Samsung Electronics has launched the second engineering academy in Nairobi. The company launched the first one in South Africa and they plan to train over 10,000 engineers by 2015 to support various customers in the region.
In 2003, Samsung Electronics had over 1.3 million products in Kenya, by 2004 it had 2.5 million products, the number of products in the Kenyan market continues to grow and there is a need to train more technical support engineers. To this, the state of the art engineering academy is meant to train engineers that will push innovation in Kenya and offer service support of a wide range of Samsung products.
“Technology innovation is key to the development of Kenya’s economy in line with Vision 2030”, says His Excellency Chan-Woo Kim, Korea Ambassador to Kenya. He adds that the academy is not only a knowledge hub but will also create job opportunities in Kenya.
120 students, selected from Samsung E-learning Centers located at PC Kinyanjui and Kabete Technical, will attend the Samsung Electronics Engineering Academy and receive hands-on, practical skills training at no cost, enabling them to move into well-paying jobs after they graduate. After they complete their training at the Academy, Samsung will also assist students in kick-starting their careers by giving them the opportunity to intern and thereafter work and serve as independent service technicians or employees in their retail channel outlets in the region.
In conjunction with the launch of the Academy, Samsung East Africa also opened a Customer Service Plaza in the same building, which will provide a one-stop shop for service, repair and inquiries on all Samsung products as part of the company’s continued efforts to improve customer service in the region. It will also provide students at the Engineering Academy with first-hand experience of how customer and product repairs are managed.
“We believe we can best achieve our goal of positively impacting the communities in which we operate by connecting our CSR initiatives to our history and core business,” says Samsung Business Leader, Robert Ngeru. “Our aim is to promote co-operation, innovation and the exchange of new ideas in technology so that our products and technologies continue to respond to the real needs and conditions of the continent. To reach our business goals, we need a skilled workforce of technicians and exclusive service experts to differentiate Samsung as a quality service-oriented company. We also need to sustain our level of innovation, which can only be achieved if we invest in education to facilitate thought-leadership in Africa”.
Yesterday, the pilot phase of the program officially ended as the first class of students graduated from the first Engineering Academy in Africa in Boksburg, South Africa; which was launched in March 2011. The ceremony was an important milestone for the students, Samsung and the African electronics industry, signifying the program’s success and the ‘green light’ for its rollout in other Africa countries. Samsung plans to launch the third Academy in Nigeria in the first quarter of this year.
Notes Ngeru, “We envision a future where products are designed by engineers in Africa, manufactured in Africa and tailored to meet the needs of consumers in Africa. Today’s launch of the second Samsung Electronics Engineering Academy is going to help us realise this vision and ensure that the wealth of opportunity that exists in the region is shared by all”.
The academies are a 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.