Samsung Electronics West Africa, has commenced the construction of its second Engineering Academy in Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State, in line with its commitment to the development of Nigeria’s information technology sector.
Inaugurated in South Africa in March 2011, the initiative premiered in Nigeria with the opening of the first Samsung Electronics Engineering Academy at Government Technical College, Ikeja in Lagos State. The capacity-building programme is an integral part of Samsung’s vision to fast-track the entry of African youths into the electronics job market, with a view to developing 10,000 electronics engineers across the continent by 2015.
This was contained in a release issued after the ground-breaking ceremony in Ado-Ekiti on Wednesday.
Speaking at the occasion, the Governor of the state, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, commended Samsung’s efforts and commitment towards facilitating youth empowerment in Nigeria. “Our dear friend and partner, Samsung, has decided to honour our state with a world-class learning facility that will empower our youth. Today, we are laying the foundation for the facility. In 2006, we promised to offer a laptop per child but it seemed impossible, today it is a reality; this initiative is another promise fulfilled and we will not relent on our effort to bring back the glory of Ekiti State,” he said.
The Samsung Electronics Engineering Academy provides youths participating in the scheme with free hands-on, vocational training. Students undergo a one-year programme comprising basic, intermediate and advanced engineering skills and are introduced to industry appropriate practices, tools and equipment. In addition to ensuring that Africa develops an adequate pool of engineering skills, the academy also provides learners with well-paying job opportunities, a commitment that supports the Nigerian government’s drive to address the issue of youth unemployment.
On his part, Managing Director, Samsung Electronics West Africa, Mr. Bravo Kim, reiterated the firm’s interest and commitment to facilitating a better future for Nigeria by training a skilled workforce of technicians who will become service experts empowered to create wealth.
“At Samsung, we understand the importance of investment in quality education and its role in youth empowerment. Today’s ceremony is yet another significant milestone for Samsung in Africa, as it represents our vision to ensure that empowerment opportunities that exist on the continent is shared by all, even as we continue to expand the programme here in Nigeria and across the continent,” he stated.
The academy is one of several community development projects undertaken by Samsung over the past few years, in furtherance of its corporate social investment initiatives. Other projects include Samsung’s “One Computer per Child” initiative, which is designed to put a laptop computer on the desk of every student in Ekiti State public secondary schools by 2014; its “Solar-powered Schools” initiative, designed to take solar-powered ICT laboratories to schools in underserved areas and its installation of e-learning centres in locations across the continent.