Samsung Corporate Citizenship focuses on health, education and skills 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.”
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.
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 succeed.
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 year.
Access to quality healthcare
According to the World Bank, more than 60 percent 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.
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.
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.
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.”
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