Uganda has exported the first batch of 18,000 locally-made mobile phones to Morocco.
The 2G-enabled analog mobile phones were manufactured at Simi Technologies, Uganda's first mobile phone assembly plant in Namanve industrial park in Mukono district. Simi is owned by Chinese firm, Engo Holdings Uganda Limited.
The phones are fitted with Bluetooth functionality, basic camera and low emission diode bulbs for night lighting. The plant which launched in November last year runs three production lines and has the capacity of producing 2,000 feature phones, 1,500 smartphones, 800 laptops, 2,000 chargers, 4,000 USB cables and 4,000 sets of earphones. The firm previously said the analog phones would be sold at between Shs 30,000 and Shs 40,000 on the Ugandan market.
State minister for Investment Evelyn Anite welcomed the development which she said is a huge step towards reducing Uganda's import bill on information computer and technology (ICT) products and boosting export earnings.
"Not only is this plant contributing to the economic growth and development of Uganda but also immensely helping in building local capacity through transfer of ICT knowledge and skills," she noted.
The company says it is to invest $15 million (about Shs 55.6 billion) in phases over a period of five years to achieve optimal output from the initial one million electronic gadgets a year.