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Africa's first smartphone unveiled in Republic of Congo

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What is said to be the first smartphone designed by an African company has been shown off in the Republic of Congo.

The smartphone which was christened "elikia", meaning "hope" in the local Lingala language, will have a 3.5 inch touchscreen display, a memory of 512 MB and a 650 Mhz processor and 5 megapixel camera.

The handset was designed by a company called VMK, headed by Verone Mankou. He said that he had invested US$120,000 in the development of the handset, which will be produced in China for the Francophone market.

"We decided to assemble the smartphone in China because as you all know, it's difficult to find a company with the necessary materials and capacity to do the work here. So just like most companies in the world, we decided to keep China as our factory not only because of a better quality there, but also because of the lower production cost which enables us to sell the phone at an affordable price," Mankou told the Xinhua news agency..

The smartphone is expected to sell for around US$160 when it goes on sale towards the end of next month.

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Tags: Congo