Kenya has finally opened its first domestic smartphone assembly plant, a major step toward democratizing smartphone access. President William Ruto introduced the East Africa Device Assembly Kenya Limited (EADAK) on Monday. It is a partnership between Chinese company Shenzhen TeleOne Technologies and several local mobile network operators, including Safaricom and Jamii Telecommunications.
The gadgets will retail for KES 7499 ($50) and be accessible nationwide in Faiba shops, dealer stores, Safaricom shops, and the Masoko online platform.
The government promised to build a local smartphone assembly facility in Kenya, and this factory was constructed with the ability to produce up to 3 million mobile phones a year.
“This assembly plant will help the government achieve its goal of increasing the nation’s digital inclusion. Thanks to government policies that are in our favor and industry collaboration, we have been able to attain affordability,” stated Joshua Chepkwony, Chairman of EADAK.
The CEO of Safaricom, Peter Ndegwa, made a speech at the ceremony and stated that the launch confirms the telco’s belief in the ability of connection to improve lives and spur economic growth.
“This collaboration demonstrates our unwavering commitment to extending 4G connectivity, enabling Kenyans with reasonably priced, superior smartphones, generating job prospects, and bolstering our national economy,” he declared.
The 4G-enabled Neon 5″ “Smarta” and 6.5 “Ultra” will be the flagship mobile phones at launch. Additional devices, including a locally built tablet, will be released in the coming months to broaden the product line.