Samsung Electronics West Africa, in partnership with the Eko Project, a World Bank assisted initiative aimed at improving the quality of public secondary education, has launched the third Samsung Electronics Engineering Academy in Lagos as part of its goal to develop 10,000 electronics engineers across Africa by 2015.
The Academy, located within the Agidimgbi Technical College, Ikeja, was opened by the Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babatunde Fashola SAN in company of commissioners of education, science and technology and other senior officials of the State including Samsung system leadership and partners in Nigeria.
During the commissioning, Governor Babatunde Fashola said there is an urgent need to develop technical skills in students, noting that existing technicians are ill- equipped to repair new appliances because they lack access to modern technology. According to him, “Upcoming technicians must be exposed to cutting edge technology if they are to remain competitive. The ability to repair the latest technology is key to wealth creation for technicians”.
Governor Fashola commended Samsung for partnering with the Lagos State Government on the Academy, stressing that the college is not only a knowledge hub but will also open up job opportunities for the people of Lagos, which is in line with his administration’s drive to create jobs, especially for young citizens.
Speaking at the event, the Managing Director, Samsung Electronics West Africa, Nicholas Shin said, “Our aim is to promote co-operation, innovation, wealth creation and to facilitate thought leadership in the communities in which we operate in response to their real needs and conditions”.
“The Samsung Engineering Academy programme is our flagship CSR initiative undertaken in response of the need to develop a skilled workforce of technicians who will become service experts empowered to create wealth. Samsung, as a quality service-oriented company, aims to link CSR activities with our business goal of sustaining our level of innovation. This can only be achieved if we invest in quality education to empower the youth”, he adds.
The Samsung Electronics Engineering Academy, equipped with the latest electronics, is aimed at addressing the dearth of technical and engineering skills in Nigeria by providing hands-on, vocational skills training for secondary school students. Students will go through a year’s program in engineering skills, aligned to their technical school’s curriculum.
The Academy will initially admit 60 students. Upon completion of the programme, graduating students are automatically eligible for an internship at Samsung’s channel partners. Outstanding performers will have the opportunity to work as independent service technicians or employees in the company’s retail channel outlets. They also stand a chance of being selected to participate in a year-long leadership opportunity at Samsung Electronics’ headquarters in South Korea as part of the 100 African Young Leaders program.
Samsung started the first phase of academies in South Africa in March 2011. The South African Academy officially ended its pilot phase when the first class of students graduated in January, 2012. In February, a second Academy was launched in Kenya.
Other examples of Samsung Africa’s education initiatives include the world-first Solar Powered Internet School model designed to address the issue of rural connectivity, and the Samsung E-learning Centres aimed at enhancing learning and teaching through the use of modern technology.
Along with the Samsung Electronics Engineering Academies, these programs are part of the company’s global ‘Hope for Children’ initiative, which places a strategic focus on bringing attention to the worldwide need for childhood education and healthcare in an effort to improve communities worldwide.