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
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
Entrepreneurship programme targets 5,000 studentsEnactus Kenya, an organization that promotes entrepreneurship among youth, aims to empower 5,000 students in Kenya with business leadership skills. Read More
Ericsson Networked Society City Index 2016 measures ICT maturity in Johannesburg and LagosAlthough starting at a low level, Johannesburg and Lagos are progressing in all ICT dimensions of the Ericsson Networked Society City Index. Read More
Etisalat: Manpower development vital to sustaining telecoms revolution gainsEtisalat says continuous development of indigenous skilled manpower is central to the sustainable growth of the telecoms industry. Read More
Networks Unlimited provides learnerships to 100 ICT studentsOne hundred technical students are set to graduate from an immersive, 12-month learnership programme within Networks Unlimited, with the skills, experience and certifications needed to kick-start their careers. Read More
MTN half-marathon raises funds for ICT in educationMTN’s third edition of the annual MTN 21km half-marathon has been growing steadily since inception and this year the race has boasted just over 6100 participants. Read More
IFC, CGAP, SECO to launch Ghana Digital Financial Services InitiativeThe International Financial Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, in partnership with the State Secretariat of Economic Affairs of Switzerland, SECO, and the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor, CGAP, will be launching a US$5.6 million Ghana Digital Financial Services Initiative in Accra. Read More
MTN employees mark 10 years of volunteerism in their communitiesMTN has kicked off the tenth edition of its flagship annual employee volunteerism programme, 21 Days of Y’ello Care. Read More
FEATURED STORYFirst-ever Africa Barclays Accelerator programme concludes
Ten fintech companies have concluded the first-ever Barclays Accelerator, powered by Techstars in Africa.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHEthical Hacking students can’t get a heck of a job
Botswana ethical hacking students report that they are failing to break into the local job market.