The Jubilee government manifesto unveiled by Uhuru Kenyatta stated that they intended to provide every child with solar powered laptops. They looked forward to providing these laptops each succeeding year up to when every pupil possessed a laptop.
This election pledge however was faced with lots of challenges beginning with tendering and this saw the downgrade of the laptops to tablets.
An assembly plant at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) has helped kick off the Government’s pledge by successfully manufacturing 2,000 school based tablets.
The assembly plant has the ability to manufacture 600 pieces of fully assembled and functional tablets per day. Out of the 1.2 million devices to be issued in the first phase of the project, the plant is expected to deliver 100,000 of the devices.
JKUAT, in 2015, unveiled locally assembled laptops with the brand name ‘Taifa’ from their Positivo BGH project.These devices retailed at Sh. 41,500. After winning the tendering process China has stated delivering the mobile computers.The China government has already delivered 700,000 tablets so far and 200,000 tablets are in transit.
These Kenyan-made tablets in the assembly plant have 12 steps that make fully functional tablets from different electronic parts. Before they are shipped to school, tests are done and then they are package after assembly.Experts are sent to schools too to help teach tutors on the important applications and settings of the tablets.
Taifa Assembly line production manager Benson Mungai has said that the plant has provided employment for at least 20 people. Apart from fulfilling President Kenyatta’s project of giving laptops to each standard one pupil the plant has been a source of income for the country and the cost of this project can be reduced considering that these tablets are cheaper to the imported ones.
The country’s technology landscape has also been transformed and there is national pride as it is a Kenyan product.