Some young African entrepreneurs are getting ready to make their “African-designed” smart phone available.

VMK, a company based in the People’s Republic of the Congo, has a set of smart phones and tablets that are more affordable and specifically designed for Africans:

VMK announced the launch of the new Way-C tablet and Elikia smart phone earlier this week. To market the devices as authentically African, the budding tech company chose the names Way-C, which means “the light of the stars” and Elikia, which translates to “hope” in the local Lingala language.

“Only Africans know what Africa needs,” says Congolese entrepreneur and founder, Verone Mankou. “Apple is huge in the US, Samsung is huge in Asia, and we want VMK to be huge in Africa.”

While the specs of the devices are not quite ‘top of the line’ compared to its competitors, its reasonable price tag is what Mankou believes is the biggest selling point for local African communities. The 27-year old entrepreneur says the aim is to get these products into the hands of African locals by making the products more affordable, according to his statement at the Tech4Africa conference in Johannesburg last month. Both devices use Google’s Android operating system.


Read more at The Grio.

Do the designers have a point?

Is technology universal or do devices need to be created to address the specific needs for certain groups of people?

Is this just a marketing ploy?

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