Kenya to manufacture cheap smartphones to boost access to government services

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Kenya will start manufacturing cheap smartphones following an announcement by President William Ruto today that the government is working on a plan to  manufacturer mobile phones which will cost less than Ksh.5,000 in the next one year.

The president was speaking at the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) Annual General Meeting in Nairobi .

“The real last mile in technology is the gadget and already we are working with Telcos so that we can have a smartphone that is going to be less than Ksh.5,000 and that can do everything you want,” said President Ruto.

He added that “We want to see if we can get it to Ksh.3,654 ($30) or Ksh.4,872 ($40). I want to promise the country that in the next 8 to 12 months we will have the cheapest smartphone in Africa, manufactured in Kenya.”

According to the president ,the government has already started discussions with stakeholders in the telecommunication sector concerning manufacturing the cheap phones.

The move will allow  the country to be fully connected through technology which is a primary agenda of the Kenya Kwanza government.

The president said that he intends to have government services digitised with a bid to provide citizens the advantage of seeking services remotely.” This will move to 90% in the next 6 to 19 months from the current 15%.”

He said that between 6 to 19 months, we will have moved 80% of all services onto the digital platform and ensure Kenyans can access government services from the comfort of their home.

The President also said that the platform will enable seamless collection of taxes and incorporate other government projects into the digital space such as the Superhighway to reduce national expenditure.