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AfCFTA stirs fresh scramble for African telecoms market


AfCFTA stirs fresh scramble for African telecoms market

By Tasie Theodore

A fresh scramble for the African telecoms market may have been inaugurated ahead of the full and formal take-off of the African Continental Free Trade Area, AFCFTA, The Difference has learnt.

This, analysts say is principally behind why the Mara Group has already put in place the requisite machinery for establishing a $24m smartphone manufacturing factory.

Sited in Rwanda, it will enable the Mara Group to now manufacture its flagship Mara Phones within the African continent.

The launch of the smartphone manufacturing factory which took place in Rwanda recently employs over 200 people and the goal is to manufacture affordable phones for Rwanda and the rest of the continent.

Before the Mara entry, another Africa-looking telecoms player has been China’s Transsion Holding. The company, which has been producing smartphones for Africa for a while now had embarked on its Initial Public Offering (IPO) on the Shanghai Stock Exchange in 2014. Its now valued at $6.5bn and literally all of that has come from its 5-year romance with Africa, where it is now the market leader.

Unlike Transsion which produces the bulk of its products outside the continent, Mara is positioning to be seen as a pan-African company.

#AfCFTA is here and it is stirring its own ripples.

The Continental Free Trade Area, CFTA became a reality in April, got a final Heads of States endorsement in July and has now established a Secretariat in Accra, Ghana.

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