Today morning Uganda has exported 18,000 own-made mobiles that include; feature and smart phones to Morocco. This is the first ever international order for Ugandan made mobile phones and in intervals of three to four weeks more consignments will continue to be exported to the same country.
The phones were made from Uganda’s first ICT manufacturing and assembling factory that has opened last year, formally commissioned by President Museveni. The factory is located in Namave Industrial Park a hub that also hosts the state-owned tier 3 data centre and the yet to be launched Raxio data centre.
Speaking at the flagging off of the orders to Morocco, State Minister of Finance for Investment, Hon. Evelyn Anite said, “For the first time in the history of our country, we’re exporting mobile phones. We’ve started with Morocco but orders from other countries will soon be secured.”
She added that as a country, they are taking great strides in tackling the import-export imbalance.
The milestone is evidence of the government’s pledge to promote local skills, industry, exports in a bid to improve employment levels, livelihoods and the countries balance of payments through ICT manufacturing.
This journey started on July 4th 2019 when the National Information Technology Authority Uganda with the support of Uganda Investment Authority entered a memorandum of understanding with SIMI technologies to promote local electronics manufacturing in Uganda.
NITA-U Executive Director; Mr. James Saaka applauded SIMI technologies for honoring their end of the memorandum of understanding and for heeding to NITA-U’s guidance.
Beecham Okwere David the chief executive board secretary of SIMI mobile Uganda thanked the government of Uganda for its support. He thanked NITA-U for the ongoing partnership.
“Currently we are producing more than 2500 sets daily. We are in negotiations with many other foreign buyers and hopefully will soon be exporting to a wide array of countries” said Okwere.
Saaka noted that NITA-U using the National Backbone Infrastructure has over the years systematically lowered the cost of internet and will lower the cost of SIMI mobile alongside many other manufactures beneficiaries of this. He said however that in order for broadband to fully penetrate the masses, smart phones have to be widely available.
“The post covid-19 Uganda is in need of more smartphones and that these more affordable locally manufactured phones are an answer to that call,” he said.
Okwere said that these locally manufactured gadgets will be a lot cheaper than the imported ones. He also mentioned that they are manufacturing items to help in the covid-19 response effort including protective gear and temperature testing devices among others.