JOHANNESBURG, South Africa - October 23, 2013 – Today, at an event held at Gallagher Estate in Midrand South Africa, Samsung Electronics Africa showcased the company’s first ever Digital Village – solutions that use a renewable and environmentally friendly resource (solar) to improve the lives of Africa’s inhabitants.
“Everyone speaks of the need to bridge the digital divide but we can only really achieve this if we focus on the core objective of changing lives for the better,” said Ntutule Tshenye, Head of Public Affairs and Shared Value Creation at Samsung Electronics Africa. “Like many businesses, our challenge was to look at what was needed versus what was available and devise a plan that connected the two. The critical need for alternatives to the current electricity shortage problem has prompted us to develop products, under our Built For Africa umbrella, that capitalise on the sun’s energy and today we once again demonstrate how we are using our core business strengths as an enabler to positively impact lives.”
Samsung Electronics’ research team paid specific attention to solutions which are cost-effective, mobile, easy to set up and which are suited to the harsh climatic conditions of Africa. “We have developed a complete solar digital solution for both rural villages without power, and urban neighbourhoods that are subjected to fluctuating electricity supply. The resultant offerings include a complete education system infrastructure, power generation for small business enablement, a tele-medical centre for quick and accurate diagnoses, a health centre for the treatment of basic illnesses, and basic lighting,” Tshenye explains.
The Samsung Digital Village includes:
- • Solar Powered Internet Schools - the exclusively solar-powered, mobile and completely independent classroom is geared at increasing accessibility to education and connectivity across Africa.
- • Solar Power Generator – Traditional diesel generators utilise non-renewable resources and pollute the environment with fumes and noise. A solar power generator can be deployed in less than an hour and for increased power needs, a number of generators can be daisy chained. The generator is also an ideal solution for homeowners, small businesses, remote border posts and schools.
- • Solar Power Health Centre - provides professional, qualified medical care, thereby eliminating economic and geographic barriers.
- • Telemedical Centre - provides remote medical assistance through a centralised pool of medical expertise and experience. This will reduce the need for qualified doctors in rural areas and reduce the distances that patients need to travel for diagnosis.
- • LED lighting - the solar-powered lantern uses light emitting diodes (LEDs), which are more energy efficient and last much longer than conventional light bulbs. Charged from a central charging kiosk that is equipped with a solar rooftop, the lanterns are expected to provide lighting for more than 10 years while producing no greenhouse gases.
All products have been developed to be low maintenance, with extended lifecycles.
The Samsung Digital Village model addresses one of Africa’s largest economic challenges – electrification. On average, less than 25% of rural areas on the continent benefit from electricity, resulting in isolated communities with limited access to education, healthcare and connectivity – all of which are key to socio-economic upliftment. “The initiative is an example of Samsung’s investment in CSR on the continent: a keen focus on education, healthcare and access and harnessing the company’s legacy of innovation to respond to the felt needs of people on the continent,” concludes Tshenye.
About Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. is a global leader in technology, opening new possibilities for people everywhere. Through relentless innovation and discovery, we are transforming the worlds of televisions, smartphones, personal computers, printers, cameras, home appliances, LTE systems, medical devices, semiconductors and LED solutions. We employ 270,000 people across 79 countries with annual sales of US$187.8 billion. To discover more, please visit www.samsung.com