Africa’s First Smartphone Factory in Rwanda

Mara Phone, a smartphone by the pan-African conglomerate Mara Group, has opened its first factory in Rwanda as the company hopes to pioneer a brand of African-made smartphones. Located in Kigali’s special economic zone, the factory employs over 200 people to manufacture high-tech smartphones for the local market and further afield. With two models on sale for $159 and $229, the Android phones are hoping to compete with Asian manufacturers like Tecno and Samsung who currently dominate Africa’s markets. Smartphone penetration in Rwanda currently stands at around 15% with the most basic Tecno and Samsung models sold at $40 and $70 respectively. The bulk of the market is characterised by feature phones which use USSD technology to access digital services; a general trend across the continent.


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