The First ‘Made-in-Africa’ Smartphones Go Official In Rwanda
Jyotis - Oct 11, 2019
Its first two smartphones include the Mara X and the Mara Z. The first unit comes with a 16GB internal storage and the second one flaunts a 32GB internal storage.
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On October 07, the Mara Group officially released the two smartphones in Rwanda, which are entirely manufactured in Africa. In other words, these two handsets are the first ‘made-in-Africa’ smartphones in history.
In the release event, Paul Kagame, the President of Rwanda called it the “first high-tech smartphone factory” in Africa. This event obviously brings special meaning to both Rwanda and the continent.
In terms of the manufacturer, the Mara Group is based in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates. It is also known as the pan-African multi-sector company that specializes in financial services, manufacturing, technology, and many other industries.
Its first two smartphones include the Mara X and the Mara Z. The first unit comes with a 16GB internal storage and it is sold for US$ 130 (about Rs 9,200). Meanwhile, the second one flaunts a 32GB internal storage and it is available for US$ 190 (about Rs 13,500).
Both of these smartphones are sold at higher prices than other average smartphones in Rwanda, but according to the Mara Group, they aim to provide “high-quality smartphones at an affordable price.”
Users can now buy both the Mara X and Mara Z online, as well as at all stores of the Mara Group in the capital Kigali of Rwanda.
The Mara Group, in fact, isn’t the first manufacturer that makes made-in-Africa smartphones. However, what makes the differences between this group and other companies in South Africa, Algeria, Ethiopia, and Egypt is that it doesn’t import any parts from other foreign countries.
According to Ashish Thakkar as the CEO of the Mara Group, "We are actually the first who are doing manufacturing. We are making the motherboards, we are making the sub-boards during the entire process.” He added, “There are over 1,000 pieces per phone."
The Group also hopes to make profits from a pact named the African Continental Free Trade Agreement which is made to create a trade block including 55 nations in a bid to boost sales in Africa.
Along with its new factory, the Mara Group doesn’t just bring great development to Rwanda but it also aims to become a top leader of the economic innovation. In addition, the company hopes there will be a significant increase in smartphone usage in the country thanks to the two smartphones. The current percentage reaches only 15%.
The Mara Group initially aims at the local market and in the upcoming time, it will probably expand to the international markets.