Samsung Electronics Africa has launched its Digital Village in the community of Kasenga, 250 kilometers away from Lubumbashi.
It News Africa reports that the Digital Village will provide access to ICT as well as education and health services to under-resourced areas. The hope is that by bridging the digital divide, local businesses in the region will improve and governance will be more effective.
The Samsung Digital Village comprises a solar powered internet school, built to accommodate up to 24 learners; a solar powered tele-medical centre; and a solar power generator which powers the Admin Centre, that would also be suitable as an office space for local entrepreneurs and any other nearby school or community centre personnel with limited electricity supply.
Samsung is expecting the community to take ownership of the Digital Village and will therefore provide adequate training that will enable them harness the facilities optimally.
The Managing Director of Democratic Republic of Congo Branch for Samsung Electronics East Africa, Mr. Bill Kim, said: “The Digital Village demonstrates our innovative approach to investing in people and their communities. This initiative offers a complete educational infrastructure, comprehensive healthcare solution and power generation capabilities that will spur the growth of small businesses and harness the energy of the sun to minimise running costs, among others.”
“The United Nations says being online is now seen as fundamental to human development, and access to the Internet may soon become a basic human right, like access to water. We also understand that success in Africa requires commitment to creating the market and infrastructure around it – not just entering it,” he adds. “That’s why we are putting resources into a variety of initiatives across the continent that are designed to address the unique needs and conditions of the continent.”
The Samsung Digital Village model is a response to one of Africa’s major challenges – electrification.