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Rwanda: ‘First Made-In-Africa’ Smartphones

Rwanda: ‘First Made-In-Africa’ Smartphones

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Kigali, October 08, 2019 (CABNC) President Paul Kagame has opened Africa’s first smartphone manufacturing plant in the capital, Kigali. Manufactured by technology company Mara Group – the Mara X and Mara Z smartphones – will use Google’s Android operating system and cost 175,750 Rwandan francs ($190; £155) and 120,250 Rwandan francs ($130;£106) respectively.

President Kagame together with other officials (L-R); Ashish Thakkar, the CEO of the Mara Group, Clare Akamanzi, the chief executive of Rwanda Development Board and the Minister for ICT and Innovation Paula Ingabire inspect one of the production units of Mara Phones. The plant, once at full capacity, will be able to manufacture up to one million phones a year. The firm targets regional and the continental market for their smartphones. Photo/Village Urugwiro.

“This is the first smartphone manufacturer in Africa,” Mara Group CEO Ashish Thakkar told news agency Reuters during a tour of the plant on Monday. The company was targeting customers willing to pay more for quality.

Companies assemble smartphones in Egypt, Ethiopia, Algeria, Nigeria and South Africa, but import the components, Mr Thakkar said.

“We are actually the first who are doing manufacturing. We are making the motherboards, we are making the sub-boards during the entire process… There are over 1,000 pieces per phone,” he added. He said the plant had cost $24m and could make 1,200 phones per day.

President Paul Kagame said he hoped the phone would increase Rwanda’s smartphone usage, currently at around 15%.

The plant is, therefore, a complex manufacturing operation requiring significant technical skill and expertise, said the Head of State, adding that, “it is another milestone on our journey to high-tech, “Made-in-Rwanda” industry,” the President said.

The development is expected to boost ownership and use of smartphones in Rwanda which among other things improves access and delivery of public services as well as financial inclusion.

 

6 Comments

  1. Hudson Ntsanwisi October 8, 2019

    Wow Rwanda teaching SA and Nigeria on how to develop

    Reply
    1. MOETI MATLALA October 8, 2019

      Is the company 100 % owned by Rwandans

      Reply
      1. Hudson Ntsanwisi October 8, 2019

        No he is a Indian guy…..lucky that’s not a problem for Rawanda

        Reply
  2. Merino Madida October 8, 2019

    It’s just a matter of time. Africans are capable. Our leaders need to give us a platform and prioritise research and development.

    Congratulations to Rwanda’s Mara Group 👏👏

    That way, Africa will never be the same!!!

    Reply
  3. Thabang M October 8, 2019

    One thing i can assure you is that Rwanda will not be manufacturing the parts that will be in that phone. RND for manufacturing chips and other components will make the phone very expensive. That is why apple doesn’t manufacturer their own parts

    Reply
    1. Hudson Ntsanwisi October 8, 2019

      They say they’re manufacturing all parts, including chips.

      Reply

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