Home Science Technology Kenya’s 1st Locally Made Affordable Smartphones Ready for July Unveiling

Kenya’s 1st Locally Made Affordable Smartphones Ready for July Unveiling

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Pile of smart phones
smart phones

Kenya will unveil its first one million locally made affordable smartphones in the next two months as the government seeks to increase internet-enabled mobile phone penetration in the country.

In Kenya, imported smartphones are expensive due to numerous and high import-related taxes. The cheapest priced smartphone models cost between Ksh10,000 ($73) and Ksh15,000 ($109). With an average monthly income of Ksh20,123, this prevents millions of citizens from accessing smartphones.

ICT Cabinet Secretary Eliud Owalo said that the expensive cost of smartphones has been a hindrance to digital inclusion.

But the locally-made smartphones, assembled at the Konza Technopolis in Malili, Machakos County, will retail at Sh5,488 ($40), which is affordable compared to other big brands such as Samsung, among others.

“We are alive to the question of the affordability of ICT devices as a potential hindrance to the ability of citizens to exploit the full potential that this sector presents,” Owalo said.

“We have been actively engaging diverse stakeholders in the ICT and manufacturing sectors on the prospects of producing low-cost smartphones and lowering data costs,” added the CS.

In 2013, 14 companies, including Chinese tech giant Huawei and Kenya’s own telecoms giant, Safaricom showed interest in setting up operations in the Konza City project.

Owalo revealed that Safaricom, Jamii Telecom, and Airtel have joined forces with the government to manufacture smartphones locally for Ksh 5000 ($40)

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