Samsung Africa Director, IT & B2B Solutions, Thierry Boulanger, said recently during a CNBA Africa televised show that Samsung is currently developing a “Digital Village” on the outskirts of Zambia’s capital, Lusaka. The company’s Digital Village concept is a digital divide bridging – infrastructure divide bridging in many ways too – solution providing connectivity and technology products to populations that would otherwise not be able to access these due to infrastructure problems.
In the show, which you can watch on YouTube, Boulanger said they are currently targeting non-urban areas with solutions in the two areas of education and health. He said that populations in the cities, such as Lusaka’s 1.461M population, are now increasingly buying smarter devices from the company a sign of a growing middle income group. Outside the cities however, Boulanger said, the lack of infrastructure means solutions like the Digital Village are more appropriate.
Here’s part of what he said during the show:
There are two aspects that we focus on and its health and education. How can we ensure that we have the same level of education in the rural area, and taking into consideration all the challenges that a rural area does pose, for example infrastructure, electricity availability, the security of the IT equipment, making sure that the teachers are trained… those are the solutions that we are putting in place for the rural environments. In fact we are busy developing what we call a digital village In Zambia on the outskirts of Lusaka.
We are also looking at health. Our challenge is to ensure that we make use of the doctors in the most efficient manner and these are solutions we are putting in rural areas, one of them being Zambia.
Recently, Samsung introduced its digital village products at an event in South Africa. The digital village includes solar powered Internet schools (like this one introduced in Zimbabwe recently), solar power generators, Solar power health care, a telemedical centre, and solar power lanterns.
In July this year, Boulanger announced that it was partnering the Zambian government to help develop sectors that include construction, energy, health and education. In particular then, Boulanger said the Zambian government had embraced a strategy for implementing e-government solutions by the company.