Samsung Harnesses Solar Power to Build Samsung Digital Villages in Africa

October 23, 2013 | Comments | Tomorrow Culture

Samsung Electronics launched its first Digital Villages initiative in South Africa to integrate African communities’ hospitals, schools, lighting systems and energy infrastructure using solar power. The project will provide comprehensive support to improve health standards, bolster education opportunities and increase the potential for people to lead economically independent lives.

 

To celebrate the launch of the project Samsung hosted a ceremony in Johannesburg, South Africa, attended by ambassadors and government representatives from various African countries, the UN, prominent international organizations and NGOs.

 

The Digital Village is comprised of a number of key components that work together to benefit a community in terms of health, education and employment.  

 

[Infographic]DigitalVillage

 

Solar Powered Tele-Medical Center

There is currently a shortage of skilled medical personnel and resources in outlying rural areas of certain regions of Africa. This can be a significant burden to the rural population as not only is adequate healthcare not readily available but obtaining it may require many hours of travel.

 

The Solar Powered Tele-Medical Center has been constructed as a movable container to provide these rural residents with convenient access to medical services. Video conference facilities built into the Center connect patients being treated in remote regions with general hospitals in cities so diagnosis and prescription advice can be shared in real-time. The Center also features a database and server access for the management of patient data. 

 

 

Solar Powered Health Center

 

The Solar Powered Health Center is a large truck that provides medical services to local residents in a Digital Village and nearby areas. It is equipped with tools for the treatment of eye, ear and dental complications as well as a state-of-the-art blood analysis machine for on-the-spot diagnosis.

 

It is hoped that both the Solar Powered Tele-Medical Center and the Solar Powered Health Center will significantly contribute to overcoming the geographical and economical barriers in coping with disease in South Africa, Ethiopia and Gabon.

 

 

Solar Powered Internet School

 

The Solar Powered Internet School is a facility able to generate the power needed to operate through photovoltaic cells installed on the School’s roof. The panels power a large touch screen used by the teacher, netbooks used by students during multimedia courses and also provide internet access as well increasing accessibility to education and connectivity across Africa.

 

 

Solar Powered Generator  

 

The Digital Village project has been envisioned to raise educational, medical and living standards, but another aspect is its intended contribution to promoting small businesses through the deployment of solar powered generators and LED lighting systems. The solar power aspect of the Villages will also lower the environmental impact and reduce operating costs in the areas in which they are based.

 

They will supply electric power to the Digital Village’s houses, schools, hospitals, and municipal offices such as the police. These generators are silent, do not emit pollutants and have negligible maintenance costs.

 

 

Development of the Digital Village

 

During discussions with the governments involved in the project, Samsung committed to building police and postal offices inside the premises of the Digital Villages, and to using satellite communications to ensure better work processes and greater operational efficiency.

 

 

Samsung plans to build Digital Villages in three countries this year, beginning in South Africa and moving onto include Ethiopia and Gabon by the end of this year. Plans to expand the Digital Villages to local communities in more remote areas in cooperation with governments and international organizations are already underway.

 

Samsung is strengthening its partnerships with various institutions for the medical and educational functions of the Digital Villages. For the healthcare services, Samsung has formed partnerships with the health authorities of each participating government as well as local universities and the international relief organization, World Vision. For the education programs, Samsung has partnered with education ministries, UNESCO and other government and civil organizations.

 

At the ceremony, Advocate Zwelethu Madasa, Clerk of the Pan African Parliament said, "The Samsung Integrated Solar Solutions are very relevant to the African continent as they harness the abundance of sunshine our continent is blessed with.  Quality Education and Health are the two most critical challenges our many countries are faced with.  The Digital Village is an applausible African solution to this challenge"
 

The Head of Samsung Electronics Africa Headquarters Hong SungYong said, "We will work together with governments and international organizations to ensure that the potential of these Digital Villages is fully realized. We will deliver better education opportunities, greater medical access and improved economic self-sufficiency for people in Africa."

 

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  • Matthew Slaven

    I think that this is a fantastic initiative! We have a great application that could add a lot of value to this solution, but are not sure how to get in touch with the correct person to discuss. Please email me if you would like to explore further via a telecon.

    • samsungtomorrow

      We’re also glad to meet you, @matthewslaven:disqus! We believe our African team will be happy to explore your ideas. Please contact our team by visiting http://www.samsung.com/africa_en/info/contactus.html. Thanks!

      • Edgar

        Hello? Why have you deleted your reply th post “Launching People”? I have pictures in my ipad with your reply. What kind of business are you running. Who is in charge of this Blog? Please explain!? Thank you.

        • samsungtomorrow

          Hello Edgar – we sincerely apologize for deleting the reply that we gave you. We thought that our local branches will have the latest information on the project in that area. We were also surprised that our local branches did not have any information. We will try to find out the contact information of the project manager for you and let you know as soon as possible.

  • marc lipton

    I agree this is a promising initiative. Do you have a team that serves central Asia? I am currently working on mobile initiatives for Afghanistan. Thanks in advance for your assistance.

    • samsungtomorrow

      We’re glad you like the idea of the project, @marclipton:disqus. Our local team may be able to help you. Please contact our team by visiting http://www.samsung.com/sec/function/ipredirection/ipredirectionLocalList.do, choosing the country you are currently residing, then clicking on Contact Us, which is on the bottom left corner of the page. Hope this helps.

      • Edgar

        Why have you deleted your reply th post “Launching People”? I have pictures in my ipad with your reply. What kind of business are you running. Who is in charge of this Blog? Please explain!? Thank you.

        • samsungtomorrow

          Hello @c2342926a4d0aaafa26c70d822bbf7e1:disqus – we apologize for deleting the reply that we gave you. We thought that our local branches will have the latest information on the project in that area. We were also surprised that our local branches did not have any information. We will try to find out the contact information of the project manager for you and let you know as soon as possible.

  • Leanie Herbst

    Hi, who designed this infographic?

    • Edgar

      Trying to get in touch with someone who is managing this “Official Samsung Electronics Global Blog”? Please explain Why you have deleted your reply posted some days ago in the “Launching People” project? I have pictures in my ipad with your reply. What kind of business are you running? It seems your reply to all comments in the same leading to local Samsung branches who know nothing about your you are posting on the global blog. Please reply. Thank you.

      • samsungtomorrow

        Hi @c2342926a4d0aaafa26c70d822bbf7e1:disqus – we apologize for deleting the reply that we gave you. We thought that our local branches will have the latest information on the project in that area. We were also surprised that our local branches did not have any information. We will try to find out the contact information of the project manager for you and let you know as soon as possible.

  • Flavio Pinto

    Dear Sirs
    I want to talk with someone in Samsung about Digital Villages, Solar Powered Internet Schools, Solar Energy and LED Lighting for Brazil.