Samsung Nairobi office members of staff Jong Oh Lee and Robert Ngure address a press conference at a Nairobi hotel on April 04, 2011. The company is setting up an academy to train engineering students and a research and development unit for Africa in Kenya this year. Photo/FREDRICK ONYANGO South Korean mobile phone and TV manufacturer Samsung is in talks with a Kenyan university to set up a research and development centre by September this year as it seeks to align its products to suit the African market. The firm has 22 such centres across the globe, but none in Africa. This has limited its ability to manufacturer products that meet unique African market demands such as frequent power outages, thus reducing the lifespan of electronic products. However, the firm said it was ready to address this challenge through partnership with a local university, which it did not name, citing a confidentiality agreement between the two. In the partnership, Samsung will provide the university with technical experts in hardware and software and also offer training to the selected students. At a media briefing on Monday, Samsung Africa president Kwang Kee Park said the firm plans to speed up the development of more African products and position itself in the market. Transformed "Africa market is a unique one with numerous infrastructure conditions such as electric power shortages and dust, which reduces the life span of the electronic products supplied to the market but which we need to address through investing in a R& D facility." Samsung's move to invest in research and development comes in the wake of demand for tailor-made local software applications that have seen technology firms like Nokia, and Microsoft hunt for local talent at local institutions of higher learning. The aim is to have locals participate in coming up with ideas that will be transformed into products since they have a better understanding of the region and the market needs. Nokia and Microsoft last year organised separate competitions geared at stimulating the development of local software applications where the best contestants were awarded cash prizes. It also follows a partnership between another Korean firm, LG which partnered with University of Nairobi to offer incubation training on air conditioners as it seeks to grow it market share.