Samsung SA yesterday handed over a Digital Village to the community of Cosmo City, in the North West of Johannesburg.

The Digital Village will provide Cosmo City residents with education and healthcare services and is aimed at improving the lives of Africans through renewable and environmentally sustainable solutions that harness the power of the sun.

“Everyone speaks of the need to bridge the digital divide, but we can only really achieve this if we focus on the core objective of changing lives for the better,” said George Ferreira, VP and COO, Samsung Electronics Africa. “The United Nations says being online is now seen as fundamental to human development, and access to the Internet may soon become a basic human right, like access to water. Our challenge was to look at what was needed versus what was available and devise a plan that connected the two.”

The Digital Village comprises a solar power generator, a solar-powered internet school, a solar-powered health care centre, a solar-powered tele-medical centre and a solar-powered admin centre.

“Today, we are seeing an innovation we’ve worked hard on developing come to life, and it is very exciting,” says Ferreira. “Good health is at the centre of one’s wellbeing and impacts society at a fundamental level. It affects a child’s ability to learn at full potential, and adults’ ability to provide for their families. This is why we have complemented our strong focus on education with a focus on quality healthcare.”