Astro Mobile Africa has announced that it will be setting up a $30 million manufacturing factory in Zimbabwe, the mobile company is set to hold a ground breaking ceremony for its manufacturing plant this Friday 20, July amid indications that the plant will create thousands of jobs locally.
ICT postal and Courier services Minister, Hon Supa Mandiwanzira will be the guest of honor to unveil the new assembling site.
The manufacturing factory set to be located in Sunway city is set to be operational within the next ten months. Astro stated that its a first of its kind in Africa which will see them manufacturing mobile phones, LED television and other electronic devices.
Speaking to TechnoMag recently, Munyaradzi Gwatidzo, Astro’s founder said the plant was being constructed in three phases so as to ensure its durability and reliability.
see the video interview below!
“It’s an added advantage in terms of after service support once you are manufacturing products locally, it means all the components and spares are available immediately. 80% of products that will be manufactured will be for export which means so much foreign currency and employment opportunities for the Zimbabwean populace. It has taken Astro mobile three years to secure the land for the manufacturing plant and it will take an average of 9 to 10 months for the construction of the factory and it will take plus or minus US$30 millionexcluding close to 3 million already used so far towards the factory.”
By David Zvina and Miriam Kunjanja
Munyaradzi Gwatidzo Astro CEO and founder stated that 80 percent of the equipment required to set up the factory had already arrived on site and they were now moving into began construction.
The construction of this factory has been setup in 3 phases, the first being the setting up of the manufacturing floor which will enable us to start manufacturing.
This will be the setting up of a technology center which will bring along a technology school that will seek to eradicate the technological expertise deficiency syndrome current pulling Zimbabwe back.
All these are set to be harbored at the Sunset City compound acquired by Astro Zimbabwe.
Currently, three containers are already at the site with equipment including the assembly line for mobile devices from rails belts, compressors etc and components for assembling of LED TVs.
According to Gwatidzo, a number of investors and banks have shown interest in funding the plant activities and also lauded government for putting in place export incentives in-order to enhance productivity in the local industry.
The manufacturing plant will be availed to Zimbabweans with the help of 15 Chinese engineers’ who will come in the first year to train the local engineers’ on electronic gadgets manufacturing.
However, when asked if the project will be successful in Zimbabwe, Gwatidzo said he was optimistic the factory would survive even under the prevailing harsh economic conditions as Zimbabweans can be equally trained to do the tasks.
This initiative is set to help make Astro, an even cheaper brand than any other in Zimbabwe Africa and the world.
Astro feels that Zimbabwe has got a lot of untapped potentials igniting this factory is a way of providing the country with the platform to show skills as well as providing employment to our own people.
“We feel we have a part to play if the ZimAsset baby is to grow and produce results. The process has been a harsh and tiresome, it has taken us long than what we expected.
“We believe it is the time we as Astro show that we love this country even though at time rocks have been thrown in our path. It took Astro 3 years to reach this stage and we will not waiver for we are here to serve Zimbabwe and Africa that is why we decided to move our manufacturing business from China here to Zimbabwe,” he said.
The project is expected to create a lot of employment in Zimbabwe.
“This is a national project as it will create employment of up to a thousand people as well as bringing foreign currency that the country really needs,” said Gwatidzo.
The ground breaking ceremony for the factory is set for July 2017.