Rwanda launches Africa’s first smartphone plant


Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame has launched a phone manufacturing plant, described as Africa’s “first high tech smartphone factory” in the country’s capital Kigali.

The factory which was built by Mara Group, a pan-African business headquartered in Dubai, has the capacity to manufacture more than 2 million smartphones in a year.

“What we have around Africa are basically mobile phone assembling plants. What we have built is Africa’s first smartphone manufacturing plant,” Mara Group CEO Ashish Thakkar said during the launch.

The new factory will kick off with two phone models – the Mara X and Mara Z.

Thakkar said both phones will retail for less than $200, adding that the company has also partnered with local banks and telecommunications firms to create a financial model which will allow users to pay for their phones over a two-year period.

President Paul Kagame expressed hope that the phones would increase Rwanda’s smartphone usage which currently stands at around 15%.

Mara Phones will be launching its second factory in South Africa later this month.


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