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President Ruto Calls for Local Smartphone Manufacturing in Kenya to Boost Revenue Collection

President Ruto

The influx of mobile phones into the Kenyan market has raised concerns, as President William Ruto observed that approximately half of these devices avoid taxes, creating challenges for government revenue collection. To address this issue, Ruto proposed local manufacturing during the launch of Kenya’s first smart device assembly plant in Athi River, Machakos County.

President Ruto on smartphone manuacturing

“This importation of smartphones has given us a lot of problems, KRA is having difficulties because many phones are imported through all manner of places. Our statistics is that close to 50 per cent of phones imported into Kenya don’t pass through the normal tax process,” president Ruto said.

The East Africa Device Assembly (EADAK) factory, established in partnership between local Mobile Network Operators and international device manufacturers, is set to have a significant impact on the Kenyan mobile device market. The devices produced at this facility will be distributed nationwide through various retail outlets, with prices starting at Ksh7,499.

Read Also: Kenya Set to Launch its Affordable Smartphones

The initial product lineup includes 4G-enabled smartphones like the Neon 5″ “Smarta” and the 6½” “Ultra,” with plans to introduce locally assembled tablets and expand the product range in the near future. This factory is equipped to produce up to 3 million mobile phone units annually, aligning with the government’s aim to promote digital inclusion.

EADAK Chairman, Joshua Chepkwony and Jamii Telecom CEO, emphasized the significance of affordability achieved through cooperation between industry stakeholders and favorable government policies. The EADAK factory is also expected to create between 300 and 500 direct job opportunities, contributing to local talent development and the country’s economic growth.

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Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa, emphasized the potential of connectivity to transform lives and drive economic progress. The launch of EADAK marks a substantial step toward expanding 4G access, empowering Kenyan citizens with cost-effective, quality smartphones, and supporting economic growth.


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