Major milestone as Kenya starts making semiconductors
Kenya has started manufacturing semiconductor chips, boosting the country’s technological development.
Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua on Monday launched OL BORANA,’ a product of the Semiconductor Technologies Limited at the Dedan Kimathi University of
“This is one of the most advanced semiconductor manufacturing system designed in Africa. It is a demonstration that we have the potential of leading the continent in all aspects of technology in driving sustainable development towards the Kenya we want and the Africa we want where nobody is left behind,” Mr Gachagua said.
The DP was accompanied by Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu, ICT CS Eliud Owalo, Nyeri Governor Mutahi Kahiga, US Embassy Charge’ d’Affairs Marc Dillard, Dedan Kimathi University of Technology Vice-Chancellor Patrick Kioni and Semiconductor Technologies Limited (STL) Chief Executive Officer Antony Githinji and Nyeri Town MP Duncan Maina.
Mr Gachagua added: “I am particularly delighted that this milestone is achieved in Nyeri County. This means that the young people in this region have an added advantage in accessing better technical support if they align their digital start-ups to this innovation.”
He lauded the partnership between the Dedan Kimathi University of Technology and the STL in in the production of the semiconductors.
“It is a testament that if we need to achieve our Vision 2030 and sustainable development as guided by Agenda 2030 of the United Nations, partnership is a must. I am particularly excited that STL settled on Dedan Kimathi University of Technology, focused on solution-driven innovations. Theory education alone cannot help us emerge as a lead in digital economy in Africa. We must blend academic work with hands-on professional experience. This can only happen when we allow innovation enterprises such as STL to collaborate with our learning institutions.”
He said the Kenya Kwanza Administration has identified science and technology as the conveyor belt to delivering its development promise.
He added: “Demand-led innovation in manufacturing is at the heart of the President William Ruto Administration. That is why today is important as we launch a system that responds to the demands of the market. Indeed, the semiconductor sector is one of the most crucial components of the digital industry. Almost every electronic device we have today is built on semiconductors. From smartphones, fridges, wearables, cars, laptops, among others, rely on chips. Because we have seen the potential of this sector in dealing with one of our most urgent challenges- youth unemployment.”
He said the Kenya Kwanza government wants to harness creativity to generate more and decent jobs for the 5.7 million job seeking youth, “so that they can contribute to the delivery of the Kenya Kwanza Plan.”
He thanked STL for offering 70 percent of employment to people between of 25 and 35 years.
“Under our Plan, we promised to create a 100-kilometre digital superhighway. To establish and reap the benefits of the fifth industrial revolution, we need the best
technology. STL and the Dedan Kimathi University of Technology have shown us that we have all it takes.”
“With the manufacturing of semiconductors and other forms of innovation from Kenya, we have disrupted the status quo with bottom-up flow of
technology. We are proving to the world that we are not only consumers, but also producers of top-notch technology.”
He also commended STL for training over 150 engineers in Chemical, Mechanical, Electrical and Mechatronics
He added that the skills and ingenuity showcased in this launch of the Ol Borana semiconductor is a kicker towards making Kenya an exporter of technology in the region and globally.
He appealed to STL to upscale manufacturing of the semiconductor system, silicon wafer processing, nanotechnology materials, among others.
Mr Gachagua also asked police to deal with insecurity and thuggery during the festive season.
He told government officials appointed from Nyeri not to ‘embarrass’ the area, and the appointing authority-the President.”
“They must live to the ideals of great leaders from the area such as Wangari Maathai and freedom fighters like Dedan Kimathi,” he said.