Business News of 2014-03-12

Renewable energy: Samsung introduces digital village concept

Samsung Electronics is developing a concept that will make use of sunshine, which is an abundant natural resource in Africa, to change and improve the lives of inhabitants of rural communities in Africa.
The leading provider of digital solutions will use sunshine as a renewable source of energy in Africa to establish various facilities that can be operated through transportable solar-powered generators.
Officials of Samsung therefore seek to introduce what is called the digital village with solar integrated solutions, a unique concept that harnesses technology in a way that breaks through traditional, social and economic barriers and takes real support and opportunities to people where they live.
Facilities under the digital village concept include solar-powered Internet school (SPIS), solar-powered tele-medical centre, solar-powered health centre and solar-powered generator and lantern.
Mr Thierry Boulanger, Director of Information Technology (IT) and Business to Business (B2B) Solutions of Samsung Electronics in charge of Africa, said the solar-powered generators constituted the heart of the digital village that could be erected in 60 minutes of arrival.
He told the Daily Graphic that following the launch of Samsung's new portfolios in Malaga, Spain, just recently the whole concept had come under the Built For Africa (BFA) programme, where solutions are offered for specific situations.
He said the solar-powered generators could be used to power classrooms, small businesses, government offices, health facilities and remote -controlled gates.
Their effectiveness is monitored and managed from points that may be far removed from the actual site where they are placed. The concept can be effectively and quickly deployed in urban areas where additional healthcare, education or other services are required to support or back up other services.
The IT and B2B Director said Samsung oficials were finalising discussions with the authorities of Ghana for the introduction and shipment of the equipment for the solar-powered generator and Internet school. It takes between six and eight weeks to ship the equipment.
The SPIS is equipped with complete country-specific curriculum, while it also benefits areas with no school infrastructure and is easily transported, he noted. He explained that the SPIS was built in a 40-footer shipping container and could hold enough desks and support material to accommodate between 24 and 32 learners.
Through SPIS, children in rural areas can gain access to IT equipment and learn through the use of e-books that can be loaded onto the system.
The solar-powered generator makes no noise, while it does not incur any running costs and needs very little maintenance, while it is environmentally friendly and has a battery life span of seven to eight years.
Concerning the tele-medical centre, which reduces the need for qualified doctors in rural areas and ensures quick diagnosis, he noted that examination could be conducted by a nurse in a rural area and the results sent to a doctor in an urban centre just through the pressing of a button. The doctor could give prescriptions and offer necessary advice to patients in the same manner without being there.
The health centre is designed for treatment in remote areas and it eliminates economic and geographic barriers, while the lantern, which is capable of providing light for families in remote areas, is rechargeable daily through a solar panel.