Samsung Africa’s mega-million CSR project
DEVELOPMENT| Aug. 8, 2012, 9:07 a.m.
Ntutule Tshenye says he is fortunate to have a job that involves not just his head, but his heart too. Based in Samsung’s offices in Bryanston, South Africa, Tshenye oversees the technology giant’s social investment initiatives across Africa.
It is a job he is proud of. “I tell my colleagues, I have the best job in the company,” he says.
Tshenye is instrumental in helping develop and oversee the various community development projects Samsung is involved in – and there are numerous.
The company has wholeheartedly embraced its philosophy of giving back to the community, and has chosen the development of youth as its theme across Africa.
The company has embarked on a series of initiatives to improve education and empower youths across the continent.
Samsung Academy ramps up operations across Africa
Its Samsung Engineering Academy, which gives practical electrical engineering training to high school students and to tertiary students, is now operational in South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria.
New academies will be opened in Cote d’Ivoire, Senegal and Angola later this year, and the existing academies are set to scale up their work, accepting more students and possibly widening their operations to include practical training components of university electrical engineering degrees.
“The training at these academies is tailored to meet local needs,” Tshenye says. But all of them focus heavily on practical work, and in all of them, efforts are made to collaborate with government, tertiary institutions and industry to ensure that the skills development is in line with local needs.
“Just the academies represent a significant investment,” explains Tshenye, “because the students work on the latest technologies. Essentially, they take apart the newest TVs, microwaves and other appliances, learn to repair them and put them back together.”
Once the students have completed their training, some move on to university and some choose to go to work. Samsung and its partner ecosystem absorb these students in full time jobs – either as electrical engineers, technicians or in technical call centres.
“So, they go from knowing little, to having scarce skills and being employable within a year or two,” he says.
In line with efforts to encourage more girls to enter the science and technology fields, Samsung’s Academies make sure there is a gender balance among its students. “The girls are doing well – many of the top students are girls. So we are helping to challenge the stereotypes too,” he says.
Tshenye says the programme is doing a lot more than improving education – it is changing lives.
Another project by Samsung is its solar-powered schools initiative. Since many rural schools do not have electricity or connectivity, Samsung has begun a project to take solar-powered ICT labs to schools in under-served areas.
Two have already been installed – in South Africa and Nigeria, and three are in the process of being rolled out in Cote d’Ivoire, Senegal and Tanzania.
A new partnership with the African Development Bank will see 30 more rolled out in ten countries across Africa over the next year, says Tshenye.
In addition, Samsung is installing e-learning centres in South Africa, Kenya and Senegal, and also runs a teacher training facility in Johannesburg, South Africa.
“We are committed to empowering youth,” says Tshenye, “because Africa has a huge youth population, unemployment problems and a serious skills shortage.
We call it CSR 2.0 – and we expect it to make a real difference.”
MORE DEVELOPMENT NEWS
Samsung partner Cross Rivers State on Smart School ProgrammeSamsung Electronics West Africa has commissioned the Samsung Smart School Project for teachers and students in Calabar. Read More
Airtel Ghana hands over library to Ajumako Entumbil communityAirtel Ghana has commissioned and handed over a library facility to the people of Ajumako Entumbil in the Central Region. Read More
Facebook partners with She Leads Africa in support of female African entrepreneursFacebook is supporting and sponsoring She Leads Africa, an African enterprise and women’s business-focused movement, to help ensure female entrepreneurs and professionals across the world unlock their full potential. Read More
Networks Unlimited takes women’s empowerment and skills development earnestlyNetworks Unlimited is currently training 108 interns and learners, of which 74 are young women from previously disadvantaged communities. Read More
Solar best way to combat light poverty in AfricaResearch by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) shows that solar-powered LED lighting provides a low-cost alternative that not only alleviates light poverty but also reduces carbon emissions, indoor air pollution, and health risks. Read More
Huawei in school tablet donationHuawei has donated 30 tablets to Moshupa Senior Secondary School in Botswana. Read More
Networks Unlimited continues to give backCommemorating Nelson Mandela Day, Networks Unlimited, a value-added distributor, donated blankets to the South African Family Relief Project (SAFRP). Read More
Bocodol Strategy 2020 to advance technology uptakeThe new 2016 to 2020 Botswana College of Distance and open Learning Strategic Plan is a testament of the institution’s move towards an embedded e-learning regime. Read More
Equity of trust essential for improving productivity – Tigo Barcamp 2016Ghana’s digital lifestyle brand, Tigo, has urged young entrepreneurs and graduates to establish trust in their profession in order to boost productivity. Read More
FEATURED STORYFinancial services sees AI as both opportunity and threat
Banking is already a key area where technology is having an impact throughout Africa, and a new survey assesses the impact artificial intelligence will have on this sector.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHAccess and Use of ICT stats released
Statistics Botswana has released the first results of the 2014 Information and Communication Technology Household Survey.
COMPANY NEWSTigo explores options to give customers a greater choice for 4G services in Ghana
Following her recent visit to Ghana, Cynthia Gordon, the CEO of Millicom Africa, has emphasized the remarkable growth opportunities in data and Tigo’s commitment to giving customers ...