Samsung Electronics Africa has launched its Digital Village in the community of Kasenga, 250 kilometres away from Lubumbashi in DRC.
According to IT News Africa, the Digital Village will provide access to communication technologies, and education and health services to under-resourced areas. The aim is to bridge the major digital divide which currently exists and help to foster development of local businesses. It is also intended to bolster the government’s efforts in these areas.
Inside the Digital Village is a Solar Powered Internet School built to accommodate up to 24 learners; a Solar Powered Tele-Medical Centre; and a Solar Power Generator that powers up the Admin Centre, which can be used as office space for local entrepreneurs and any other nearby school or community centre personnel with limited electricity supply.
With the technologies already in place, Samsung has gone further in its work by taking steps to make sure the community takes ownership of the Digital Village. Consequently, to ensure optimal use of available facilities, they will provide adequate training.
Mr. Bill Kim, who is the Managing Director of DRC Branch for Samsung Electronics East Africa, 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 addresses one of Africa’s largest economic challenges – electrification. This could go a long way in bolstering socio-economic development as it aligns with the needs of the communities for improved standard of living.