Rwanda is leaving no stone unturned in working it’s way to becoming the Giant of Africa, as it’s set to clinch a milestone in the African economy. Rwanda is poised to spearhead Africa’s Digital Revolution with the opening of Africa’s first ever smartphone factory in April 2019.
Rwanda’s Minister of Information & Communication Technology (ICT) and Innovation, Paul Ingabire announced the opening of a smartphone manufacturing plant in Rwanda, by Mara Corporation; making it the first country in Africa to locally manufacture full-scale phones.
“Smartphones are important ICT tools since there are some digital services that only require smartphones, such as access to land services among others.
There is also a need to ensure affordability of smartphones whose high cost prevents citizens from benefiting from various digital services. We hope that the plant to locally produce smartphones will boost access.
Once the factory starts producing smartphones, people will be paying in installment over a period of 24 months. We also have to work with telecommunication companies to seek ways of reducing prices on internet use, which will boost ICT penetration and digital services.”
The production Mara Phones would kick off in April 2019 under Mara Corporation, providing about 20000 jobs. Rwanda’s investor and CEO of Mara Corporation Mr Thakker hinted that there are plan in the works to extend the initiative to Johannesburg, South Africa.
“China has Huawei, Xiaomi; U.S has iPhone; and, finally, Africa will Maraphone.”
This project will show the potential and ability that Africa can produce high quality and affordable smartphones in Africa, by Africans, for Africans and for the rest of the world.
We have a few that are assembled in Africa but nothing is truly being manufactured in Africa.”
The Mara Phone will be among the first device to run Android Oero, OS optimized for Apps like YouTube Go, Facebook and Twitter Lite specially made for the African market.