Much of the technology we use in our daily lives isn’t made locally and a new factory in East London hopes to change that.

The Yekani manufacturing plant opened in June of this year and together with ARRIS we’ll hopefully be seeing more tech production on the continent.

As you might be aware ARRIS manufactures – among other things – DStv Explora decoders. While decoders were assembled locally an announcement last week changes the game dramatically.

For the first time ever MultiChoice will use the new plant to manufacture every element of its Explora decoder for the local market and the Southern African Development Community.

This is a game changer because it means that Africa could turn from a net importer of technology to a net exporter of technology.

“Yekani’s facility embraces the government’s Black Industrialist Programme and is fully compliant with Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) legislation. It’s also part of a new government-funded Industrial Development Zone designed to promote technological innovation and stimulate the South African economy,” ARRIS wrote in a blog post.

The Yekani plant has already created jobs in East London and is the largest employer in the region.

“For ARRIS, Yekani and MultiChoice, the new facility represents a joint vision for the sustainable local production of high-quality decoders and ushers in a new era of manufacturing in Africa that will see it transition from a net importer of technology to a net exporter,” ARRIS writes.

It’s exciting to know that projects like this are happening in Africa. Today it’s decoders but in a few years we could be enjoying the cost benefits of having tech produced locally and of course the economic benefits of exporting technology as well.

Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.