In a much-anticipated move, Kenya is gearing up to unveil its very own locally assembled smartphones backed by the government which if everything goes as planned are set to make their debut on October 30, 2023. This exciting announcement comes from none other than the Ministry of Information, Communications, and the Digital Economy’s Cabinet Secretary, Eliud Owalo.
When questioned about the details of these new smartphones, the CS didn’t reveal much. He kept a tight lid on specifics, leaving many intrigued. However, we do know that these gadgets will be available to consumers at an attractive retail price of $40, which is approximately 6,000 Kenyan Shillings.
Regarding the phone’s specifications and the number of units in the initial release, Mr. Owalo chose to keep us all in suspense. “Yes, the release date is on October 30, that’s all for now. We will release the rest of the details at the launch,” he teased in a text message response.
So, we’re left with more questions than answers. The brand name remains a well-guarded secret, and the strategy for distributing these devices to the last mile retail outlets is still shrouded in mystery.
This recent announcement marks a two-month delay from the initial timeline mentioned by Mr. Owalo. Previously, he had hinted at an August release, but he went silent, leaving everyone in the dark, including the press.
The assembly of these mobile devices is a collaborative effort involving a trio of partners: Shenzhen TeleOne Technology from China, Safaricom, and Jamii Telecommunications. These smartphones are taking shape at the Konza Technopolis smart city, which is a hub of innovation and technology.
These smartphones are part of a broader governmental initiative to promote digital access and inclusion in Kenya. This ambitious plan was first unveiled by President William Ruto in December of the previous year, as part of his administration’s grand vision to revolutionize the nation’s digital economy.
Back then, Dr. Ruto set a rather ambitious goal of delivering affordable smartphones to the masses within eight to twelve months. If this project succeeds, it could be a true game-changer, providing access to digital technology for countless Kenyans and bringing them into the digital age. It’s a development that holds great promise and is eagerly awaited by many tech enthusiasts and consumers alike. Kenya’s foray into the world of smartphone manufacturing is a significant step towards self-reliance and technological advancement.