(Ecofin Agency) - Burkina Faso is pursuing its digital inclusion with new projects. Under this plan, the Burkinabe company Horizon Industries SA has partnered with Chinese HAIER to produce low-cost devices locally.
Last May 25, the country kicked off the construction of its first computer and mobile phone assembly plant. Works were officially launched by the Minister of Industry, Trade and Handicrafts, Harouna Kaboré in Ouagadougou, in the industrial zone of Kossodo, in the presence of Alkassoum Maïga and Hadja Ouattara/Sanon, respectively the Minister of Higher Education and Minister of Digital Economy, Posts and Digital Transformation.
Harouna Kaboré said this factory project - an initiative of the Burkinabe company Horizon Industries SA, in partnership with Chinese HAIER - is in line with the government’s industrialization policy. It reflects "the ambition of the Head of State in terms of creating businesses and jobs, but also and above all his desire to establish the digital sector as a key to the economic and social development of Burkina Faso," he added, stressing that the factory will participate in the structural transformation of the national economy.
For the Minister of Digital Economy, this assembly unit is "a structuring project that will strengthen the digital transformation in our country by providing access to computers and other electronic devices affordable to Burkinabe citizens. Beyond assembly, this factory will also serve as a learning and innovation space.
Out of 141 countries ranked by Cisco in its 2019 Digital Readiness Index, Burkina Faso ranks 131st. In the "Network Readiness Index 2020: Accelerating Digital Transformation in a post-COVID Global Economy," the country is 125th out of 134.
To make the assembly plant project a reality, Horizon Industries SA has mobilized an investment of CFA7.5 billion ($13.9 million) from a pool of financial partners including the Agricultural Bank of Faso, the Commercial Bank of Burkina, the BSIC and the African Solidarity Fund. Inoussa Sawadogo, CEO of Horizon Industries SA, said : "our ambition is to cover the sub-region, to adapt our computers to local realities. The factory will have an average daily production of 200 computers and phones.”