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
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.