Telecommunication giant Safaricom has launched Kenya’s first smartphone assembly plant in Athi River Machakos County as it seeks to offer affordable gadgets to Kenyans and accelerate 4G penetration across the country.
The East Africa Device Assembly Kenya Limited (EADAK) was set-up as a joint venture of local Mobile Network Operators and International device manufacturers.
“The launch of EADAK reaffirms our belief in the power of connectivity to transform lives and drive economic progress,”said Peter Ndegwa, CEO, Safaricom.
“This partnership underscores our relentless pursuit to expand 4G access and empower Kenyans through affordable, high-quality smartphones, create employment opportunities and grow our economy,” added Ndegwa.
The firm will produce affordable devices that will retail from Sh7,499. The devices, 4G-enabled Neon 5 ‘Smarta’ and 6 ½ ‘Ultra, will be available countrywide at Faiba shops and dealer stores as well as Safaricom shops and Masoko online platform.
Safaricom noted that more products will be launched in the next few months, including a locally assembled tablet.
The factory which is in fulfillment of government’s promise to establish local smartphone assembly capacity in Kenya has been built with a capacity to produce up to 3 million mobile phone units annually.
“This assembly plant will support government’s agenda to enhance digital inclusion in the country. We have been able to achieve affordability through a collaborative approach that comprises industry partnership and favourable government policies,” said Joshua Chepkwony, Chairman of EADAK and Chairman & CEO of Jamii Telecom.
Additionally, it is projected that the factory will generate between 300 and 500 direct jobs, foster local talent development and contribute to the country’s economic growth.