CSR project with a long-term view
DEVELOPMENT| May 17, 2012, 12:56 p.m.
By Carole Kimutai, Nairobi, Kenya
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is key for any business operating anywhere in the world. The big question is how to come up with projects that not only give back to the community but are also sustainable and add value to the business. Yes, there is always a catch in CSR.
For technology companies, Africa is the place to be because of the growing middle-case and the fast rate of technology adoption. Tech companies will come and find older established corporates that are running projects meeting needs of communities and could be wondering what they can do. CSR has moved from giving cheques to disadvantaged groups of societies to “teaching communities how to fish” in NGO-speak.
In line with this trend, early this week (14th May), 200 students pioneered the new Samsung Engineering Academy in Nairobi, Kenya. The Academy is aimed at addressing the critical technical and engineering skills shortage in Kenya.
It is the second such training facility in Africa (after South Africa) that has opened doors to full scholarship pioneer students as part of a wider goal to develop 10,000 electronic engineering apprentices across Africa by the year 2015. Students will get training as qualified service technicians to repair new generation electronic equipment like; LED/LCD TV’s, laptops, refrigerators, mobile handsets and tablets. The skills acquired are supposed to enable them to access income generating opportunities in the formal or informal sector upon graduation.
The students are from various institutions in Kenya and will undergo training in digital electronics engineering. The class will be delivered as a modular training program covering digital electronics repair and service skills. Students will receive free training and hands on exposure to modern electronics engineering practices, as part of the firms bid to deepen technical skills and facilitate job creation options.
The setting up of the Academy is part of Samsung’s “Built for Africa Strategy” which aims at raising technical skills in tandem with its continued marketing of products manufactured to meet the unique African conditions. As part of its wider design, the Samsung Engineering Academy is also aligned to the government’s Vision 2030 blueprint to encourage entrepreneurship and self-employment initiatives.
Samsung Electronics East Africa has also committed to assist the students in kick-starting their careers by giving them the opportunity to intern at its Customer Service Centres and thereafter work as independent service technicians or employees in their retail channel partner outlets across the region.
According to Samsung Electronics East Africa Service Lead Koki Muia the firm has also opened a Customer Service Plaza in the same building as the Engineering Academy. Besides providing a one-stop shop for service, repair and inquiries on all Samsung products the service centre will also provide students at the Engineering Academy with first-hand experience on how customer and product repairs are managed. “We believe we can best achieve our goal of positively impacting the communities in which we operate by connecting our social investment initiatives to our history and core business,” Muia reiterates.
Samsung is looking at developinga skilled workforce of technicians and exclusive service experts to differentiate Samsung as a quality, service-oriented company. “We also need to sustain our level of innovation, which can oly be achieved if we invest in education to facilitate skills development in Africa,” says Muia.
Samsung plans to launch a third Academy in Nigeria later this year.
MORE DEVELOPMENT NEWS
Tigo transforms Street Library into Ghana’s first Digital Mobile LibraryTigo Ghana has taken a giant step towards digital inclusion for children in rural Ghana by outdooring its new Mobile Digital Library. Read More
Botswana Academy of Sciences in formative stagesStakeholders in Botswana's ciences fraternity are mooting the formation of an institution that would represent their cause. Read More
New youth ICT programme from BITRIThe Botswana government, through its relevant institutions, has come up with a new youth associate ICT programme. Read More
Tigo change leader Hayford Siaw selected as 2015 Ford FellowTigo’s 2012 Change Leader Hayford Siaw has been selected to participate in this year’s Ford Fellowship programme in New York. Read More
Visa, Mastercard in strategic partnerships with AFI for financial inclusionThe Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI) has signed strategic partnerships with Visa Inc. and MasterCard, to enable close collaboration and knowledge exchange within the framework of AFI’s Public-Private Dialogue Platform (PPD). Read More
Schneider Electric sponsored runner wins 2015 Paris MarathonEthiopian runner, Meseret Mengistu (26), has won the prestigious 2015 Schneider Electric Marathon de Paris women’s race in 2:23:24. Read More
M-PESA foundation opens new academyThe M-PESA Foundation has announced that it is constructing a state of the art, mixed boarding high school that will seek to provide a first class, unique education to gifted but economically disadvantaged children from all counties of Kenya. Read More
Ngombe PTA school goes paperless with computer libraryNgombe PTA School has gone paperless by converting its library into a modern computer laboratory which will improve access to modern technology. Read More
Airtel supports Mathare slum youthAirtel is ensuring that over 800 school children get hot meals every day and that 32 teachers receive their monthly salaries. Read More
ENhANCE project improves ICT education in East AfricaAalto University has launched the ENhANCE project, which has seen them team up with institutions in Ethiopia and Tanzania to provide the technical and educational support that can help address the challenges faced by these countries. Read More
FEATURED STORYe-commerce space untapped, says phonekings head
E-commerce is the future, says the head of a new online electronics mall launched in Nigeria. Tayo Olusanya spoke to Kokumo Goodie in Lagos.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHVillagers get solar training at Barefoot College
The Botswana Human Resource Development Council (HRDC) has seconded seven semi-illiterate mostly Ngwatle villagers for a six month solar electrification training course at the famed Barefoot College in India.