Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development Produces Smart Villages Across Black Africa

Life in a traditional African settingDigital Villages are to spring up in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Congo-Kinshasa, Ethiopia and Ghana in 2016.

Also known as Smart Villages, this is the initiative of Samsung Electronics Africa that seeks to bring educational and health solutions in easy reach of communities and thus help Africa realize its Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development.

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Abey Tau, Corporate Citizenship and Public Affairs Manager, says their aims are to create new learning opportunities so that young people can enjoy access to better education; to develop and provide access to new healthcare solutions; to support youth employment through vocational training and skills development; and to reduce human impact on the environment.

According to the World Bank, Sub-Saharan Africa accounts for more than 50% of all out-of-school children worldwide, which affects their future employment opportunities. The dire situation faced by many African countries is a result of a number of factors, including civil unrest, cultural beliefs and a lack of schooling infrastructure and resources.

Teachers plays a crucial role in many rural African settingsSamsung says it shall introduce technology where it previously has not existed to ensure that “every African child has access to education no matter where they are on the continent, using state-of-the-art digital technology.”

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Digital technology can transform the learning process and the nature of teaching and learning besides being used in creating inclusive environments for everyone. Samsung says its Solar Powered Internet Schools, Smart Schools and E-Learning Academies provide solutions that deliver on this vision.

Having already launched a Smart School in Nigeria’s Ogun State, Samsung says it will continue to drive access to education by launching a number of education initiatives in Congo-Kinshasa in 2016.

Samsung notes that many graduates across Africa leave institutions of higher learning with strong theoretical knowledge but lack the practical skills needed by industry.

Consequently, Samsung’s Engineering Academy and Air-conditioning and Refrigeration Academy shall provide free, intensive, hands-on training to graduates. Zimbabwe is to benefit from one such training in 2016, says Tau.

Samsung Electronics Africa, working in the framework of Public-Private-Partnerships, has put initiatives in place to provide ‘quality healthcare’ to people in its Digital Villages, DVs

Tau says Samsung Electronics Africa, working in the framework of Public-Private-Partnerships, has put initiatives in place to provide ‘quality healthcare’ to people in its DVs.

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The World Bank says that more than 60% of people in Sub-Saharan Africa live in rural areas and are unable to access clinics for proactive medical care.

Field Staff of Lola Kenya Screen at work with their media and information literacy unit Samsung introduced the Solar Powered Health Centre, a solution housed in a shipping container fitted with the most advanced medical equipment and Samsung solar panels in 2013. This Mobile Health Centre, Tau says, uses technology to remotely connect to specialist doctors anywhere in the world to get expert opinion and diagnoses; one such clinic is to established in Togo.

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In an effort to reduce Africa’s high infant mortality rate, Samsung says, the Smart Village also has a Mother and Child Unit, which is equipped to offer comprehensive pre- and post-natal screening, care and education.

“Collaboration with communities is key to finding the correct remedies to societal challenges,” says Tau.

An ArtMatters.Info article