The Kenyan government wants to accelerate the adoption of smartphones in the country as part of its digital transformation ambitions. According to official statistics, Kenya has 30.8 million smartphones for a penetration rate of 60.9%.
Kenya’s first smartphone assembly plant officially opened its doors on Monday, October 30, in Athi River, Machakos County. Named East Africa Device Assembly Kenya Limited (EADAK), it is the result of partnerships between local mobile network operators and international device manufacturers. Smartphones from this factory will be sold from 7,499 Kenyan shillings (50 USD).
It was last May that Safaricom revealed its intention to launch a low-cost smartphone assembly plant in Kenya, it is expected to supply between 1.2 million and 1.4 million smartphones per year. The company then partnered with its competitor Jamii Telecommunications and the Chinese company Shenzhen TeleOne Technology to implement the project.
The initiative responds to the ambition of Kenyan President William Ruto (photo, center) to provide affordable, locally manufactured smartphones to populations in order to facilitate the adoption of ICT and accelerate digital transformation.
“ Our goal is to connect more than 20 million customers with 4G devices by 2025. We are also here to support the government’s digitalization agenda. We believe that a smartphone in everyone’s hands will enable access to public services and the endless possibilities of the Internet ,” said Peter Ndegwa (pictured, right), chairman and CEO of telecoms company Safaricom.
According to the latest statistics from the Communications Authority (CA), Kenya has 30.8 million active smartphones out of the 62.9 million mobile phones connected to the national telecoms network. The penetration rate of smartphones is 60.9% compared to 63.5% for feature phones. However, the actual numbers are lower because some users own multiple phones.