South Africa: Proudly-African Smartphone Rolls Out in SA

Johannesburg — SOUTH Africans have an opportunity to procure and acquire high quality and affordable smartphones after a local bank partnered with the manufacturer to make the gadgets available to the financial institution's clients.

Nedbank has signed the partnership with Mara Phones, a development that executives said was a big step forward on the bank's journey to be 'first in digital.'

This comes after President Cyril Ramaphosa opened Mara Phones' smartphone-manufacturing factory in Durban in October

It is the second facility in the continent after the one opened in Kigali, Rwanda.

Ahuti Chug, chair of Mara Phones, said the company aimed to increase smartphone penetration on the continent by providing problem-solving, tailored solutions to customers and Mara partners.

"This partnership (with Nedbank) strengthens our vision to change the narrative by demonstrating that Africans can produce high quality tech products," Chug said.

Mara Phones, a subsidiary of Mara Corporation, describes itself as a proudly-African brand and company that has been working on the continent for over two decades, that is tech-centric and is focused on Africa and some selected emerging markets.

Ciko Thomas, Group Managing Executive for Nedbank Retail and Business Banking, said the partnership resulted from Nedbank's recognition of the close alignment of the Mara Phones philosophy of leveraging technology to enable financial inclusion and enhanced education, healthcare and agriculture outcomes in South Africa and across Africa.

"Through this transaction, the ability of both organisations to deliver on this vision will be significantly enhanced," Thomas said.

Each of Mara's factories has a capacity to produce a few million smartphones units per year.

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