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Monday, 1 May 2017

Inside Nigeria’s First Smartphone Assembly Plant

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Nigeria has launched its first locally made smart phone. AfriOne mobile phones will now compete with other brands in the Nigerian market. The latest entrant is hoping to leverage on the government’s Buy-Made-In Nigeria campaign to win the hearts of Nigerians.


This marks the availabilty of the first in-country produceAfriOne’s Gravity Z1, Nigeria’s first locally produced smartphone produced at AfriOne’s new factory in Lagos.
It’s taken AfriOne just a year and half to set up this factory, which is a record time. The facility has an installed capacity of 300,000 ICT devices and accessories per months and now employs around five hundred, most of them young people.

“We also do applications. In the retail outlets that we are creating right now, we are actually creating what we call the entrepreneur programme, where we encourage people to come in, share their ideas with us, share technology applications that they want to create to help benefit the local society and we then help them develop those applications and actually push them out to the market. We are going to be working with almost 2000 students and youths to be able to push that out,” said Sahir Berry, founder and CEO Afrione.
Workers at the AfriOne smartphone assembly plant

Nigeria is the largest market in Africa for smartphones but the market is far from saturated. It is estimated that just 35 per cent of Nigeria’s 170 million population has a mobile phone. That leaves a huge space for local manufacturers like AfriOne to play in. But perhaps importantly, AfriOne would be hoping the current wave the Buy-Made -In-Nigeria campaign would help propel the sale of its smartphones across the country.
It is not just smartphones that will be coming out of the facility, but educational tablets PCs and android smart watches are on the way as well.

“This is just the beginning of a long journey. Today, yes we are mainly assembling our phones using components that are imported but there are lots of research and development that goes on locally right now to produce the phone; the software that we are developing again has been customized for the local market. All our packaging is done locally. But now we are also looking at some of the components and accessories to be produced over here locally,” said Sahir Berry, founder and CEO Afrione.

d smartphones for sale in then Nigerian marketplace.

The fact that AfriOne range of smartphones are said to be the “first Nigerian-made smartphones”, is true to a certain extent. The assembly plant located along the Oshodi Expressway of Lagos state assembles smartphones and other devices from imported components.
The AfriOne assembly plant was launched with the Champion and Gravity range of smartphones but will produce more consumer devices and accessories. AfriOne co-founder and CTO Hemang Kapur said;
We [will] offer a wide range of feature-rich and technologically loaded product lines from dual sim mobile phones to educational tablet PCs and even android smart watches

The assembly plant currently employs a staff strength of 150 — 200 one the lines, administrative and non-administrative staff.

A pictorial look inside the assembly plant

We were taken on a tour of the facility by Sandeep Natu the Divisional Head of AfriOne
Reception area of the AfriOne Limited Assembly plant
The red and blue bins are used to take finished products out and bring in components for the workers.
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