Kenyans will soon be able to buy locally-assembled computers thanks to Moi University which has rolled out a set of locally-assembled electronic products.
Last week, the institution launched desktops, laptops and tablets in Nairobi.
In the desktops category there are MU Fortune Slim, MU Fortune DT, MU Fortune Liva Z plus VPro, MU Fortune Liva One VPro, MU Fortune WKS. Other products are Notebooks - MU Trigono V401 Plus, MU Fortune Work book, MU Fortune Slim book and All-In-One (MU Fortune AIO).
With the new electronic devices, Moi University hopes to expand its sources of income by tapping on the growing market for electronic devices. Most of the locally used electronic devices are imported from countries such as Hong Kong, and South Korea.
Moi University’s technologies project coordinator, Dr Kiyeng Chumo said the electronic devices are expected to hit the local market by September this year.
He noted that the initial target for the products will include universities, parastatals and students.
“These devices will be affordable to most Kenyans and already we have received orders for these devices. Currently, we are studying the market reception and demand of the new devices,“ added Dr Kiyeng.
The project, he said will employ 400 individuals directly and 1,000 indirectly when in full capacity.
Moi University and Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) won government contracts to assemble tablets for schools, one of the flagship projects of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s administration.
Under the project, pupils in 23,951 public primary schools were supposed to receive free tablets pre-loaded with educational material in five examinable subjects. About 1.2 million devices were to be rolled out in the first phase of the project meant to equip learners with ICT skills.
Moi University assembled the devices at the Rivatex assembling plant, one of the largest facilities in Africa.
Moi University and JKUAT also won a contract to assemble gadgets to be used during this years’ national census in the 47 counties. Moi University is making devices for 22 counties while Jkuat is assembling for the rest of the devolved units.
Dr Kiyeng said they have finalised on the assembly and configuration of 67,234 mobile devices, 51,028 power banks and 10,000 solar chargers for the implementation of the 2019 Kenya Population and Housing Census.
“We are 95 per cent complete with the project and we have started to deliver to various counties. With the success of the two projects, we believe we will have both logistics and capacity to take the new project to the new level,” he added.
He said there are plans to manufacture computer parts such as motherboards at the facility within the next two years.
Dr Kiyeng noted that they are targeting government programmes such as the the Ajira Digital Programme being implemented by the ICT, Youth and Gender Affairs, Education, Foreign Affairs ministries in partnership with the civil society and private sector.
The programme launched in 2017 targets over one million unemployed youth in efforts to bridge the gap between skills demand and lack of jobs.
Moi University’s Vice-Chancellor Prof Isaac Kosgey said the institution’s desire is to fulfil its vision of being a leading research institution in technology, innovation and development.