The Nairobi assembly plant will also position the firm to take over East Africa and will run with its other plants planned to be launched across the region. Samsung recently said it will build an assembly plant in Ethiopia to add to one in South Africa, Sudan and Senegal.
To pessimists an assembly plant by the firm might mean market domination in the near future and probably competition to Kenya’s non-existent manufacturing culture.However, to an opportunist it means jobs, a larger tax base, restaurants setting shop next to it and everything great electronics built next door. Though the profits might be ploughed back home, several Kenyans will gain. The costs of shipping will also be avoided and likewise that will reflect on the retail price.
The assembly plant will not just serve Kenyans but will bolster the firms delivery to the East and Central African market of 142 million people. Business Daily says Samsung sold $250 million in 2011 but the plant would help it reach an expected $2 billion by 2015.
Samsung’s East Africa COO, Robert Ngeru, told the daily, “Samsung will initially ship in equipment parts or panels and assemble then here but will later move to the next stage of molding the body covers locally.”
Mr Ngeru added that the firm wants to localise its products according to rising needs. This is also good news for app developers, there is likely to be more audience from the manufacturer. Samsung headquartered in Nairobi and active in 16 African countries says the new site will strengthen its position on the continent as it expands at 11 per cent annually.
Samsung’s new assembly site will also lead to capacity building. Already the firm runs Samsung Electronics Engineering Academy (SEEA) in Africa, with an aim to train 10,000 electronics engineers by 2015 in Africa.
Their entry might also pull global chipmaker Intel to set up a bigger shop here as Samsung will need chips to do its thing and this is all good news.