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Mara Group announces first Africa-made smartphone

Ashish Thakkar, founder of Mara Group, said that the manufacturing plants will be located in Rwanda and South Africa. (Image source: Mara Group

African high-tech player Mara has announced the production of their newest product-the Maraphone

Maraphone-Mara X will be the first made-in-Africa, full-scale smartphone, to be manufactured in plants across Africa.

Ashish Thakkar, founder of Mara Group, said, “China has Huawei, Xiaomi; the US has iPhone and finally Africa has Maraphone. This project will show the potential and ability that Africa can produce high quality and affordable smartphones in Africa, by Africans, for Africans and for the rest of the world.”

 “We are extremely grateful for the African Development Bank (AfDB) push in this sector which greatly encouraged our progress,” he added.

The company said that the Maraphone-Mara X 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.

“This is going to be totally transformative and create thousands of direct jobs,” he further added.

Thakkar stated that while the global manufacture of phones is on the rise and expected to hit a billion in the next few years, none of them are produced on the continent. The initial target market for the phones would be first-time African smartphone users, while the first manufacturing plants are to be located in Rwanda and South Africa.

Thakkar commended the AfDB for its push to support the industrialisation of Africa through its High 5’s strategy under which the Maraphone has received support.

AfDB’s President Akinwunmi Adesina, noted, “By 2020, the value of Africa’s mobile money industry is projected to top US$14bn. We need African-developed mobile phones to leverage this potential."

“Africa is bold, strong and innovative. Africa's time is now,” Adesina concluded.

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