Rwanda could soon make history in Africa by officially opening a new smartphone factory in April.
The country’s minister of information and communication technology Paul Ingabire made the announcement.
He says the factory by Mara Corporation will put Rwanda at the forefront of Africa’s digital revolution.
Mr Ingabire says “Smartphones are important ICT tools since there are some digital services that only require smartphones, such as access to land services among others.”
He further stated that “there is also a need to ensure affordability of smartphones whose high cost prevents citizens from benefiting from various digital services.”
The Rwanda government says consumers will buy the phones on installment basis once the factory starts production.
Rwanda also wants telecommunication companies to “reduce prices on internet use to boost ICT penetration and digital services.”
The Mara Phones according to its Founder Ashish J Thakkar will be among the first devices to run Android Oreo.
Android Oreo is an OS optimized for apps like YouTube Go, Facebook Lite and Twitter Lite that are made for the African market.
Mr. Thakkar revealed that there are plans to roll out another plant in South Africa.
The establishment of the smartphone factory is expected to create some 20,000 direct and indirect jobs in Rwanda.
Currently some firms are assembling smartphones in countries such as Kenya, South Africa’s and Egypt.