Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame launched Africa’s first smartphone factory in Kigali on 7 October 2019 with a second Mara phone factory scheduled for launch in South Africa on October 17.
Mara phones are manufactured at a 24 million dollar factory located in a special economic zone in Rwanda’s capital, Kigali that employs 200 people and has the capacity to make 1 200 phones a day.
The first two models on sale are the Mara X and Mara Z which ship with Google’s Android operating system and cost $190 and $130 respectively.
Mara Group CEO Ashish Thakkar speaking at the launch said
“This is the first smartphone manufacturer in Africa. Companies assemble smartphones in Egypt, Ethiopia and Algeria but import the components. We are actually the first who are doing manufacturing.
We are making the motherboards, we are making the sub-boards during the entire process. There are over 1,000 pieces per phone.”
Speaking at the launch of the “Made in Rwanda” Mara phone, President Kagame said
This factory is the latest addition to our own going partnership with Mara Group and it showa this company’s confidence in the business prospects of our Country and the wider region.
After all, the private sector is the engine that we desire for our continent, we must aim to compete regionally and globally at the high end of the technology spectrum.
Around 1000 individual components are involved, The Mara Phones plant is therefore a complex manufacturing operation.
Mara Group has shown that it shares our vision for Rwanda’s development and it’s prepared to play a significant role in it. We value that readiness and we will work to ensure that your investment is commercially successful.
The smartphone is no longer a luxury item, it is rapidly becoming a requirement of everyday life
That trend is bound to increase in the years to come as more and more services migrate to digital platforms. We want to enable many more Rwandans to use smartphones.
The cost and quality is very important and the introduction of Mara Phones will put smartphone ownership within reach of more Rwandans
Pictures of the launch of Africas first smartphone factory in Rwanda