Africa’s largest smartphone manufacturer in terms of sales is the Chinese firm Transsion. Companies all over the world have made Billions in revenue from the African smartphone market and for the first time an African device is going to be competing with the likes of Apple and Sumsung. 

 Rwanda just launched the first smart phones to be fully built and assembled in Africa. Two releases have been made, the Mara X and Mara Z.  


Rwanda’s Mara Z packs Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 435, 2 GB of RAM, and 32 GB of storage behind its 5.7-inch HD+ display.  The Z also has a 13 MP camera and a fingerprint sensor on the back with the resolution of the front-facing camera been 13 MP as well. 

The phones are running the Android One editions of 8.1 Oreo. and cost 175,750 Rwandan francs ($190) and 120,250 Rwandan francs ($130) respectively.

The Mara X runs on a MediaTek MT6739 SoC cpu, 1 GB of RAM, and 16 GB of storage. The phone has a 5.5-inch HD+ (720×1440) display covered in Corning Gorilla Glass 5 and has a 13 MP shooter and a fingerprint sensor on the back and a 5 MP selfie camera on the front.

Mara is not the first company to claim to have produced the first African-made smartphone. South African start-up Onyx Connect unveiled a low cost phone in 2017, but where Onyx imported parts for its phones, Mara says the hardware for their phones were  produced and assembled in Rwanda.

Mara CEO Ashish Thakkar said the company will support development in Rwanda with 90% of the 200 factory employees being Rwandans and 60% being women.

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