A positive development for DRC: Samsung unveils digital village

In the midst of the chaos and electoral crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), there might be something to lift the spirits of the citizens in the east African country. Samsung Electronics Africa has unveiled a digital village in Kasenga, a community in Congo. The digital village includes a multipurpose package that will serve the education, healthcare and technological communication needs of the people. The package includes: a solar powered internet school, tele-medical centre and generator for the admin centre.

The internet school is a shipping container which generates up to nine hours of power from its solar powered roof. It usually comes with a 50-inch electronic board and internet-enabled notebooks and computers.

According to the company, the solar-powered internet school is built to take in about 24 learners, while the admin centre is aimed at creating a platform for nearby local entrepreneurs, schools and communities. The Managing Director, Samsung Electronics east Africa, Bill Kim, explained that the initiative is geared towards offering a complete educational infrastructure, comprehensive healthcare solution and increasing business growth through solar power generation. Again, he confirmed the company’s plan to adopt innovative solutions to help meet the peculiar needs of African countries.

Samsung Electronics is one of the world’s leading technology companies, and has initiated various projects in Africa channeled at improving the living standards of the people. Although the smartphone company initially launched smart schools in Congo, South Africa, Kenya, and Ghana amongst others, its first digital village was unveiled in South Africa in 2013. The aim was help Africa solve her major problems using cost-effective approaches.
One main advantage of Samsung’s digital village is the solar power generation. In a report made by World Energy Outlook, Congo was on the list of countries with the largest population without electricity, alongside India, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Ethiopia, and Indonesia. This has hampered local business development but Samsung’s digital village could help boost business growth by eliminating the dependence on electricity supply by the government.

With Samsung’s innovation, there might be hope for a steady improvement in DRC’S literacy level. The solar powered internet school could be a major step in reviving the educational system in the rural areas.

Additionally, Rural Poverty Portal attributed the high poverty rate in the DRC to failed communication systems connecting traders and consumers, poor conditions of access roads and high costs of transportation. However, projects such as the digital village could help break these barriers and increase economic and social growth in Congo.

The political tension in the DRC might be centre of the world’s attention as of now, however, this innovation could mean the beginning of better things to come for the east African country.

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