Kenyans can now get their hands on locally assembled smartphones, a significant step in the government's ambitious plan to bridge the digital divide.

Information, Communications, and Technology Cabinet Secretary (CS) Eliud Owalo announced the release of 194,000 locally made handsets, with a target of reaching 3 million annually to meet the high demand.

"We may have a deficit in the market in terms of the number of Kenyans who have got access to smart-enabled telephones," CS Owalo stated, highlighting the initiative's purpose.

"This is why the government embarked on assembling affordable smartphones locally."

The initiative came to life in October 2023 with the launch of the East Africa Device Assembly Kenya Limited (EADAK) in Athi River.

This state-of-the-art facility, built as a joint venture between local mobile network operators and international manufacturers, fulfils President William Ruto's promise of establishing a domestic smartphone assembly plant with a capacity of 3 million units per year.

"The local assembly plant has released a total of 194,000 handsets going for 50 US dollars (Sh8025) per unit," CS Owalo said.

"We target to hit 3 million handsets annually to fill the void available in the market for optimum capacity utilization level."

This initiative not only offers affordable smartphones to Kenyans but also fosters local technological advancements and job creation.

The assembly plant represents a significant step towards bridging the digital divide and empowering citizens with the tools they need to participate in the increasingly digital world.