Samsung to develop products specifically for Africa

Samsung has picked Kenya as one of the launch markets for its solar powered laptop – the first in the world according to the company.

Samsung's Netbook NC215S solar powered laptop.

Samsung's Netbook NC215S solar powered laptop.

The Samsung Netbook NC215S has a solar panel on the cover that captures energy from the sun.

The technology could help users bypass Africa’s electricity supply challenges. “Using about two hours of bright midday sun, the user can charge the battery life by one hour with a fully charged battery lasting up to 14 hours,” said Robert Ngeru, Samsung’s deputy managing director.

As part of its Africa growth strategy, the electronics company has announced that it will tailor products specifically for the Kenyan market, through a research and development centre to be established by 2013.

“Our aim is to promote co-operation, innovation and the exchange of new ideas in technology so that our products and technologies continue to respond to the felt needs and conditions of the continent,” said Ngeru.

He added that the company has a vision of developing products “that is built in Africa, for Africa, by Africa”.

Samsung is focusing on Africa’s ten largest economies, which together accounts for 79% of the continent’s wealth and is home to 47% of the population.