•The Digital Assembly Plant has so far assembled 150,000 ICT devices for the Kenya Digital Literacy Programme and a further 70,000 tablets for the recent government census
•Moi University Vice Chancellor Isaac Kosgey said the assembly line’s next frontier is to diversify its portfolio to include a broader range that will appeal to local businesses and consumers
Moi University plans to inject $2 million (Sh207.46 million) into the expansion of its computer assembly line over the next three years.
The plant, launched in July, had an initial capital investment of $5 million (Sh518.65 million) through a joint venture between the university and Portugal based ICT firm jp.ik.
“We expect to be locally manufacturing all the components of the devices within the next three years as we look to foster the project based on the manufacturing pillar of the Big Four agenda,” jp.ik global head of sales Nick Broda said yesterday.
Since it was opened, the Digital Assembly Plant has so far assembled 150,000 ICT devices for the Kenya Digital Literacy Programme and a further 70,000 tablets for the recent government census.
While unveiling a range of premium ICT devices assembled at the plant, Vice Chancellor Isaac Kosgey said the assembly line’s next frontier is diversification into a broader range that will appeal to local businesses and consumers.
“As a university, we are proving that Kenya has the skills and capacity to build local technology that can compete on a global stage,” he said.
Broda expressed confidence that products being rolled out would not only cater to the local market but would in time expand to other countries in the East African region.
“We have done our market research and established that there is a big market for these products and are fully invested in developing this market,” he added.
ICT Principal Secretary Jerome Ochieng urged the two partners to ensure they produce high-quality devices that can compete in the market.
“Although the challenge now is to find continuous market the ministry is already working on guidelines to push across all agencies to ensure production continuity,” he said, adding that Kenyans should also, in the Buy Kenya Build Kenya spirit, purchase the devices.
The assembly plant which has a capacity to produce 4,500 devices per day translating to over 100,000 devices per month in three shifts currently employs 100 people directly and over 1,000 people indirectly.
It, however, has the capacity to employ 300 people directly and 3,000 indirectly when production is at its peak.
MU technologies Digital Assembly Plant yesterday launched new products namely MU Fortune Slim Book and MU Trigono which are both 360° convertible laptops.
Others are MU Fortune Slim desktop, MU Fortune Liva Z Plus Vpro which is a mini PC, MU Fortune desktop, MU Fortune All in One, MU Fortune Workstation and MU Fortune Workbook.
The Intel Core laptops will retail from Sh50,000.
“We are positioning our university to participate in the realisation of the big four agenda under the manufacturing component and also look forward to making Eldoret an ICT innovation Hub,” Kosgey said.