Samsung and Walter Sisulu University power up the tech skills of SA’s youth
Samsung Innovation Campus programme aims to produce the future leaders of the fourth industrial revolution
Courses on coding, programming, artificial intelligence and the internet of things will empower university students to develop skills that'll enable them to be future leaders in the fourth industrial revolution, says Lenhle Khoza, Samsung SA's transformation manager.
Such courses are part of the Samsung Innovation Campus programme, which will be rolled out at two SA higher education and training institutions in 2022. One of them is Walter Sisulu University (WSU) in the Eastern Cape, where it will be run through the Centre for Entrepreneurship Rapid Incubators (CFERI).
Along with equipping students with in-demand technology skills and core future technology capabilities, the programme focuses on the development of soft skills and job preparation.
The Samsung Innovation Campus programme intends to empower graduates to be skilled in their respective fields and start their own enterprisesMzolisi Payi, WSU’s community engagement and internationalisation director
It intends to empower graduates to be skilled in their respective fields and equip them to start their own enterprises, says Mzolisi Payi, WSU’s community engagement and internationalisation director.
According to the Stats SA's latest ICT Satellite Account for SA, the country's ICT sector is larger than its agriculture industry. It's reported to show signs of growth, recording R243.6bn in revenue in 2021, up from R243bn in 2020, according to the 2022 State of the ICT Sector in SA report. This shows an overall increase of 0.3% in total sector revenue.
However, in the first quarter of 2022, the unemployment rate was 63.9% for those aged 15-24, and 42.1% for those aged 25-34 years.
The university’s CFERI director, Thobekani Lose, says the technology skills of youth in rural areas are lagging compared with those in urban areas..
“We need to have more engagement and ideas for the rural demographic of the Eastern Cape province. We need to train and develop our students to ready them for the tech-savvy trajectory the world has taken after the Covid-19 pandemic. Our students need to compete on par with [those from] other SA universities,” says Lose.
Payi says initiatives such as the Samsung Innovation Campus programme are in line with WSU's 2030 vision and would help to ensure that it produces graduates that are “sector competitive, able to start their own enterprises and access jobs easily”.
“We believe the sustainability of the [programme] will be a success because of the commitment Samsung has shown.”
This article was paid for by Samsung.