Young innovators in Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Ethiopia are set to benefit from a new Siemens partnership that aims to support and develop young people in Africa.
The German Industrial group, through its Eskom Expo partnership, has committed to supporting and developing young innovators from across the continent and will be supporting initiatives in schools across five countries.
Eskom Expo for Young Scientists
The Eskom Expo for Young Scientists is a five-day event that features hundreds of enthusiastic, young scientists and innovators from across the African continent, eager to showcase their inventive science projects. It is being held at Birchwood Conference Centre in Johannesburg, starting September 23 and ending September 27.
Following months of regional expos across the country, the engineering and energy categories proved to be the most popular amongst young scientists, with students aiming to find alternative solutions to power South Africa.
Pupils looked into generating electricity using carbon dioxide in water; using methane gas from cow manure as renewable energy and self-generating hydroelectric power systems as alternate means of energy, amongst others.
The winner of the expo will get an opportunity to join other former winners at the Siemens Technical Academy in Berlin for a three-and-a-half-year apprenticeship programme. Upon completion of the programme, they will get a guaranteed job at Siemens.
Other prizes include R9 million ($597,000) cash prize, science kits, laptops, and tablets as well as bursaries from Eskom Expo ISF sponsors.
Siemens said it is also working with various schools in different countries to develop and grow young African innovators. For example, Siemens has sponsored students from Sekondi College, Ghana, to participate in the Eskom Expo. Moreover, Siemens is funding two learners and one educator from schools in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, and Ethiopia to attend the event, with the best performing students from each school participating in the expo.
Country Manager for Siemens, Ghana, Edmund Acheampong said:
“The Eskom Expo for Young Scientists is well positioned to develop young, curios minds and it is with great pleasure that students from Sekondi College and other African regions have an opportunity to participate and represent their countries and their schools at the prestigious event.”
Siemens wants to promote Science Technology Engineering Mathematics Innovation (STEMI) in Ghana. For this reason, it partnered with Sekondi College two years ago to ‘inspire interests in technology and innovation”, the company said.
Through this partnership, Siemens has refurbished and restocked the school’s computer lab with 45 state of the art computers and accessories.
Investing in the future of young Africa engineers is “part of Siemens DNA”, says Acheampong, adding that the prosperity of Africa hinges on empowering young people.
“Our continent can only prosper if we empower and develop our young engineers and those who can make a change in Africa, for Africa. This is a unique opportunity promoting both international and multicultural exposure within Siemens while advancing the skills Siemens would require in the future”, he concludes.
Siemens blockchain initiatives
Siemens is one of the global tech leaders experimenting with blockchain technology to solve pressing problems around the world. Last year, the company joined the Energy Web Foundation to proactively explore ways blockchain can be implemented in the energy sector.
Besides joining the EWF, Siemens is also using blockchain technology to help its customers develop solutions and services that optimize alternative energy generation and consumption. The company also announced it is exploring a blockchain-based carsharing application that will reduce over-reliance on private car ownership.