Rwandan president Paul Kagame has launched a smartphone manufacturing plant, the first of its kind in the African continent. Kagame launched the factory on Monday, October 7, at the Kigali special economic zone in Kigali.
Rwanda has launched the first fully made Smartphone in Africa with the Mara Phone under the direction of Kagame, and has opened a phone manufacturing plant. But unlike phone manufacturing plants in Africa, all the components from the board, di, chips, etc, are all made in Rwanda and the parts are not exported with Rwandans not only being the head leaders of production, software, and hardware design, but the majority of factory workers as well, requiring technical skills and unlike China, doesn't employ at .50 cents an hour.- The plant currently employs 90% of Rwandans
- The introduction of Mara Phones would put smartphone ownership within the reach of more Rwandans in a country where internet coverage stands at 52.1% up from 7% in 2011
- Rwandan president Paul Kagame said the factory is part of the broader “Made in Rwanda Initiative”, which his country has embarked on
Rwandan president Paul Kagame has launched a smartphone manufacturing plant, the first of its kind in the African continent. Kagame launched the factory (Mara Phones Production Plant) on Monday, October 7, at the Kigali special economic zone in Gasabo district.
the Rwandan head of state said the project was part of the broader made in Rwanda initiative, which his country has embarked on.
“The Mara phone joins a growing list of high-quality products that are made in our country. Producing smartphones is not a simple matter. Around 1,000 individual components are involved as we have been taken through the whole process,” the chair of the East African Community said.
“The plant is therefore a complex manufacturing operation requiring significant technical skill and expertise and is another milestone on our journey to high-tech made in Rwanda industry,” he added.
The introduction of Mara Phones would put smartphone ownership within the reach of more Rwandans in a country where internet coverage stands at 52.1% up from 7% in 2011.
According to Rwanda’s ministry of information and technology, the number of phone owners grew from 33% in 2010 to the current 80.6%. "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," Kagame said. The plant has so far employed 200 people with 90% of them being Rwandans.
Further research rumors Kagame also is about to launch soon a large satellite to assist mobile phone operations and GPS mappings, however unlike the last one there won't be help from Japan and will be there own doing (granted the last senellite was also their own doing, Japan just helped supervise and assist on the project.)
Rwanda is pretty far ahead in the tech game, especially in regards to the amount of citizens who have the education and technical know how requires to run all these tech businesses the country has been propping up like weeds in a garden the last 2 years.
With the (still developing) African continental trade deal happening, involving numerous countries, it could be possible that Rwandas domestic phones could become a continent wide contender against the Chinese brand giant Tecno, as Rwanda is looking to expand beyond its borders.