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RWANDA: Nation Celebrate Launch Of First 'Made in Africa' Smartphones

By Published October 08, 2019

Rwanda’s Mara Group has launched two smartphones on Mara X and Mara Z, the first “Made in Africa” models boosting the country’s ambition to become a regional technology centre.

Running on Google’s Android operating system, Mara X and Mara Z comes at 175,750 Rwandan francs ($190) and 120,250 Rwandan francs ($130) respectively.

Owned by British Rwandan businessman, Ashish J. Thakkar, Mara group has built a high tech smartphone manufacturing facility in Kigali’s Special Economic Zone, Rwanda with capacity to manufacture more than 2 million smartphones in a year.

Mara Phones has also partnered with local banks and telecommunications firms to create a finance model which will allows users to pay for their phones over a two-year period.

“We are actually the first who are doing manufacturing. We are making the motherboards, we are making the sub-boards during the entire process,” Thakkar said.

“Rwandans are already using smartphones but we want to enable many more. The introduction of Mara phones will put smartphones ownership within reach of more Rwandans,” President Kagame said at the launch.

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