Rwanda has become the first African nation to open a smartphone manufacturing plant in Kigali, the nation’s capital.
In an event attended by President Paul Kagame, the Mara X and Mara Z smartphones, manufactured by Mara Group, was launched on Monday.
“This is the first smartphone manufacturer in Africa,” Mara Group CEO Ashish Thakkar told news agency Reuters during a tour of the plant.
According to Mr Thakkar, the company was targeting customers willing to pay more for quality.
The Mara X and Mara Z uses Google’s Android operating system and cost 175,750 Rwandan francs ($190; £155) and 120,250 Rwandan francs ($130;£106) respectively.
Most smartphones in Africa are from Chinese companies, which offer dual SIM cards and are cheaper than Mara’s planned price point.
Companies assemble smartphones in Egypt, Ethiopia, Algeria and South Africa, but import the components, Mr Thakkar said.
“We are actually the first who are doing manufacturing. We are making the motherboards, we are making the sub-boards during the entire process… There are over 1,000 pieces per phone,” he added.
The manufacturing plant, he said, cost $24m and could make 1,200 phones per day.
For President Kagame, he hopes this new development would increase Rwanda’s smartphone usage, currently at around 15%.