launching Digital Villages in
Kenya, Ethiopia and Tanzania.
“These multi-purpose offerings provide a sustainable
solution to challenges faced by African people, while improving their standards
of living. The model addresses one of Africa’s largest economic challenges –
electrification. The scarcity of electricity results in limited access to
education, healthcare and connectivity – all of which are key to socio-economic
development,” adds Tau.
Corporate Citizenship that makes a real impact
“Collaboration with communities is key to finding the
correct remedies to societal challenges,” says Tau. “At Samsung, we have a
vested interest in the communities we operate in and, as a result, we have come
up with solutions that directly address the everyday challenges most people
encounter. Over the years, our collaborative efforts – guided by our strategic
focus in the areas of education, health, the environment, and skills and
employability – have seen us collaborate with different communities, NGOs and
governments. These collaborations have given us insights that we have used when
designing the solutions we have installed in the different communities across
the African continent. 2016 is another year we build on these progressive
partnerships and ensure that we positively impact the lives of more people.”
About Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. inspires the world and shapes
the future with transformative ideas and technologies that redefine the worlds
of TVs, smartphones, wearable devices, tablets, cameras, digital appliances,
printers, medical equipment, network systems, and semiconductor and LED
solutions. We are also leading in the Internet of Things space with the open
platform SmartThings, our broad range of smart devices, and through proactive
cross-industry collaboration. We employ 319,000 people across 84 countries with
annual sales of US $196 billion.