Chinese Firm Sets Up First Mobile Phone Manufacturing Plant in Namanve

2031 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
Ares Chow Yu Qing, the Executive Director ENGO Holdings Limited says the firm will unveil the first generation of products manufactured and assembled from the plants to the market before close of 2019.

A Chinese electronics firm, ENGO Holdings Limited, has joined Uganda's industrial sector to domestically manufacture and assemble mobile phones, iPads and laptop computers.     

The firm is setting up its plant in Namanve, Uganda's flagship industrial park. The construction works expected to last six months commenced this morning with a groundbreaking ceremony presided by State Minister for Investment Evelyn Anite and the Minister of Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) Frank Tumwebaze.       

Ares Chow Yu Qing, the Executive Director ENGO Holdings Limited says the firm will unveil the first generation of products manufactured and assembled from the plants to the market before close of 2019. 

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Chow says the plant will rely on Chinese imported mainboards, screen, touch panels, battery, Cameras and speaker receivers and vibrators as well as circuits for the domestic manufacture of the phones until qualified workers have been trained to undertake the commercial process from home.    

According to Chow says the firm will invest 15 Million Dollars, approximately 55.6 Billion shillings over five years to increase the production capacity from initial 1 Million mobile phone gadgets a year to its maximum. The firm's trademark is known as Simi Mobile and will produce both cheap analogue and smartphones.

Chow says "We will do this step by step. We will use experienced Ethiopians until we have trained our own workforce. So we will start will 100,000 gadgets per month. For Computers, the target Computers is One Million a year - depending on demands. But we will bring more machines if the demands are high" Chow said.    

Dr Emily Kugonza, the chairman of the board of Uganda Investment Authority-UIA says he is confident the company will revolutionize the ICT Sector after visiting its assembly and manufacturing plant in Ethiopia. He said the development is coming at a time when Africa is the next frontier of development.   

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Frank Tumwebaze, the Minister of ICT says the development is a huge milestone for the country. He urged the franchise to explore the use of Uganda's manufactured soft wares in their manufacturing value chain.  

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Evelyn Anite, the State Minister of Investment says it is wonderful that Uganda will reduce on its import bills on Computers and mobile phones. 

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Anite says some of the gadgets will come with self-charging solar units making them ideal for rural communities.    

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James Ssaka, the Executive Director of the National Information Technology Authority says Uganda's ICT Sector has dramatically grown over the last ten years. He says the budget 104 Billion in 2018 to 146 Billion in 2019.   

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According to NITA, there are 22 Million mobile phone subscribers in Uganda. It says the sector is growing at 27 percent per annum. 


About the author

Peter Labeja
Peter Labeja has been a practicing journalist for the last 13 years during which he has covered part of the brutal conflict which bedeviled Northern Uganda as well as the painful transition to Peace thereafter. Emerging post conflict issues such as land rights of under privileged widows and orphans, challenges of access to social services in the immediate aftermath of Lord’s Resistance Army conflict in Northern Uganda.

Labeja is now the Northern Uganda Bureau chief in Acholi Sub Region since 2014 - Gulu, Amuru, Nwoya and Omoro districts as well as South Sudan falls within his areas of jurisdiction. He previously worked with The Vision Group for four years.

Labeja’s major career interests are in Climate Change; Agriculture and Environment - natural resources such as Water, Oil and Gas; Transitional Justice; Human Rights, Democracy and Governance as well as South Sudan’s humanitarian crisis. In 2013, Labeja was awarded a prestigious Pan African Journalism Award for excellence in journalism at United Nation’s UNEP headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya for Climate Change and Health Reporting.