Uganda’s first mobile phone and laptop assembly plant SIMI Mobile has been commissioned this afternoon in Namanve Industrial Park, Mukono district.
The factory built by Chinese Electronics firm ENGO Holdings Limited was installed to produce 2,000 mobile phones, 1,500 Smart phones and 800 mini slim laptops daily when it starts operating at full capacity in 2021. SIMI Mobile, is owned by ENGO Holdings Uganda Ltd,
Today, President Yoweri Museveni commissioned three assembly lines employing 100 Ugandans and assembling 500 pieces of 2G Analog Phones fitted with blue tooth, Camera and a Low Emission Diode bulbs or torch and branded Made in Uganda.
The phone models with dual SIM slots and a Memory card will collectively be known as S300 powered 1,400mAh capacity battery. They are enabled with JAVA for playing MP3/MP4 Audio-Visual files. They receive telecommunications signal using 2GSM and GPRS operating on two bandwidths in the range of 850 -1900.
President Museveni said that the Chinese have been Africa’s development partners on the path for durable infrastructure development which are critical in the transformation of the economy.
He said going the industrial sector is a major bonus for the Chinese.
Ares Chow Yu Qing, the Executive Director of ENGO Holdings Limited says that the factory will in the future produce 2,000 chargers, 4,000 USB cables and 4,000 ear phones in the third phase of the development of the factory in October 2021.
The Company says it is investing USD 15 million (55.6 Billion Shillings) in phases over a period of five years to achieve optimal output from the initial one million electronic gadgets a year. Most of the parts currently being assembled were imported from China including mother boards, the 2.4 Inch screen, touch panels, battery, Cameras, speaker receivers and vibrators.
Arnold Mangeni, the Director of Information Security at the National Information Technology Authority (NITA) says the phones meet national and international standards for radiation emissions and safety standards.
Frank Tumwebaze, the Information, Communication and Technology Minister says that the domestic operation of the plant will revolutionize mobile phones connectivity in rural areas for their affordability and efficiency on power consumption and network reception and clarity.
The other he says will provide a unique platform for domestic software developers to showcase their innovations to the market in order to penetrate the International markets through exportation of some of the technologies.
Evelyn Anite, the State Minister for Finance in charge of Privatization says Uganda has been spending 140 Billion on the importation of phones from major electronic companies, Samsun, Itel, Huawei and Nokia among others. She says the factory will in the long run reduce the import bill by producing cheap phones for the country.
James Ssaka, the Executive Director of the National Information Technology Authority –NITA says that Uganda’s ICT Sector has dramatically grown over the last ten years with its annual budget swelling from 104 Billion in 2018 to 146 Billion in 2019. According to NITA, there are 22 Million mobile phone subscribers in Uganda. It says the sector is growing at 27 per cent per annum.