As we wrote earlier on, Africa is beckoning and the world is responding. Today we got news of Samsung opening an electronics engineering academy in South Africa. Some statistics had it that as at mid last year Samsung’s market share in Sub-Saharan Africa was about 20%, and the company has been seeking to increase it’s market share.

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To help boost technical and engineering skills locally, Samsung has launched the Samsung Electronics Engineering Academy – a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative built in Africa, for Africa, by Africa. The initiative strives to transform communities through education and skills development and in return, open up skilled, well-paying job opportunities for individuals. By tapping into the youth’s interest in electronics, Samsung will equip underprivileged students attending government technical schools with the skills and practical experience required to make them competitive in the local job market.

Ntutule Tshenye, CSR Lead at Samsung Africa says; “At Samsung, we have identified the urgent need to address such skills and education challenges that Africa faces, as these affect the overall industry we are involved in. Furthermore, it is our responsibility to implement effective and sustainable CSR initiatives that will deliver measurable improvements to the quality of life for both individuals and the community we work in. We have set a goal accordingly: to positively impact 5 million lives by 2015. Through the Samsung Electronics Engineering Academy we are addressing the critical technical and engineering skills shortage in South Africa and, as we expand our initiative across the African continent. The Academy also aims to differentiate Samsung’s quality of service to our customers. We are building a workforce of technicians and exclusive service experts in line with the South African government’s drive of creating decent jobs, especially for young citizens.”

The Samsung Electronics Engineering Academy is located in Boksburg and will benefit the Technical High schools in the Ekurhuleni municipal area. Samsung has already signed participation agreements with four Tech High schools in Katlehong and Vosloorus, and will accommodate more schools in the coming years. The Academy boosts a state of the art Electronics Engineering Lab to be used for all the practical work, and a technology-rich space where students, sourced from Grades 10 – 12 Physical Science and Mathematics, will undertake their theoretical lessons and discussions. The overall emphasis is hands-on, practical experience for the workplace. Furthermore, Samsung is focused on entering graduates of this class into a service centre programme.

Students who graduate from the Academy will also compete for an internship opportunity at one of Samsung’s various service centres across the country where they will put the skills learned at the Academy to practical use for Samsung customers. Because the program provides students with the necessary engineering acumen, Samsung will help give the graduates a head start in the workplace, making them attractive recruits for Samsung, Samsung partners and or other industry players.

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