By: Thandiwe Kubere

The National University of Lesotho celebrated the launch of a new campus of coding and programming-Samsung Innovation campus, courtesy of its ongoing partnership with Samsung Electronics- a South Korean company which is one of the world’s largest producers of electronic devices. The two companies on Friday signed a Memorandum of Agreement at Avani Lesotho.

This campus initiative, according to NUL Vice-Chancellor Olusola Isaac Fajana, seeks to create a platform for imparting skills in science and technology which gives students the opportunity to enhance their employment prospects and gain practical education in digital technologies through both classroom and online-based learning.

Under this initiative, Samsung will be supporting NUL with a Coding and Programming curriculum.  He said at a later stage it will extend to covering cutting edge content in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT). Part of Samsung’s support includes; academic tools, lecture salaries and materials that are needed for this course. The targeted number of beneficiaries for the first cohort is 30 students.

“In a time when the world is changing, shifting and moving in the direction of technology, the time during which we find ourselves, commonly referred to as the era of the 4th Industrial Revolution; certainly this is the time for us to introduce and impart Mathematics, science and tech- oriented skills such as coding and Artificial intelligence to ensure that we produce the caliber of graduates that will easily take up space and become key players in the world we live in today”, said Prof. Fajana.

He further noted the importance of youth being capacitated to become key players in the world economy, in terms of technological skills that will promote their fortune in the international labor market.

“We, as the University therefore, accept this assignment with both hands as it reinforces our vision of producing thought leaders. It is through projects such as this one that we remain confident that the University will continue to cement itself as a relevant centre of excellence and maintain its place in our society both locally and internationally as a place that produces leaders. Together we can build a better future”, he said.

The Director of Business Operations, Innovation and Corporate Affairs at Samsung South Africa, Hlubi Shivanda said the Samsung Innovation Campus Programme (SIC) is a strategic partnership with NUL that will not only help develop Lesotho into a major player in 4th Industrial Revolution, but to also become stronger and inclusive in the economy which, in turn, create further opportunities for growth. It aims to provide students from underserved communities an opportunity to gain skills in technology.

“This program allows us to invest in the countries youth, help them prepare for possible careers in technology and contribute towards the Lesotho economy. As Samsung – we believe that the future of any country lies in the hands of young people and education gives them the opportunity to realize their full potential”, he said. This partnership will also enable the NUL Faculty of Science and Technology drive the developmental process of the nation.

He declared they as a company are heavily invested in the development of people and communities to bring positive social change and build a better world for all; not just through products and services, but also by creating opportunities for learning and growth.

“We know that NUL is committed to excellence, which is a further inspiration for us, especially as we seek to empower the youth to make a contribution to the 4th Industrial Revolution. We are confident that our partnership with NUL will unleash the potential of the youth in Lesotho by harnessing resources and expertise. Our long-term vision at NUL and collaboration with the Lesotho government will make it possible for future opportunities, growth and further investment”, he said.

Hefurther emphasized that through this SIC partnership with the NUL – the company is now able to achieve its vision for the global youth investment initiative – of enabling Basotho for the upliftment of humanity through innovation and digital transformation. “To our beneficiaries, the students, we look forward to seeing how this opportunity shapes your future. Together with NUL, we are here to support you as best as we can.”