Kenya set to launch smartphone assembling plant

People show their smartphones on December 25, 2013 in Dinan, northwestern France. AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE HUGUEN (Photo credit should read PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images)

Kenyan President William Ruto on Monday launched a smartphone assembly plant that is a joint venture between Kenyan telecom companies — Safaricom and Jamii Telecom — and Chinese mobile device dealer Shenzhen TeleOne Technology.

Ruto said the East Africa Device Assembly Kenya (EADAK), located in Athi River Town, about 28 km southeast of the Kenyan capital of Nairobi, will be producing three million smartphones annually. “We will not only benefit from job creation for our people but also from more affordable products.”

He hailed the joint venture between Kenyan and Chinese investors because the facility will solidify Kenya’s position as a powerhouse in the digital economy and a leader in technology and innovation.

Joshua Chepkwony, the chairman of EADAK and the chief executive officer of Jamii Telecom, said the assembly plant will create between 300 and 500 direct jobs, foster local talent development, and contribute to the country’s economic growth.

He noted that the plant aims to increase digital inclusion in the country, given that about 60 percent of the population does not have access to smartphones.

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