One of the marks of a truly autonomous country is seen in the country’s ability to harvest and convert its own resources into commodities that can be consumed/utilised by its own people. The unfortunate bane of many African countries however, is that: while we supply raw materials, we are still dependent on external markets for quality end-products. It is therefore noteworthy and absolutely praiseworthy when companies like Sekoko emerge with home-grown solutions that are likely to compete with international brands: the new Mzansi Smart Phone!
In a partnership with Making Mobile, Sekoko recently kick-started factory operations to produce smartphones and tablets aimed at the local market and the rest of Africa.
“The facility –based in Robertsham, Johannesburg, employing 150 people –will be a 24/7 operation with an initial production target of 700 to 750 handsets per day with a staff compliment of 50 employees per shift,” said Daryl Peel, managing director of Making Mobile.
Dr Tim Tebeila, founder of Sekoko Group, says the phone models will be produced with 2G, 3G and 4G mobile internet networks. The components of the device, according to him, will be imported from other parts of the world but the mobile device will be manufactured locally.
With the buying power of the African consumer rising as the continent’s middle class increases, the entrance of the affordable Mzansi smart phone on the LTE market is likely to compete with established international brands.
“…We have all the features you can think of that Samsung and Apple have. It’s just a matter of the brand name,” states Tebeila
According to Tebeila, the main driver behind launching Sekoko Mzansi’s smart phone is to gain further penetration in the use of smartphones in Africa through easier access to broadband and affordable smartphones.
“Africa is one of the youngest markets in the world and presents a huge opportunity in terms of growth,” said Dr Tim Tebeila.
For more information on this ground breaking development in South Africa’s smart phone industry, you can listen to Dr. Tim Tebeila’s Talk702 podcast interview with Stephen Grootes which was recorded on the 22nd of March 2016.