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Samsung and Kenya: Technology Education

Technology Education

Back in 2012, the Samsung Electronics Engineering Academy opened its doors and ushered in a new era of educational possibility in Nairobi, Kenya. This program was made possible through several partnerships including UNICEF, The Lego Foundation, Girls’ Education Challenge, and more to build a place for the African people to gain an edge in the information age. The curriculum maintains a focus on hands-on education, dividing the schoolwork into 10 percent theory and 90 percent practical knowledge. Over the duration of the one-year program, students acquire the skills to repair and maintain handheld devices, IT, consumer electronics, air conditioners and refrigerators.

For students wishing to enroll, the best part is that the program is entirely free and provides automatic placement into an internship with Samsung. Top students also gain the opportunity for relocation to South Korea for a one-year leadership position with the 100 Young African Leaders Program.

Change is coming in areas with a history of rampant unemployment, hunger and lack of education, throughout the African continent. Programs providing education in technology have the ability to empower young Africans,  only building Africa’s future. The program’s first graduating class saw 24 out of 40 students gain employment with Samsung and today over 60 percent of the graduates do the same. A sizable portion of the remaining 40 percent achieved self-employment by opening repair shops and other technology focused businesses to stimulate economic growth in towns across Africa. This success led to the program’s expansion throughout Kenya and branching into Nigeria.

In Nigeria, these programs build up the Lagos State Government and World Bank by setting a model referred to as a Public Private Partnership (PPP). This system provides benefits for all involved and helps bring those that may be lacking in technology education up to speed with the modern day.

Beyond Africa, Samsung is responsible for similar institutions in Turkey and Indonesia. These organizations impact communities by exposing the hidden talent that lay dormant in the marginalized society.  Samsung helps those with almost no ability to break the mold and reach their true potential.

Aaron Walsh

Photo: Flickr