Moscow, 8 October — “News. Economy” the Company Mara Phones from Rwanda began production of the first Africa smartphone of its own design. The first models “Made in Africa” began Mara Mara X and Z, which in retail will cost 175750 and 120250 Rwandan francs ($190 and $130 respectively).
In Rwanda are proud that the first could provide a complete production cycle, which was purpose built factory. It cost $24 million and is able to produce up to 1.2 per smartphone per day. Earlier, the Assembly of smartphones was happening in other African countries — Algeria, Egypt, Ethiopia and South Africa. The first export shipments of smartphones is expected Mara to establish in Angola and the Congo.
Mara Mara X and Z will use the Android operating system from Google and will cost $190 and $130 respectively. They will compete with Samsung, whose the cheapest smartphone costs $54, and not branded phones for $37.
CEO of Mara Group Ashish Thakkar said that he aimed at customers willing to pay more for quality. “This is the first manufacturer of smartphones in Africa,” said Thakkar after a trip to the company together with the President of Rwanda Paul Kagame.
The release of the smartphone marks the transition of Rwanda to the production of goods using advanced technologies. “We were the first in Africa manufacturer of smartphones,” says Thakkar. In the future Rwanda intends to become a regional technology center.
Rapidly growing African market attracts a lot of recent entrepreneurs, including from China. Often it happens that a new wave of Chinese businessmen are increasingly refuse from the development on the local market in favor of markets in Southeast Asia, India, Middle East and Africa.
For example, Transsion, a little known company from Shenzhen, is currently the largest supplier of mobile phones in Africa. The company manages three brands of mobile phones — Tecno, Infinix and Itel, and since its Foundation in 2006 focused on providing low-cost smartphones and function phones with basic functions for developing countries.
The average price of basic phones Transsion in 2018 was $10, while the cost of smartphones on average, was about $66, or about 5% of the cost of the flagship models of Apple XS from Apple, according to the Transsion.
The African markets are also actively developing Mobile Simi with its headquarters in Shenzhen, which has almost two dozen mobile phone models with price from $10 to $20, while a smartphone at a competitive price have been sold in Ethiopia, Uganda, Cameroon.
While in 2018, smartphone shipments worldwide decreased by 4.1%, in Africa there is an annual rise for the first time in 2015, according to research firm IDC.
The reason why some Chinese companies, such as Transsion, managed to achieve success is that they took a niche market and could provide suitable offers for consumers, said Chance Wu, Professor of strategic management at the School of management at the Guanghua Beijing University. For example, Transsion set the camera and exposure on the smartphones specially for darker skin tones.
The backlog in e-Commerce in Africa was an opportunity for the entrepreneur, Yan Tao, who seven years ago was sent to Kenya by his former employer and Huawei to create a payment system.
According to Yao, many African countries are lagging behind in industrial production from the developed world because of the inherited model of exporting raw materials in exchange for consumer goods. This means that Africa lacks some goods, leading to higher prices.
Because of the inconvenience of shopping in Kenya, Ian decided to create your own e-Commerce website Kilimall in 2014, which is currently the largest Internet store for online shopping, serving about 10 million users in the country. Among other things, it sells electronics, clothing, appliances, cosmetics and baby products.
Now that more smartphone users and infrastructure for online services such as mobile payments, evolving Chinese entrepreneurs taking advantage of opportunities created by social transformation of the continent and the modernization of industry.
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