The maiden African-made smart handheld devices, Mara phones and tablets, manufactured in Rwanda are set to to hit the Ghanaian market later this year.
Ghanaian agents for Mara Phone, Diadem Concepts Limited, has already sealed a deal for the first consignment of a series of Mara phones and tablets to arrive in the country before the close of the year.
CEO of Diadem, David Kwesi Dionysius told Techgh24 that at least one major telco in Ghana has agreed to be partners in the driving the adoption of the handset in Ghana, while a deal with other telcos are in the pipeline.
This would be the first time the Rwandan-made handset, manufactured by the US$24 million technology company Mara Group, will arrive in Ghana since manufacturing started about a year ago.
The smartphones expected in Ghana include Mara X and X1, Mara Z and Z1 and Mara S, while the two tablets are Mara Tab Lite and Mara Tab Plus, all of which use Google’s Android Operating System.
According to David Dionysius, all of the Mara devices come with indigenous African language keypads, including major Ghanaian dialects and they also have unlimited Google Drive and a multiple SMS feature.
“This means you can actually send messages in your local dialect – you also have unlimited space to save your videos and pictures and you can also send multiple SMS to a lot of people at the same time,” he explained.
He believes the local dialect feature would go a long way to make it easy for even less educated people to use Mara devices and that will bridge the digital divide between the educated and less educated faster.
Indeed, that was the vision of Rwandan President Paul Kagame when he expressed the hope that Mara phones would help bridge the digital divide and increase the number of African online.
One other competitive feature of Mara phones is that, apart from having all the superior features of many high-end Android phones on the market, it also comes with three rear cameras to ensure high quality pictures and videos.
Mara Group CEO Ashish Thakkar told journalists that phones are assembled in Egypt, Algeria, South Africa and Ethopia, but this is the first time phones are actually being manufactured in on the continent.
“We are actually the first who are doing manufacturing. There are over 1,000 pieces per phone – we are making the motherboards – we are also making the sub-boards during the entire process,” he said.
He said even though the quality of Mara phones and Tablets surpasses lots of other similar brands on the market, the prices are very competitive, something that David Dionysius also emphasized, saying that “the devices are coming to Ghanaians at very competitive prices.”
The Mara Group CEO told journalists that, in pricing the handsets, the company was targeting customers willing to pay a competitive rate for quality.
The Mara Group manufacturing plant in Rwanda is currently churning out over 1,200 handsets in a day.