Rwanda: Mara Corporation’s smartphone plant is expected to start operations in April 2019

The smartphone production plant, announced in Rwanda by Ashish Thakkar, founder of the Mara group, at the Africa Investment Forum, held from 07 to 09 November 2018, in Johannesburg, South Africa, is expected to start its activities in April.

Paula Ingabire, the Rwandan Minister of ICT and Innovation, said on February 7, 2019 to the parliamentary committee in charge of education, technology, culture and youth, who asked about the implementation of the measures taken by the State to make ICT a tool for the development of quality human capital.

According to the minister, negotiations with Mara Group are underway. She explained that once the factory ”  starts to produce smartphones, the population can pay in installments over a period of 24 months to acquire  “. Conscious that getting the device is not enough to facilitate people’s access to digital services, Paula Ingabire said that the government will also ”  collaborate with telecommunications companies to find ways to reduce the price of access Internet, which will boost ICT penetration and digital services  . “

According to Innocent Muhizi, the managing director of the Information Society Authority of Rwanda (RISA), although the coverage rate of 4G LTE is already 90% in the country, ”  Internet access is still low, because people need smart devices to access them  . ” He points out that this explains why the Internet penetration rate is still 47.7%, according to the latest statistics from the Regulatory Authority of Public Services (RURA).

Source: Agence Ecofin