Paula Ingabire, Rwanda’s minister for information and communications technology (ICT) and innovation, announced that a smartphone manufacturing plant will be opened in Rwanda by Mara Corporation, making it the first country in Africa to locally manufacture full-scale phones. This is due to be achieved by April 2019.
The minister of Rwandan communication stated: “Smartphones are important ICT tools since there are some digital services that only require smartphones, such as access to land services among others. There is also a need to ensure the affordability of smartphones whose high cost prevents citizens from benefiting from various digital services. We hope that the plant to locally produce smartphones will boost access”.
In a bid to solve the massive ICT and technology issues that the country is facing while also creating more jobs in the fast pace growing IT world, Rwanda is set to open its first smartphone factory making it the first in Africa to locally manufacture phones that will meet the demand of the African market.
Speaking to the legislature, Minister Paula Ingabire explained that the deal is in partnership with Rwandan investor Ashish Thakkar who is already in talks with the authorities to set up his Pan-African technology company, MaraPhones under Mara Company and start production by April 2019 which will provide close to 20,000 jobs.
The Rwandan reports that, while addressing the house, Minister Paula Ingabire said “once the factory starts producing smartphones, people will be paying in installments over a period of 24 months. We also have to work with telecommunication companies to seek ways of reducing prices on internet use, which will boost ICT penetration and digital services.”
According to African Review, Maraphone-Mara X will be the first made-in-Africa, full-scale smartphone, to be manufactured in plants across Africa. Thakkar explained that Maraphones will produce high quality and affordable smartphones to primarily serve the population of Africa and also with the aim to export to other continents such as Europe.
With this successfully in the bag, Rwanda is becoming Africa’s leading country in terms of development and economic growth with a grounded vision of about working towards the future.
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