SERIOUS about youth empowerment, Samsung South Africa pledged a whopping 7 million this week for a funding of bursaries to financially disadvantaged students looking to complete their studies.

At a ceremony held on Tuesday in Johannesburg, the tech giant handed over bursary cheques to four institutions, namely the University of Pretoria, North West University, University of Johannesburg and the Gauteng Department of Education.

The much needed funding is aligned with Samsung’s global mission, ‘Enabling People’, which is aimed at making significant and lasting impact in the communities in which it operates.

The event, dubbed ‘Empowering Tomorrow’, was attended by President and CEO of Samsung Africa, Sung Yoon, representatives from various educational institutions and a group of delightful student beneficiaries.

“We believe this investment will help alleviate the current skills shortage facing the country – most notably through the Government’s 2030 vision,” said Hlubi Shivanda, director of business innovation group and corporate affairs at Samsung South Africa.

“Samsung is firmly committed to meaningful change that turns potential into power, which is why occasions such as these are truly inspiring.”

Education as Madiba said is the most powerful weapon which we can use to change the world

In addition to the bursary support, Samsung also pledged to seek out paths to employment for the deserving students.

“Education as Madiba said is the most powerful weapon which we can use to change the world,” Yoon said in an interview with NOWinSA, adding: “The year 2019 marks a very important milestone for us since this is our 50th anniversary.”

When Samsung started 50 years ago, “nobody knew anything about the company, and now we are ranked 6th in the Best Global Brands 2018 list across all product categories, including food, clothing and raw materials, which is a big achievement by any means,” Yoon further explained.

“How we were able to achieve this outstanding results is simply because of the people within Samsung that are passionate about education. Because of their decision to persue education in various fields of studies, they were able to not only change their own lives for the better but the future of this country – that’s why we are always focused on education.”

Bridging the skills gap a top priority for Samsung

Last month, Samsung showed its commitment to developing the African youth when it conferred honours (certificates of completion) to 20 learners who graduated from the company’s Engineering Academy in Durban.

This forms part of its ongoing mission to develop skilled electronics technicians and engineers across the continent by bridging the skills gap that currently exists.

The engineering academies across Africa have already seen thousands of students graduate with hands-on, practical skills at no cost, enabling them to move into jobs after they graduate.

The top performing students are given a chance to intern at Samsung Electronics or its service partners and thereafter work as independent service technicians.

*For brand focused South African news and heads-up on the great things your favourite lifestyle brands are doing to empower local communities, make sure to visit the Empower SA page daily!