Rwanda’s Mara Group has launched two smartphones — Mara X and Mara Z — describing them as the first “Made in Africa” models, as it attempts to compete with TECNO, the most popular phone brand in Africa.
According to the company, the Mara X and Mara Z will use Google’s Android operating system and are currently retailing at $159 for the Mara X and at $229 for the Mara Z on its official website.
The Mara X comes with a 5.5 inches HD+ screen, Mediatek MT6739 Quad-Core ARM Cortex A53 1.5GHz Processor, Android 8.1 Oreo, 16GB Internal Memory, 1GB RAM, 13MP Rear Camera and 5MP Selfie Camera, and a 720x1440 pixel resolution.
The Mara Z comes with a 5.7 inches HD+ screen, Qualcomm MSM8940 Snapdragon 435 Octa-core ARM Cortex A53 1.4GHz Processor, Android 8.1 Oreo, 32GB Internal Memory, 3GB RAM, Front Camera 13MP, Back Camera 13MP, and a 720x1440 pixel resolution.
While some phone companies operating in Africa assemble smartphones in Egypt, Ethiopia, Algeria and South Africa, Mara Group CEO Ashish Thakkar told Reuters that the company makes all of its components, including the motherboards and the sub-boards at its manufacturing plant which cost $24 million with the capacity to make 1,200 phones per day.
Mara Group hopes that its locally-made products could provide a boost to Rwanda’s ambitions to become a regional technology hub.