Kenya celebrates first locally made low-cost smartphones
Kenya has finally unveiled its first local smartphone assembly plant, a crucial step towards democratising smartphone access.
President William Ruto unveiled the East Africa Device Assembly Kenya Limited (EADAK) on Monday, a joint venture of local mobile network operators including Safaricom, Jamii Telecommunications and Chinese business Shenzhen TeleOne Technology.
The facility, which was developed to achieve the government's promise to establish local smartphone assembly capacity, has a capacity of producing up to 3 million mobile phone devices each year.
The devices, which will be accessible nationwide at Faiba and dealer stores, as well as Safaricom stores and the Masoko online platform, will cost $50.
"This assembly plant will contribute to the government's agenda of increasing digital inclusion in the country. We were able to achieve affordability through a collaborative strategy that included business partnerships and beneficial government regulations," said EADAK Chairman Joshua Chepkwony.
Speaking at the ceremony, Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa stated that the launch underlines the telco's faith in the power of connection to transform lives and promote economic success.
''This agreement highlights our unwavering commitment to expanding 4G coverage and empowering Kenyans through inexpensive, high-quality smartphones, as well as creating job opportunities and growing our economy," he said.
The 4G-enabled Neon 5" "Smarta" and 6 12" "Ultra" mobile phone handsets will be the anchor devices at launch, with other devices expanding the product range to be offered in the coming months, including a locally made tablet.