Nigeria is home to Africa’s first smartphone manufacturing unit

Eric Ky

Nigeria has just welcomed the continent’s first smartphone assembly unit. Located in the free zone, this installation required a budget of 10 million dollars and is expected to produce 120,000 units per month. Called AfriOne, these smartphones will be marketed between 92 and 108 dollars and are aimed in particular at middle-income consumers, a large part of the tens of millions of consumers in Nigeria.
Nigeria’s 154 million mobile phone users represent a real source of attractiveness for investors in the sector. This is evidenced by the establishment of a smartphone assembly unit in the Lagos free zone. Managed by AfriOne, this unit will produce low-cost smartphones, particularly popular with Nigerian consumers.

A second unit to come

These devices will be marketed in a price range of 29,000 naira ($ 92) to 33,000 naira ($ 108). A price range that targets middle-income buyers in a market of nearly 180 million potential consumers. This first industrial unit of AfriOne has an installed production capacity of 120,000 units per month. The company plans to set up a second unit of its kind.

To carry out this operation, the parent company of AfriOne, Contec Global has invested 10 million dollars. An investment that also bets on the strong growth of electronic commerce in Nigeria, but also in the sub-region. The activity will account for 10% of all retail sales recorded in the continent’s strongest economies by 2025. This represents annual revenues of $ 75 billion according to consulting firm Mckinsey.

e-commerce and m-banking as growth drivers

The company has also developed a Fintech application. The strong penetration of mobile banking solutions at the continental level also represents a growth driver for the leading local manufacturer of smartphones. It remains to be seen whether the management of the company will be content with the huge Nigerian market or venture into other high added value markets such as Kenya or South Africa.

As a reminder, Nigeria’s mobile penetration rate has passed the 100% threshold and is currently set at 103.91%. In the space of 4 years, investments in the telecoms sector in Nigeria have experienced a “boom” of 6,400%, from 500 million dollars in 2011 to 32 billion dollars in 2014.

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