The factory that will manufacture the first mobile phones in Uganda, located in Namanve, east of the capital, Kampala, is managed by the Chinese company ENGO Holdings.
It has the capacity to assemble 2,000 single telephones, 1,500 smartphones and 800 laptops per day. Later, she will start making them.
The factory’s production capacity will evolve “according to demand”, and the devices will be marketed under the Simi brand, according to Ares Chow Yu Qing, director of ENGO Holdings.
Smartphones will be sold at retail for $ 54 (about 28,900 CFA francs), and single phones for eight dollars (about 4,265 CFA francs).
“It is great progress to bring Uganda into the world of manufacturing of technological equipment, but we must act in concert with the rest of the world in terms of standards and quality, in order to be competitive”, said James Saaka, director of NITA-U, the information and communication technology regulator in Uganda.
The phones will be marketed under the Simi brand.
The manufacturing industry is one of the Ugandan government’s priorities, and a large share of investment comes from China. Last year, Ugandan imports from China reached $ 1 billion. In the same year, Uganda’s exports to China were only $ 32 million, according to data provided by the United Nations.
China is also one of Uganda’s main financial partners, and its loans mainly finance infrastructure projects: highways, hydroelectric dams, airports and a railroad which must link other countries to East Africa.