Kenya’s first smartphone assembly plant has been opened at Athi River in Machakos to produce affordable gadgets for Kenyans. The opening was done by President William Ruto with a consortium led by Safaricom being the masterminds behind the plant.
East Africa Device Assembly Kenya Limited (EADAK) will be the name of the plant, it is a joint venture of local Mobile Network Operators — Safaricom and Jamii Telecommunications — and a Chinese mobile device dealer, Shenzhen TeleOne Technology.
The plant’s first products will be the 4G-enabled Neon 5 ‘Smarta’ and 6 ½ ‘Ultra’. The devices were originally targeted to cost $40 (Ksh 5,506) but costs have gone up to $49 (KSh 7,499) but Safaricomis hoping for government subsidies to take the price lower. The smartphones will be available nationwide at dealer stores , Faiba stores, Safaricom stores, and the Masoko online platform.
EADAK will create between 300 and 500 direct jobs and produce between 1.2 million and 1.4 million smartphones annually.
“This assembly plant will support the 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.
“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,” said Peter Ndegwa, CEO, Safaricom.