Over 600 jobs have been created with the establishment of the Sh.450 million laptop assembly plant in Eldoret.
The plant which is 90 percent complete has offered direct and indirect jobs to persons working as installation technicians, assembly line production operators, call center operators and teacher trainers.
Speaking while on an inspection tour to the plant Wednesday, ICT Authority CEO Robert Mugo said that the plant which is the largest in Africa, has created jobs to hundreds of youth who were jobless.
The CEO said other than jobs, other benefits gained from the plant include technology transfer, academic opportunities (work study and internships) and research in new innovations.
Mr. Mugo revealed that Kenya ranked top in ICT education among Venezuela, Bolivia and Portugal and called upon County Directors of Education assisted by 230 ICT officers employed by the Authority to launch learner digital devices in schools.
“I urge the community to own the devices so that they protect and avert theft cases form unscrupulous persons”, said Mr. Mugo.
Digital Literacy Program (DLP) Project manager Dr. Kyeng Chumo said the country has two assembly points one in Moi University Eldoret that caters for 26 counties and another in JKUAT serving 21.
Dr. Chumo said that the Eldoret assembly plant has 102 assembly line operators who produce 1000 devices per day. “Other than laptops the plant also produces tablets and electric metres”, quipped Dr. Chumo.
So far 13, 445 schools have been connected to power and 268, 920 teacher digital devices distributed in 26 counties by the Eldoret assembly plant. Dr Chumo added that to date 654,234 learner digital devices have been supplied with 6, 890 teachers trained on DLP.
He however mentioned a few challenges in the rolling out of the project for instance slow pace in teacher training which does not correspond with the installation.
Other challenges include sandy grounds that hamper installation, some schools not yet connected to electricity and insecurity in West Pokot and Turkana.
The assembly plant has a production center, a call center (after sales services) and a changing cubicle.