The recently established Samsung East Africa Engineering Academy has opened its doors to the pioneer class of 200 students.
The institution, built at a cost of Kshs 84 million (US $ 1 million) and aimed to address the critical technical and engineering skills shortage in Kenya, is the second such training facility in Africa. Its overall goal is to develop 10,000 electronic engineering apprentices across Africa by the year 2015.
Speaking during an induction and orientation session for the pioneer class, Samsung Electronics East Africa marketing business leader Betty Radier, said the pioneer class will be delivered as a modular training program covering digital electronics repair and service skills.
The students drawn from Kenya’s Multi-Media University, P.C. Kinyanjui Technical School and Kenya Polytechnic commenced their year-long digital electronics engineering training on Monday May 14, 2012.
All the students attending the Samsung Engineering Academy will receive free training and hands-on exposure to modern electronics engineering practices, as part of the firms bid to deepen technical skills and facilitate job creation options.
The training programs at the Samsung Academy will help bridge the existing skills gap for qualified service technicians to repair new generation electronic equipment such as LED/LCD TV’s, laptops, refrigerators, mobile handsets and tablets.
“At Samsung, we view the role of social investment as critical to our business growth strategy for Kenya and indeed rest of Africa. We understand that being successful in Kenya requires entrepreneunal attitude and commitment to help create the market and infrastructure and we are willing to walk the talk,” Radier explained.
The academy is anchored firmly on Samsung’s ‘Built for Africa’ strategy which is committed to raise technical skills in tandem with continued marketing of products manufactured to meet the unique African conditions.
As part of its wider design, the Samsung Engineering Academy is also aligned to the government’s Vision 2030 blueprint to encourage entrepreneurship and self-employment initiatives.
Within the course duration, students attending the Samsung Engineering Academy will receive hands-on, practical skills training at no cost, enabling them to access income generating opportunities in the formal or informal sector upon graduation.
Samsung Electronic East Africa has also committed to assist the students in kick-starting their careers by giving them the opportunity to intern at its Customer Service Centres and thereafter work as independent service technicians or employees in their retail channel partner outlets across the region.
Samsung Electronics East Africa has also opened a Customer Service Plaza in the same building as the Engineering Academy. Besides providing a one-stop shop for service, repair and inquiries on all Samsung products, the service centre will also provide students at the Engineering Academy with first-hand experience on how customer and product repairs are managed.
Beyond Kenya, Samsung plans to launch the third Academy in Nigeria this year.