Rwanda launches first ‘Made in Africa’ Smartphone

Reuters, Kigali.

Rwanda’s Mara Group launched two smartphones on Monday, describing them as the first “Made in Africa” models and giving a boost to the country’s ambitions to become a regional technology hub.

The Mara X and Mara Z will use Google’s Android operating system and cost 175,750 Rwandan francs ($190) and 120,250 Rwandan francs ($130) respectively.

They will compete with Samsung, whose cheapest smartphone costs 50,000 Rwandan francs ($54), and non-branded phones at 35,000 Rwandan francs ($37). Mara Group CEO Ashish Thakkar said it was targeting customers willing to pay more for quality.

“This is the first smartphone manufacturer in Africa,” Thakkar told Reuters after touring the company alongside Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame.

President Paul Kagame & Mara Group CEO Ashish Thakkar

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.”

Thakkar said the plant had cost $24 million and could make 1,200 phones per day.

Mara Group hopes to profit from the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, a pact aimed at forming a 55-nation trade bloc, to boost sales across Africa, Thakkar said.

The agreement is due to begin trading in July next year, aiming to unite 1.3 billion people and create a $3.4 trillion economic bloc. But it is still in the very early stages and no timelines have been agreed for abolishing tariffs.

Kagame said he hoped the phone would increase Rwanda’s smartphone usage, currently at around 15%.

“Rwandans are already using smartphones but we want to enable many more. The introduction of Mara phones will put smartphones ownership within reach of more Rwandans,” Kagame said.

Nigerian President arrives South Africa

Presdient Buhari with DIRCO Minister Naledi Pandor Photo: Government of Nigeria
President Buhari with Foreign Minister Geoffrey Onyema and High Commissioner Kabiru Bala with spouse Photo: Government of Nigeria

The President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari arrived South Africa Wednesday on a three day official visit according to report from the Government of Nigeria twitter feed.

Presdient Buhari welcomed by Minister Naledi Pandor Photo: Government of Nigeria

Images from this source reveals that President Muhammadu Buhari arrived at the Waterkloof Airforce base in Pretoria on the presidential jet Eagle 1 and was received by the South African Minister for International Relations and Cooperation, Naledi Pandor alongside Nigerian Foreign Minister, Geoffrey Onyema.

President Buhari will meet with President Ramaphosa on thursday at the Union Buildings.

Abiodun Abidoye



SA drug mule busted in Mauritius

close up of white syringe
SA drug mule busted in Mauritius Photo

Mauritian Anti-Drug and Smuggling Unit (ADSU) at the Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International airport in collaboration with the officers of the Customs Anti-Narcotics Section of the MRA intercepted a South African identified as Nokuphila Mtshalie on September 17th arriving from Reunion Islands. She was arrested with 528 grams of heroin worth Rs 8 million about R3.5 million in equivalence. A body search found three meatballs in her private parts. She eventually cooperated with the police and a delivery control exercise was set up to trace her local accomplices. Two persons identified as Nigerians bearing Ndubuisi Samuel Ebielonwu and Eze Collins were arrested in a sting operation.

She was promised an amount of R40 000 by her sponsor once back in South Africa she said when she appeared before the Bail and Remand Court alongside her two male accomplices.

A charge of “drug dealing with aggravating circumstances and illegal importation of drugs” was brought against them.

The police are continuing investigation.

Source translated with Google and edited by Abiodun Abidoye for AfricaOnlineNews



Prince Harry and wife Meghan arrive South Africa..

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex landed in South Africa on Monday, along with their baby Archie for their first official tour as a family.

Prince Harry, Meghan, and their son touch down in Cape Town for the first leg of their 10-day southern Africa trip.

Image: TravelandLeisure

The tour began with an educational workshop in Nyanga, one of Cape Town’s townships – areas crippled by gang violence that sit just miles from the city’s stunning beaches and rolling vineyards.

Image: Reuters

They will then visit the District Six museum, a memorial to the forced relocation of some 60 000 non-white residents from the city center during apartheid.  

Harry, who has traveled widely across Africa, jointly founded the charity Sentebale in 2006, to help support children affected by HIV, after spending a gap year in Lesotho.

He and Meghan holidayed in Botswana at the start of their romance in 2016 and returned as a couple the following year.

Baby Archie, at less than five months old, will become one of the youngest royals to take part in an official visit.

The trip will also mark Archie’s first major public appearance since his birth in May.

The duke and duchess have largely kept their son out of the spotlight, and some royal fans felt cheated when his christening was held privately.

 The family is to remain together until Wednesday, when Harry will travel alone to Botswana, Angola, and Malawi.

He will visit conservation and HIV prevention projects, and a cleared minefield in Angola through which his late mother Princess Diana famously crossed in 1997.

The duchess will remain in South Africa, where she will conduct various activities to raise awareness about women’s rights.

She and Archie will reunite with Harry in Johannesburg next week, where they will complete the last day of the tour together and fly back on 2 October.

In South Africa, the family will meet Nobel Prize winner Desmond Tutu, President Cyril Ramaphosa and Graca Machel – widow of president Nelson Mandela.

Harry last saw Tutu in Cape Town in 2015, when he presented the archbishop with honor in recognition of his services on behalf of UK communities and international peace.

Tutu and his wife have described their meeting with the royals, scheduled for Wednesday, as a “rare privilege and educational”.

The family will be flying commercial after Meghan came under fire for using private jets several times during the summer.

Harry and Meghan said on Instagram earlier this year that they would be turning their “attention to the environment”.


South Africa apologises to Nigeria

South Africa deployed a special envoy to Nigeria yesterday after waves of violence, arson and looting mostly targeted at the migrant business community swept through the cities of Johannesburg and Pretoria. Special envoy from South Africa, Jeff Radebe was in Abuja to attend a meeting on Monday to convey the apologies on behalf of the South African government to the Nigerian government and his president Muhammadu Buhari.


In his message conveyed, he said: “The incident does not represent what we stand for and the South African police would leave no stone unturned, that those involved must be brought to book”.


In a statement after the meeting, Nigeria’s presidency said “President Buhari responded to profuse apologies from the South African president, pledging that relationship between the two countries will be solidified.”

There were no Nigerians killed according to South African authorities but the violence led to the death of ten persons, eight South African and two Zimbabweans. The recent spate of violence met with a wide condemnation from the rest of the continent.

Abiodun Abidoye