The first smartphone maker in Africa, according to Dubai-based Mara Group, began operations in Kigali, the capital of Rwanda, in October 2019.
According to Mara Phone, its product is the first high-end, reasonably priced smartphone developed in Africa to compete in a market dominated by Chinese and South Korean companies. Customers are starting to take note of the African phone brand, according to Ruud Elmendorp’s report from Kigali.
KIGALI, as the first “Made in Africa” model, two types of smartphones were simultaneously released by Rwanda’s Mara Group, advancing that nation’s aspirations to become a regional technological hub. The Mara X and Mara Z will each cost 120,250 Rwandan francs ($130) and 175,750 Rwandan francs ($190), respectively, and run the Android operating system.
They will face competition from non-branded phones, which sell for 35,000 Rwandan francs ($37), and from Samsung, whose entry-level smartphone costs 50,000 Rwandan francs ($54). Ashish Thakkar, CEO of Mara Group, stated that the company targets customers prepared to pay extra for quality.
Following a visit to the business with Rwandan President Paul Kagame, Thakkar told Reuters that “this is the first smartphone factory in Africa.” Despite importing the components, businesses construct cellphones in Egypt, Ethiopia, Algeria, and South Africa. “We are the first to do manufacturing, in reality. He said, Throughout the entire process, we are creating the motherboards and the sub-boards, he claimed. Per phone, there are more than 1,000 parts.
According to Thakker, the plant cost $50 million and had a daily capacity of 10,000 phones. He also stated that the Mara Group wants to increase sales throughout Africa by taking advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, a deal that aims to create a trade bloc of 55 nations. Kagame expressed his expectation that Rwanda’s current 15% smartphone adoption would rise as a result of the device.
In his words, “We aim to enable a large number of Rwandans to use smartphones than do so already”. More Rwandans will be able to purchase cellphones thanks to the introduction of Mara phones, according to Kagame.
Rwanda has effectively established itself as the only nation in Africa to produce a smartphone with all of its special characteristics designed for use in Africa.