Rwanda's President Paul Kagame inaugurated Monday "Mara Phone", described as Africa's "first high tech smartphone factory" in the country's capital Kigali.
The Mara Group is a pan-African business headquartered in Dubai. It promised the factory will deliver "high quality smartphones at an affordable price." Two types of smartphone will be produced in Rwanda: The Mara X with 16GB storage space will retail for 120,250 francs ($130), while the more advanced Mara Z model with 32GB storage will be on sale for around 175,750 francs ($190). Both phones include features such as high-spec cameras and voice activation mode. Previous 'made-in-Africa' phones by Onyx Connect in 2017 included imported parts. Mara says the entirety of its product is produced and assembled in Rwanda.
The company is anticipating high demand for its products, as the factory has capacity to produce a "few million phones per year." There is even the hope to export the produced in Africa smartphones on others markets. „Mara Phones is committed to enhancing and enriching the lives of the people of Africa,” the company says at its official website. Rwanda's ICT Minister Paula Ingabire hopes the plant can play a role in creating jobs and developing skills. The factory currently employs around 200 people, of which 60% are women.