Kenyans buy 268,000 locally assembled phones

Ministry of Information, Communications and the Digital Economy Cabinet Secretary Eliud Owalo.  

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

Kenyans have bought 268,000 government-backed locally assembled smartphones since the first consignment was released to the market end of October last year, ICT Cabinet Secretary Eliud Owalo said.

This means the consortium has sold 80 percent of the 330,000 phones assembled.

Mr Owalo, who spoke on Wednesday at the opening of the three-day Digital Transformation in East Africa conference organised by the Aga Khan University in Nairobi, noted that the trend is a pointer to the unlimited market in the country.

“As we speak, we have managed to churn out through this facility a total of 330,000 devices, out of which 268,000 have already been consumed. This means there is unlimited demand for these smart devices,” said Mr Owalo.

Eventually, as opposed to just local assembly, we will embark on local manufacture of telephones, and then we will go the extra mile and ensure we embark on local manufacture of both computer hardware and software.”

Last October, President William Ruto unveiled Kenya’s first-ever mobile phone assembly plant called the East Africa Device Assembly Kenya Limited (Eadak) in Athi River.

Eadak, which is a joint venture between local telco operators Safaricom and Jamii Telecom in addition to Chinese phone manufacturer Telel and the Industrial Technology Training Company Limited.

During the launch, the company indicated the facility had been built to produce up to three million mobile phones annually.

Domiciled within the Konza Technopolis, the firm inaugurated the factory with devices that spanned the 4G-enabled Neon 5 Smarta and Neon 6 Ultra retailing at Sh7,499 and Sh8,999 respectively.

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