Arusha Times (Arusha)

Tanzania: Govt to Revive Arusha's 'Philips' Electronics

The Government has plans to revive the defunct electronics equipment manufacturing company of Arusha which used to make products under the 'Philips' brand.

Speaking in Arusha, Trade and Industry Minister Dr Abdallah Kigoda said the 'Philips' factory, located in the so-called 'Philips area,' of Sekei Ward in the city will be revived to resume production. He did not clarify when that is bound to happen.

The factory was a leading electronics manufacturing company in the 1960s and 70s in East Africa employing hundreds of people.

Dr Kigoda was speaking during a public rally held at the Sheikh Amri Abeid Stadium here, organized by members of the Chama Cha Mapinduzi. The rally was meant to welcome the newly elected CCM party Secretary General Mr Abdulrahman Kinana, who also served as Arusha Urban's Member of Parliament until 1995.

Dr Kigoda pointed out that Arusha relied heavily on industrial development and that the region so far has nearly 900 factories among them 57 large industries, 500 small companies and 300 small-scale industries registered under the Small Industries Development Organization (SIDO).

The Minister also did not explain what types of products the revived Philips will be producing from Arusha. Before the giant electronics manufacturing firm closed shop in the early 80s, it used to produce mostly audio equipment including tuner radio sets, vinyl record players, loudspeakers and flat irons.

With advanced audio-visual technology few people buy radio sets nowadays and record players have since been replaced with Compact Discs, though the latter is also fading out, giving way to flash-media players such as Apple's iPad and Sony's digital (Walkman) Mp3 players as well as personal computers that many people nowadays use to listen to music, broadcasts and watch films.

Arusha's Philips was branch of the Royal Philips Electronics, commonly known as Philips, a Dutch multinational electronics company headquartered in Amsterdam. It was founded in Eindhoven in 1891 by Gerard Philips and his father Frederik. It is one of the largest electronics companies in the world and employs around 122,000 people across more than 60 countries.

The Philips factory premises in which radio sets and gramophones used to be manufactured in Arusha still stand along the Moshi-Arusha highway. During its heydays, Tanzania used to export electronic equipment to neighboring countries of Kenya, Uganda and DRC (formerly Zaire).

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