Moi University in partnership with jp.ik, a Portuguese Information and Communication Technologies company have unveiled a range of information and communication technology (ICT) devices targeting students, SMEs, government institutions and enterprises at the university’s technologies Digital Assembly Plant.
The plant, which is based at the Rivatex East Africa Limited in Eldoret town, was recently inaugurated following a joint venture between Moi University and jp.ik where they injected $5 million (Sh500 million). The devices, which were assembled at the plant and are branded under the University’s initials; MU, include desktop computers, laptops, servers, workstations and Next Unit of Computing (NUCs).
According to Jerome Ochieng, Ministry of Information, Communication and Technology principal secretary, the government will continue to support institutions that are keen on innovation.
“It is our joy and pride as a Government when we see local universities taking up the challenge of growing manufacturing in this country, which is one of the pillars in our Big 4 Agenda. The launch of these new range of premium quality products is a great direction in the government push to create more jobs to countless of unemployed youths,” he said.
The price of the devices is expected to range between Sh30, 000 and Sh100, 000. It will be dependent on the type, specification and functionality of the device. According to Isaac Kosgey, Moi University vice chancellor, the plant is able to produce about 4, 000 devices per day and is already employing over 100 locals with the capacity to grow further.
“The plant will also benefit an additional 3, 000 staffs who will be indirectly employed in repair and distribution lines,” he said, adding that the plant has already produced 150,000 ICT gadgets for the Digital Literacy Program and 70,000 national census gadgets which were recently used in the national census.
Nick Broda, head of sales worldwide at jp.ik, said that the Portuguese firm had confidence in the capacity of the plant to meet demand from local and regional markets.
“As we continue to develop our sales channel, we will work with local and regional companies that have a wide distribution network of consumer goods and an interest in distributing and selling ICT devices. 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. We are able to customize our devices based on customers’ demand which gives us a competitive edge over what is already in the market,” he said.