Samsung to expand African manufacturing

Posted on 1 Apr 2015 by Michael Cruickshank

The world’s largest electronics company, Samsung, has announced its intention to expand its manufacturing capacity in Africa.

Speaking at the Samsung Africa Forum 2015 in Turkey, the company outlined plans to build additional plants across the continent.

These new plants would manufacture networked devices for the so-called ‘Internet of Things’ as well as help build the region’s digital economy, and also improve literacy.

“The future of Africa will be based on smart living. We want to improve our partnership with Africa. It is a large and dynamic continent,” the president of Samsung Africa, Mr Sy Hong was quoted as saying in Nigerian media.

“We will have to build production bases in Africa and give Africans buying choices. We will bring the best of our innovations and designs that meet customer needs. We will combine them with the latest technologies offerings to contribute to Africa’s ongoing transformation in the consumer electronics space,” Hong continued.

This new manufacturing announcement follows a development plan which Samsung Africa has been trialing now for several years.

It has established special solar-powered internet schools which integrate the company’s advanced technology, as well as engineering academies and what Samsung calls ‘digital villages’.

Alongside this, the country has developed a ‘Built For Africa’ program, producing specialised electronic appliances suited for the African market. These products feature technologies which allow them to function in high heat and humidity, as well as in regions with only an intermittent power supply.

African manufacturing set to boom

As manufacturing costs in Asia increase due to wage pressure, companies are now looking to Africa as a potential new location for their manufacturing base.

While the continent only produces a mere 1.5% of all global manufactured goods, analysts see this changing rapidly.

They point to the large pool of the workers who will work for lower pay, an abundance of natural resources, and improving government stability.

The light manufacturing sector of many African countries, especially regional powerhouses such as Tanzania, Kenya and Nigeria are set to benefit.

This many hope will raise living standards and greatly improve the economies of these countries over the coming decade.


Main image cropped & courtesy of Nan Palmero via Flickr.