The Kenyan mobile industry continue to experience substantial growth with an increased number of smart phones being unveiled almost monthly targeting various age groups and market needs. The market is witnessing various brands compete to sway the numbers of customers as competition remains tight. This can be attributed to a growing economy and increasing internet and mobile connectivity which have created a favorable competitive landscape, bringing in the market more brands and cheaper devices in the market.
However, as these mobile companies ship in millions of handsets to increase their market share, little or no attention has been paid to the quality of thousands of phone repair shops that have sprung up across the country to attend to faulty handsets. As a result many consumers are left exposed to phone repairs who do not possess any certified training.
(TOP: Ken Gitonga, Samsung Staff – centre – shows CS for Industrialisation Adan Mohammed and former Samsung VP East Africa and CEO, Samsung Electronics how an inbuilt air condition system works. This was after a successful launch of an Engineering Academy set up by Samsung at the Technical University of Kenya, Nairobi).
It is from this background that in 2012 Samsung decided to launch an Electronics Engineering Academy to equip young people with latest global technological skills and bridge the gap that is occasioned by lack of recourses. According to Patricia Kingori, the regional head of marketing Samsung East Africa, the Academy is part of the company’s broader goal to develop skilled electronics engineers across the country through bridging the skills gap that has resulted from lack of resources.
“Most Kenyan students cannot afford to travel abroad to gain these skills, as a result the idea of Samsung Engineering Academy was mooted to bring these skills that meet industry standards closer home”, Ms Kingori explained.
She said the selection process to join the Academy is very competitive and recruitment is done from the leading technical institutions across the country. “The selected students should be in their final year of study at their respective university. Our focus is on those pursing Electrical and Computer Engineering, Information Technology, Scientific Computing and Mechanical and Industrial Engineering who undergo technical skills training for a period of one year”, she added.
“We offer a chance to top performers to become interns/service technicians with Samsung retail channels in the region”, she added.
About 60 students are incorporated every session and over 400 students have graduated from the school since its inception. Samsung Electronics has launched similar academies in South Africa, Ethiopia and Nigeria as part of its broader goal to develop 10,000 skilled electronics engineers across Africa.