Made in Kenya: Crazy Features of Ksh 5K Phone Made in Kenya, CS Unveils Rollout Date -

Made in Kenya: Crazy Features of Ksh 5K Phone Made in Kenya, CS Unveils Rollout Date

On January 10th, Information Cabinet Secretary Eliud Owalo announced that the first Kenyan-made smartphones are currently being manufactured at the Konza Technopolis plant in Malili, Machakos County. These smartphones will have fully loaded Android capacity, and the first batch will retail at around $40 (Ksh4,000 – Ksh5,000). The mass production of these smartphones began recently, and they will be available for purchase by August 2023.

The Kenyan-made smartphone will have basic features such as call, text, timing and calendar applications, and will also allow users to install other mobile secondary applications. The device will run three types of mobile apps – native, web, and hybrid applications. Native apps will be built specifically for the Android operating system, while web apps will provide users with a great digital experience via browsers. The smartphone will not have standalone web apps, but will provide access to resources through responsive websites that adapt their user interface to the device. Hybrid applications will look and feel like native apps, with a home screen app icon, responsive design, fast performance, and even the ability to function offline.

Kenya aims to become a manufacturer of phones and cheap technology instead of a chief importer, and the government plans to export these technologies in the future. Through a partnership with Google, Kenyan-made smartphones will run on the powerful Android operating system, making up part of 70% of all phones bought across the world.

President William Ruto confirmed on November 10th that the government is also planning to start manufacturing affordable smartphones. “The real last mile in technology is the gadgets and we are working with our telcos so that we can have a smartphone that is below ksh5,000,” he said while addressing the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industries (KNCCI) Annual General Meeting.

Overall, the Kenyan-made smartphone initiative is a step towards achieving self-sufficiency in technology and reducing the country’s reliance on imports. With the first batch expected to be available in August 2023, it remains to be seen how successful this initiative will be in the long run.