Samsung Electronics Africa has partnered with British based technology company, Pavegen Systems, to launch a new campaign called “What if I Can”. The initiative is meant to help power poor communities across Africa by using electronic energy generated from footsteps.

Both parties have teamed up to lay a 68-tile walkway in Sandton City in Johannesburg. These tiles have the ability to collect kinetic motion and store it as energy. In addition, the walkway consists of an interactive data screen that displays a leaderboard of real-time footfall data and provides an immediate visual payback. Sandton City’s main passage receives a monthly footfall rate of over two million footsteps.

African rural communities to benefit immensely from similar socio-economic initiatives
African rural communities to benefit immensely from similar socio-economic initiatives

The energy stored from shopper footfall will contribute towards benefiting underprivileged communities in Africa. The overall aim is to prove that even the smallest action of movement can make a huge difference to standards of living across the world.

Samsung says during the first 20 days of the “What if I Can” campaign – which will run until the end of May – steps taken by participants are expected to reach a minimum of 400 million. This will contribute to the installation of a Samsung Solar Power Generator at the new Tech Hub being installed at the Sunrise Secondary School in Diepsloot in South Africa.

Diepsloot in South Africa      Source: The Guardian

Ntutule Tshenye, who is the Director of Public Affairs and Corporate Citizenship at Samsung Electronics Africa, said this brave new approach will take on real problems such as access to electricity and energy needed in under-served areas across Africa.

“Education relevance and internet connectivity are imperatives to contribute towards future socio-economic growth in Africa,” says Ntutule. “We feel that… [this] campaign gives credit to our innovate solutions such as Solar Powered Internet Schools and Solar Powered Digital Villages that work to empower people by delivering revolutionary solutions designed to overcome local challenges and take communities into the future.”

Samsung Electronics Africa has been a major manufacturer of electronic components such as lithium-ion batteries, semi conductors, chips, flash memory and hard drive devices. It produces for top-tier tech clients such as Apple, Sony, HTC and Nokia.

By George Mpofu

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