The first smartphones ever to be made in Rwanda have already rolled off the assembly line a few days before the official launch.
The launch of the USD 50 million factories was also attended by Government officials and private investors among other guests from the region, the continent and beyond.
It will at the outset manufacture Mara Z and Mara X models respectively costing Rwf 175, 750 and Mara X costs Rwf 120,250.
Mara Phone offers unlimited, free high-quality photo storage, automatically keeps information secure and ensures that your phone is clean, fast and performing at its best.
The Mara Z phone has up to 128GB, 3GB Ram and 32GB storage, Dolby Sound, 13 MP Back and Front Camera with Front Flash, Gorilla Corning Glass, Fingerprint Sensor, Facial Recognition and Turbo Charger while the Mara X has 1GB Ram and 16GB storage support up to 128GB, Dolby Sound, 13 MP Back Camera and 5MP front Camera, Gorilla Corning Glass, Fingerprint Sensor and Turbo Charger.
Speaking at the launch of Mara Phones Rwanda, Kagame said that the Mara Phones plant ‘is a complex manufacturing operation requiring significant technical skill and expertise’.
He highlighted that it is another milestone on the journey to high-tech, ‘Made-in-Rwanda’ industry and the latest addition to Rwanda’s ongoing partnership with Mara Group showing the company’s confidence in the business prospects of Rwanda and the wider region.
Considering the services it is set to offer including the integration of Government services, the President observed that the smartphone is becoming a prerequisite for daily life.
“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,” he said.
“In Rwanda, we have Irembo which is already the city’s primary gateway for many public services. Integration of Irembo into Mara Phones is an innovative feature,” added Kagame.
At least 15% of Rwandans own smartphones. The President said the factory is promising to increase smartphone ownership.
“The percentage is still really low of Rwandans, who are already using smartphones, but we want to enable many more who would like to, and this is why dealing with cost and quality is very important. We are gradually dealing with those obstacles through what Mara group has established here in Rwanda,” he said.
“The introduction of Mara Phones will put smartphone ownership within reach of more Rwandans. The product is backed by a warranty and the price can be paid in installments over two years. They have tried to make it as simple and possible for Rwandans as they could,” noted Kagame.
Kagame stressed that the private sector is the engine of the progress desire for African continent pushing for the need to compete regionally and globally, at the high-end of the technology spectrum.
He thanked the management of Mara Group for making a good choice to invest in Rwanda.
Ashish J. Thakkar, the CEO of Mara Phones said that the launch of a smartphone manufacturing factory in Rwanda is proof that Africans can produce high quality international standard products on their continent.
“If our people have high quality and affordable smartphones, it will truly enable financial inclusion, digital education, digital health care, agriculture efficiency and so much more,” he said.
It started operations with 200 employees.