Photograph — quartz

ENGO, a Chinese electronics firm has launched a phone manufacturing plant in Uganda. The plant will be located in Namanve, Uganda’s flagship industrial park. Construction of the plant is expected to last six months. The facility will enable Uganda to improve its tax base and reduce imports bills

The firm has joined Uganda’s industrial sector to domestically manufacture and assemble mobile phones, iPad, laptops and computers. The project is expected to cost about $15.5 million over a period of five years. The company intends to have a production capacity of one million in the first year and hit the market before the end of 2019.

Ares Chow Yu Qing, Executive Director of ENGO Holdings Limited said, “We will do this step by step. We will use experienced Ethiopians until we have trained our own workforce. So we will start with 100,000 gadgets per month. For Computers, the target Computers is One Million a year – depending on demands. But we will bring more machines if the demands are high.”

“Uganda, for many years we have been depending on Imported ICT gadgets such as computers and mobile phone which do not add any value to our economy. With the coming up of the Chinese Investors we shall be locally assembling our Mobile phones and computers this will make the prices for gadgets more lower compare to the current price,” the Minister for Information Communication and National Guidance Frank Tumwebaze commenting on the development said

Meanwhile, a few smartphones had been assembled in African: South Africa’s Onyx released the first African-made smartphone, Egypt’s SICO produced the Nile X and Rwanda owns the first phone factory in Africa.  These new developments in Africa will advance the continent’s information technology sector.

Uganda is now the second African country to own a phone factory with Rwanda being the first. In some other African countries, smartphones being are assembled like South Africa and Egypt where Onyx smartphones are made and Nile X by SICO respectively.

By Tobiloba Ishola

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