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Rwanda introduces first Smart Phone 100$ made in Africa (components included) along with new factory.

Afro Republican

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Rwanda President Paul Kagame has announced Africa’s “first high tech smartphone factory,” CNN reported. While smartphones are assembled in other African nations (Egypt, Algeria, and South Africa all have assembly plants), according to Reuters, those companies all import the components. But at Mara, they manufacture the phones from the motherboards to the packaging, which is all done in the new factory. Kagame made the announcement in a press conference on Monday in the capital of Kigali.

The phones, called Mara X and Mara Z, are the first “Made in Africa” models. Here are the details:

  • Mara X model: 16GB storage. Retail: 120,250 Rwandan francs ($130)
  • Mara Z model: 32GB storage. Retail: 175,750 Rwandan francs ($190)
Both run on Google’s Android operating system. While the company admits they are a little more expensive than other options, like the popular Tecno brand phones made by a Chinese-owned company, they hope customers are willing to pay a bit more for quality and Made in Africa pride.

The facility is “an important step” for Rwanda, which has worked to transform itself into an economic innovation leader. They hosted the World Economic Forum on Africa in May 2018, and work is reportedly well underway on the Kigali Innovation City, which will house innovation labs and provide training and funding for technology companies.
Outside the CEO, pretty much all operations, lead engineering, software etc, are Rwandans, and Rwandas are the one that made Mara Group a reality with investor backing.

The new Smartphones are 100% made in Rwanda with no imported parts, and are all made in-house. The factories will include expert tech workers to put everything together using modern industry tools.

This shows the criticisms of the west in the President of Rwandas massive spending into "tech education" was a positive thing since this is the result.

Of course, Rwanda produces many other things in house, this is just the latest in the Rwanda labelled "made in Rwanda initiative" as Rwanda is aiming to be the next Singapore in terms of trade relations and the best tech zone on the continent. Both goals are getting closer to being reality.

Edit: 100th Thread special!
 
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Miku Miku

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Jan 13, 2018
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After China's middle class is big enough that they drive wages up and don't take factory jobs for slave wages - after they are more valuable as a consumer society than a producing society, then Africa is likely to be the next (and maybe last) China and take over production, a 30+ year period of rapid economic growth, and then the creation of another large middle class.

Rwanda seems to be trying to skip a whole step and go right to highly skilled jobs.
 

ndreamer

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It's good but unless they do this at a huge scale it will only cost money.
If they still can't get costs at or below Chinese products with lower wages it won't end well.
 

John Day

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Jan 12, 2018
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It's good but unless they do this at a huge scale it will only cost money.
If they still can't get costs at or below Chinese products with lower wages it won't end well.
That is sadly, sadly true. But mad respect to the country for that. If it adds jobs and the push for more of the cotizens to jump into the industry, good!
 
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Zefah

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Wow, that's pretty cool. I have heard almost nothing about manufacturing in Africa, so this is really interesting.
 

-Arcadia-

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Certain banned users would be having a meltdown right now. Temp or permed. :messenger_tears_of_joy: :messenger_tears_of_joy: :messenger_tears_of_joy:
Maybe permed. I spend a lot of time in the dark corners, and I mean the dark corners of the internet, for the purpose of free speech, where you will run into people who proudly identify as Nazi, and I know they’re falling apart right now :messenger_tears_of_joy:, so that’s what I speak of. I think all of NeoGAF is just happy to hear this news.
 

Bullet Club

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Nice.

The Mara X has 1GB RAM and a MediaTek SoC.

The Mara Z has 3GB RAM and a Snapdragon 435.

Get the Mara Z, Rwandan kids!
 

eddie4

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Sep 18, 2014
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Mara Z
5.7 inches HD+
Qualcomm® MSM8940 Snapdragon™ 435
Octa-core ARM Cortex A53 1.4GHz Processor
Android™ 9.0 Pie
32GB Internal Memory
3GB RAM
Front Camera 13MP
Back Camera 13MP
720x1440 pixel resolution
$229 USD

Mara X
5.5 inches HD+
Mediatek MT6739
Quad-Core ARM Cortex A53 1.5GHz Processor
Android™ 9.0 Pie
16 GB Internal Memory
1GB RAM,
Camera 13MP Rear
5MP Selfie
720x1440 Pixel Resolution
$159 USD
 

McCheese

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Jan 7, 2018
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Is it though?

Snapdragon CPUs are only produced in 3 countries, your telling me they built a forth chip fab plant just for these two phones? And camera lenses are not easy to mass produce either.

Massive kudos if they literally are taking raw materials and churning out phones, but apple made similar claims about their US built machines which turned to be just clever wording,

Edit: Reading a few articles, sounds like they only produced the circuit boards and still use imported components
 
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God Enel

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Yeah. Can you buy it on amazon? And “made in Africa” sounds kinda awesome. In 99% of the cases I read made in China, 0.5% made in Pakistan and The rest is split between turkey thailand and Vietnam. So african made shit is really refreshing. Keep kicking it Rwanda 🇷🇼 👍🏼
 
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Afro Republican

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Aug 24, 2016
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Great. Africa can do this and they have to do this. Unfortunately for every successful undertaking on a societal level that takes place there it seems like the next week some tribal warlord seizes power and just wrecks everything.
That's like only 5 countries though. We aren't in 1980 where poor education made people think every country there is at war with no internet to back it up. A good number of those 5 are caused from outside the continent as well.

It's good but unless they do this at a huge scale it will only cost money.
If they still can't get costs at or below Chinese products with lower wages it won't end well.
Uh, they are doing it at a large scale. The plan is to BEAT the Chinese number 1 company (Tecno) and take advantage of the new African multi-country trade initiative. It's already a big thing locally, there isn't much loyalty to companies in Africa so this will likely end up working out well for several countries.
 

Afro Republican

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Aug 24, 2016
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Is it though?

Snapdragon CPUs are only produced in 3 countries, your telling me they built a forth chip fab plant just for these two phones? And camera lenses are not easy to mass produce either.

Massive kudos if they literally are taking raw materials and churning out phones, but apple made similar claims about their US built machines which turned to be just clever wording,

Edit: Reading a few articles, sounds like they only produced the circuit boards and still use imported components
I don't know what articles your breading but they have photos of the parts literally being made in some of them, usually local reports.

Why the fuck did the West say that?
They believe they were moving to fast, and they didn't have enough citizens with the education and know how to pull it off. Which they did awhile ago, it's had the best tech hubs on the continent like 4-5 years ago.
 

Pagusas

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Hmm the article is lying or misleading, they wouldn’t have the ability or licenses or fab to produces the CPU.

But regardless, I love hearing stuff like this. Keep it up!
 
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iorek21

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Took a quick look at Rwanda's economic freedom position at Heritage's world ranking, it's currently in 32...

That's 118 positions ahead of Brazil =_=

They are also ahead of France, Belgium and Spain...

Best of luck to Rwanda, they surely deserve it
 

Turkey Master Baster

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Dec 25, 2018
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Nice.

The Mara X has 1GB RAM and a MediaTek SoC.

The Mara Z has 3GB RAM and a Snapdragon 435.

Get the Mara Z, Rwandan kids!
What a funny name to call a Phone.

They NEED to put this in their adverts for phones.

Mara adverts in general



Mara X




Maras in the warehouse



Mara Gaming Apps



and finally...for Charging.

 

SLoWMoTIoN

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Feb 2, 2018
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Took a quick look at Rwanda's economic freedom position at Heritage's world ranking, it's currently in 32...

That's 118 positions ahead of Brazil =_=

They are also ahead of France, Belgium and Spain...

Best of luck to Rwanda, they surely deserve it
Hong Kong is at number 1. So yeah...
 

RokkanStoned

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Jan 14, 2018
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Nice design and good to see progress in production in Africa. I still wonder how Africa will develop, especially with a lot of charity having dubious effects on the development of Africa. I guess a problem for some companies is stability or perceived stability. Africa is a big ball of potential, which is why China has started investing so much there, I guess.
 

Naibel

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Fantastic news. There's a great spirit of entrepeneurship in Africa right now (with many women taking the lead), and Rwanda seems to have made great strides on that aspect.
Being as self-reliant as possible is the key for steady growth and prosperity.

To think this country was absolutely destroyed by a terrible genocide 25 years ago, it gives me great hope for the future of this region. I hope Maghreb countries follow suit and push for high-end jobs and industries as well.
 
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Afro Republican

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While it's great to see this Rwandan made phone come to fruition., the statement I quoted cannot be true if it uses a Snapdragon SoC.
Companies assemble smartphones in Egypt, Ethiopia, Algeria, and South Africa, but import the components, he 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,” he said. "There are over 1,000 pieces per phone."
They likely mean everything except the Snapdragon, they are manufacturing with license the mediatek phone though. From what I can gather the Snap Dragon phone was a later decision because they wanted a high ed model.

So it seems that the Snap Dragon in the higher-end phone will be the only part "imported but they are making everything else around it, and the lower end phone is entirely made there.

Regardless, it's impressive that they have the large number of people with the skills to do this.
 
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Fbh

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Awesome, I wish them luck and would honestly consider buying one once they get some better specs (and if they ever sell them over here)

Nice design though, and cool logo