Semiconductor fab inaugurated on the African continent
On the 26th of April, Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta officially inaugurated a nanotechnology and semiconductor manufacturing facility – the first one in Kenya.
The facility is located at the Dedan Kimathi University of Technology in Nyeri County, Kenya and will, according to the president, form the foundation of making Kenya an industrialised nation. The manufacturing facility was established by Semiconductor Technologies Limited (STL) on the 177-acre Dedan Kimathi University of Technology's Science and Technology Park (DeST-Park) in a public-private partnership arrangement.The company produces integrated circuits, sensors and related nanotechnology products. While the new plant is being touted as the first semiconductor facility on the African continent, South African SAMES (South African Micro Electronic Systems) did in fact – for more than 25 years – operate a semiconductor manufacturing facility in Koedoespoort, east of Pretoria. However, steep competition from China ultimately led to the company ceasing production back in 2009. SAMES still operates its ICDC (Integrated Circuit Design Centre) unit, which specialises in the design and testing of high performance analogue and mixed-signal integrated circuits. “This is the dream some of us have for this country, our ability to become an industrialised nation, to be able to create good quality and well paying jobs for our young people,” president Uhuru Kenyatta says in a press release. In the press release the president notes that it is companies established by Kenyans, like STL, that will transform the country from one that consumes products from other parts of the world to one that exports not only its products but also its technology across the globe. The University’s collaboration with STL in this manufacturing venture is geared towards supporting the Government’s policy of “Buy Kenya, Build Kenya” initiative. Evertiq has reached out to STL for further details on the capabilities and capacity of the new facility as well as the company's operations.