Verone Mankou, originally from the Congo, can boast of having brought her country straight into the world of High Tech. The Way-C, an African tablet invented by Verone Mankou, has been marketed in Africa for a few years. VMK, publisher of the Way-C tablet, has entered into an agreement with Airtel to facilitate distribution of the device.
Verone Mankou: inventor of the first African tablet
Despite assembling in Shenghzen, China, Verone Mankou can claim to be the origin of the first African tablet. Like Apple products, the tablet is branded “Engineered and designed in Congo”. Verone Mankou, head of the company VMK, “wake up” in Kikongo dialect, was 25 years old when he found success.
Son of an oil engineer and a schoolteacher, Verone Mankou, studied all his school career in Pointe-Noire, Congo. Currently, he held a post of new technologies in the Ministry of Posts, Telecommunications and New Technologies. In addition, since the 2010s, he has also managed a company specializing in technology consulting.
It was in 2005 – 2006 that the idea of designing a tablet first caught sight of Verone Mankou. It was not until 2010 that he embarked on the adventure. At that time, the VMK company consisted of 6 people working in Congo while overseeing production carried out in China. According to Verone Mankou, the costs related to the research and development of the Way-C tablet amounted to 85,000,000 FCFA.
Verone Mankou’s goal? Sell around 10,000 tablets per year in Congo and export its concept to Cameroon, Kenya, Ivory Coast, Gabon or Senegal, relying on independent distributors. Well received and acclaimed for its value for money, the Way-C tablet is rapidly establishing itself on the Congolese market.
In 2015, the Bantuhub Foundation, created in 2013 by Verone Mankou, launched the Tech 25 initiative which aims to develop technological culture in Congo by 2025.
VMK establishes itself as the main smartphone manufacturer in Central Africa
Thanks to the warm welcome from the Congolese in favor of the Way-C tablet, the notoriety of the VMK company is gradually growing. Now she is focusing on the design and production of smartphones. The entry-level mobile phone Elikia was launched in the 2012 market.
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At that time, it was only the first model in a long series. A year later, VMK did it again by marketing Elikia Moké, a basic telephone but equipped with very powerful communication functions. It is quickly becoming the most sought-after product in Congo. The end of 2014 marks the launch of the Elikia L smartphone, the most powerful model in the range.
It was in 2015 that Verone Mankou opened an assembly plant in Congo, which allowed her to position VMK as a leader in Central Africa in this market segment. The company is constantly innovating and offering new models of cell phones. In addition, it strives to provide African populations with quality communication products at a lower cost.
Relocation of production to Congo where the success of “Made in Africa” in the mobile technology sector
By choosing to ensure the production of mobile phones in Africa, Verone Mankou has managed to prove that it is possible to manufacture quality items on the continent. With the local workforce benefiting from the necessary skills, it is no longer useful to export the assembly to China.
Innovation is at the very heart of VMK’s policy. His goal ? Provide African populations with quality products, reflecting the values of the continent while making it possible to improve the daily lives of these same populations.