Samsung hands over digital village to Volo community

BY: Kweku Zurek
• Mr Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa (right), the Deputy Minister of Education,  cutting the ribbon to mark the handover of a digital village to the government.

Samsung Electronics Africa last Friday handed over a "digital village" it had designed and situated it at Volo, a farming community in the Volta Region, to the Government of Ghana.

The village comprises a cluster of health, education and administrative facilities which are all connected and run exclusively on solar energy.

The Marketing Manager of Samsung Electronics West Africa, Mr Richard Nunekpeku, disclosed that the facility, which was put up at an estimated cost of $860,000, was conceived purposefully to improve the lives of residents of Volo.

He said Volo was chosen by Samsung for the project because of a tragic story involving a pregnant woman who died last year due to her inability to receive quick and qualitative health care.

"This project is driven by the news of a pregnant woman who died here last year due to her inability to receive prompt medical care. The only hospital around is far away and she passed away while crossing a river to get to the next community,” he said.

He said the components of the digital village included a solar-powered Internet school built to accommodate up to 24 students; an administration block, a solar-powered medical centre and a solar-powered generator set to run all the facilities.

He disclosed further that all equipment used in the digital village came with a three-month warranty and that the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) was ready to provide technical assistance in running the project.

The Deputy Minister of Education, Mr Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, who is also the Member of Parliament for North Tongu, lauded Samsung for the initiative, which, he noted, would bring about improvement in the living conditions of the people in the North Tongu District.

Mr Ablakwa said he was grateful to Samsung for choosing Volo in particular and North Tongu in general for the project. He added that he was relieved that regardless of power cuts to the community, children would still have opportunity to study round the clock.

"I urge the people of Volo and surrounding communities to be worthy ambassadors of this project. On the part of government, I promise that a system of maintenance will be put in place to ensure the project works constantly," he said.

The Country Director of UNESCO, Mr Tirso Dos Santos, commended Samsung for constructing the facility that took the unstable electric power into account and also made use of natural resources.

The three parties, the government, Samsung and UNESCO, later signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) covering the handover and management of the facility.

Mr Samuel Okudzeto signed on behalf of the government while Mr Harry Park and Mr Dos Santos signed for Samsung and UNESCO respectively.