President Museveni has Friday commissioned Uganda’s first mobile phone and computer manufacturing and assembling factory in Namanve Industrial Park, Wakiso District.
SIMI Mobile, which is owned by ENGO Holdings Uganda Ltd, at full capacity will produce 2,000 feature phones, 1,500 smart phones, 800 laptops, 2,000 chargers, 4,000 USB cables and 4,000 ear-phone sets.
Museveni thanked the government of China and its investors for “supporting us. These Chinese are not jealous, they wish us well”.
He said this factory will significantly bring down the cost of mobile phones and computers in Uganda.
When this factory attains full capacity production, it will be prudent for the government to support them by increasing tax on imported phones, he noted.
“We must support our local manufacturers. We shall also lobby the regional market for these products.”
The government will also buy their walkie-talkies when they finally begin manufacturing.
“I congratulate everyone and every agency involved in making this milestone possible.”
A phone will cost only Shs20,000.
Speaking at the event, Investment and Privatisation minister Hon Anite Evelyn said now that Uganda has started the manufacturing, assembling of phone and computers, Ugandans should Buy Ugandan products & Build Uganda.
ICT minister Frank Tumwebaze thanked Uganda Investment Authority and NITA-Uganda for working with his on this major initiative.
He said at full capacity, the factory will run three production lines, each line with daily production of 2000 feature phones, 1500 smart phones, 800 laptops, 2000 Chargers, 4000 USB cables and 4000 sets of Ear phones and directly employing more than 400 staff.
“A plan is underway to connect all industrial Parks to the National Backbone infrastructure.”
He added: “Investors will not have to incur high costs of internet connectivity which in this day & age is an essential component of any industrial operation.”