Uganda’s president Yoweri Museveni commissioned Uganda’s first ever-mobile phone and computer assembly plant on Friday November 22, in Uganda.
This comes as the government takes strides to promote ICT manufacturing in the country, President Museveni said that the Chinese have been Africa’s development partners on the path for durable infrastructure development which are critical in the transformation of the economy. He said growing the industrial sector is a major bonus for the Chinese.
The factory was built by ENGO Holdings Limited, which is Chinese-owned. The factory will start operating at full capacity in 2021. At this optimum level, it is expected to produce 2,000 mobile phones, 1,500 Smart phones and 800 mini slim laptops per day. This will also include 4000 USB cables and 4000 sets of earphones.
All this will entail directly employing more than 400 local staff, which means more jobs for Ugandans.
The 3 assembly lines are set to employ a further 100 Ugandans and also assembling 500 pieces of 2G Analog Phones fitted with Bluetooth, Camera and Low Emission Diode bulbs or torch and branded “Made in Uganda.”
The phone models with dual SIM slots and a Memory card will collectively be known as S300 powered 1,400mAh capacity battery. They are enabled with JAVA for playing MP3/MP4 Audio-Visual files. They receive telecommunications signal using 2GSM and GPRS operating on two bandwidths in the range of 850 -1900.
The Company says it is investing USD 15 million in phases over a period of five years to achieve optimal output from the initial one million electronic gadgets a year. Most of the parts currently being assembled were imported from China, including mainboards, the 2.4 Inch screen, touch panels, battery, Cameras, speaker receivers and vibrators.
The State Minister for Investment and Privatization, Evelyn Anite, said that manufacturing the phones locally would reduce the country’s import bill.
“A phone will cost only Ush20,000 (USD5). We are going to have a reduction in the importation of phones. The message I want to send to Ugandans today is to buy the products made in Uganda for the growth, development and betterment of our country” Ms Anite is quoted as saying.
According to ICT Minister, Mr. Frank Tumwebaze, one of the cost-push factors for Internet is failure by people to afford devices that are able to connect to the Internet.