President Yoweri Museveni has launched Uganda’s first phone and computer assembling plant in Namanve.
This is after government signed an agreement with Chinese firm, SIMI technologies to promote the manufacturing of ICT electronics in the country.
The plant will run three production lines; each line with daily production of 2000 feature phones, 1500 smart phones, 800 laptops, 2000 chargers, 4000 USB cables and 4000 sets of earphones and directly employing more than 400 staff.
“I am very happy with the Chinese solidarity with Uganda and Africa. Uganda is moving very well, the economy has grown to $35 billion using the normal method of calculating GDP,” Museveni said.
He said the only remaining challenge for his government to overcome was corruption of public servants.
“We now have electricity, we are going to solve the problem of transport costs. We have also started solving the problem of ICT,” he said.
State Minister for Investment and Privatisation, Evelyn Anite said that manufacturing the phones locally will reduce the country’s import bill.
“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,” she said, adding that the phone would cost Shs20,000.
Speaking at the event ICT Minister, Frank Tumwebaze, said one of the cost-push factors for internet is failure by people to afford devices that are able to connect to the internet.
“The phones we saw cannot connect to the internet but they are going to make smart phones,” he said. A plan, he said, is underway to connect all industrial parks to the national backbone infrastructure. Investors will not have to incur high costs of internet connectivity which in this day and age is an essential component of any industrial operation,” the minister said.