Kenya to manufacture Africa’s cheapest smartphone in 8 months – Ruto

Written by on 10 November 2022

President William Ruto has said Kenya will manufacture Africa’s cheapest smartphone in the next eight months.

Speaking during the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Thursday, November 10, Ruto said the phone will be sold at below Ksh5000.

“The real last mile in technology is the gadget and already we are working with our Telcos so that we can have a smartphone that will go for less than Ksh5000. A smartphone that can do everything you want.

“I want to promise the country that in the next eight to 12 months we will have the cheapest smartphone in Africa, manufactured in Kenya,” he said.

The President’s remarks come days after ICT Cabinet Secretary (CS) Eliud Owalo visited Konza City where he announced that the government will take advantage of the city to manufacture cheap technonological gadgets.

“For us to roll out the fund, we need cheap but adequately IT-enabled devices. This is where Konza comes in.

“We see Konza as a way of innovation to manufacture handsets that can cheaply be accessed by hustlers.

“Konza plays a major role in the implementation of the Hustler Fund. As we launch it, we are relying on technology to help access and repayment of the same,” Owalo explained.

He added: “We want to enhance the level of our innovation and creativity, this is a move we envisage that we will be able to create multiple jobs for our youths,” the CS said.

“Kenya can attract direct foreign investment based on the infrastructure that we already have while leveraging on the technology.”

Ruto’s manifesto

During the presidential campaign, Ruto promised to deliver an internet connection to every household across the country.

This, he said, would help Kenyans make phone calls and browse for free.

Speaking during this year’s Mashujaa Day, the President said the new move will enable more Kenyans, especially the youth to engage in the digital economy.

“Moreover, to bring more Kenyans, especially the youth online for business, learning, entertainment, and socialisation, the government intends to take measures to bring down the cost of calls and data.

“This initiative converges with the efforts to boost the creative economy and scale up cultural production and the arts industry,” he said.

The President also said, the government is committed to investing in the digital superhighway and the creative economy, which will be enablers of transformation, productivity, and overall competitiveness.

“Over the next 5 years, the government will ensure universal broadband availability through the roll-out of connectivity throughout the country.

“The laying out of an additional 100,000km of the national fibre-optic network is expected to deliver this target,” he stated.

Ruto on youth empowerment

He further said Kenya has tremendous potential to become a global leader, employ hundreds of thousands of young people and generate immense wealth if the young people are plugged into the global digital economy.

“Our youth have consistently shown robust interest in this field (digital space) and are engaged on various platforms, generating captivating content that is appreciated globally,” he added.

At the same time, the President said the government is committed to the establishment of more arts and culture infrastructure, including theatres, music auditoriums, and art galleries, and extensive refurbishing of facilities to expand spaces for artistic and cultural expression and production.

“The government is also firmly committed to investing in the robust delivery of the five pillars of our plan for socio-economic transformation.

“This investment is undertaken in full recognition of national values and principles of governance as well as broader national interests and goals.

“They include policy, legislative and regulatory framework, national security, justice, law and order, and education,” he stated.

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