Start-up: Guinean Fadima Diawara creates Kunfabo smartphone “adapted to African realities”

Boubacar Diallo

Kunfabo – “to be in touch” in Malinké – is the new smartphone that wants to conquer the African market by the end of 2019. Still in prototype phase, this phone created by Guinean Fadima Diawara wants to differentiate itself with 100% African applications .

With a price of 100 euros, the Kunfabo smartphone wants to compete with the giants of low-cost on the African market, such as Hong Kong Infinix Hot 2 and Chinese Tecno. Moreover, it will stand out by integrating pre-installed applications “purely African”, like Dikalo the “WhatsApp Africa”, and a geo-location application created in Guinea which, according to the founder, will meet the needs Africans living on the continent.

Behind Kunfabo – “to be in contact” in the Malinke language – hides Fadima Diawara, a 33-year-old Guinean woman. If this adventure comes to fruition – its project, still in prototype phase, is in negotiation with investors to launch the commercialization by the end of the year – it will mark a big turn for the one of which nothing destined to the universe of “tech”.

At 23, the law student at the University of Conakry left her country to settle in Catalonia, in the Spanish city of Girona. Very quickly, the young woman is confronted with the realities of many African students: her legal studies validated in her native country have no equivalent in Spain. Fadima Diawara is reoriented in accounting and resumes everything from scratch.

A move as a sales representative to a wholesaler – who sells decorative products throughout Europe – gives Fadima Diawara an understanding of how trade works on a regional scale. She “learns a lot,” she says today. In 2016, his passion for technology takes over “why Africa is not able to create its own smartphone? She asks herself. So, she quits her job and decides to create her brand, Kunfabo, in which she has invested more than 100,000 euros, in equity and with the help of business angels.

African applications
The Kunfabo smartphones will be equipped with an Android 8.1 operating system, with a 4G cover, a 72-inch screen with an 18/9 format. Based on a low-cost business model, the founder relies on the quantity of products sold to sell.

Its flagship model (F99), which should be launched by the end of the year, will be equipped with geolocation applications for health centers: hospitals and local pharmacies. Developed by Eguitec, a Guinean start-up, this application – specific to this laptop – will be deployed in West African countries including Guinea, Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire and Togo.

Users will also find an application of African recipes to revalue the culinary arts of the continent, and can communicate via Dikalo, “WhatsApp Africa”, developed by a Cameroonian start-up with which Kunfabo has just signed an agreement.

Sometimes criticized because its smartphones are not made in Africa but in China, Fadima Diawara tempers “we have at this stage little means. In the long term, we want to establish ourselves in Africa, particularly in Guinea, if the authorities help us to set up an assembly plant there. ” For its first year of sales, the start-up hopes to generate at least 300,000 euros in profit.

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