The First Made-In-Africa Smartphone Is Officially Out After Today’s Presidential Launch

By  |  October 7, 2019

Last week, the first made-in-Africa smartphone rolled off the assembly lines of the first smartphone manufacturing plant in Africa located in Rwanda.

Today, the President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, has officially launched the Mara Phones manufacturing plant in Rwanda.

Looking to compete with established international brands like Samsung, iPhone, Tecno, Infinix and many more, Mara Phone promises to give Rwanda all that they are looking for in a smartphone at affordable prices.

Image result for kagame launches mara phones images
Source: Mara Phones

“Mara Phones just opened the first high tech, quality, affordable smartphone manufacturing plant in Rwanda,” the plant wrote on popular microblogging platform, Twitter.

“Mara Phones strongly believes that Smartphone manufacturing will bring huge pride to the African continent being locally made in Africa.”

Mara Phones has been designed in partnership with Google as part of the Android One Program. Mara Phone is the first-ever manufactured smartphone in Africa.

Mara Phones are manufactured by Mara Group; a Pan-African multi-sector business services company with operations in the technology, financial services, manufacturing, real estate and agriculture industries.

The company was founded by Ashish J. Thakkar in 1996, and is now active in 24 countries, employing more than 11,000 people. Although the company is headquartered in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Thakkar is based in Rwanda.

Thakkar’s family emigrated from the Indian state of Gujarat to Africa in the 1890s. Thakkar, however, was born in Leicester in 1981.

His parents had moved to the United Kingdom in 1972 when Idi Amin enforced the expulsion of Asians from Uganda.

Thakkar and his family returned to Africa to live in Rwanda before they were again forced to leave due to the Rwandan genocide in 1994.

The Thakkar family then fled to Burundi before settling in Uganda as refugees. At 15 years old, Thakkar dropped out of school to start his own business with a USD 5 K loan.

Image result for kagame launches mara phones images
Source: Mara Phones

Located in Kigali’s special economic zone, the Mara Phones factory employs over 200 people to manufacture high-tech smartphones for the local market and further afield.

With two models on sale for USD 120.00 and USD 170.00, the Android phones are hoping to compete with Asian manufacturers like Tecno and Samsung who currently dominate Africa’s markets.

Both Kagame and Thakkar described the Mara Phone manufacturing plant as “historic” due to its position as the first of its kind on the continent.

The Mara Group are set to launch their next Mara Phone factory in South Africa on the 17th of October.

Featured Image Courtesy: Face2FaceAfrica

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