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Botswana opens first tech assembly plant

Botswana opens first tech assembly plant

Botswana's first technology assembly plant for smart phones, computers and laptops has opened shop in the capital Gaborone.

Government has applauded launch of the technology manufacturing and distribution company, Almaz, as a significant effort towards diversification.

"It is critical that more private sector members play an active role in creating and developing industries which previously did not exist in Botswana and those that are different from the original primary sector industries such as mining and farming," said Vice President Mokgweetsi Masisi.

Almaz co-founder and Chairman, Monametsi Kalayamotho said the 20 million pula investment was mooted following benchmarking in Rwanda, South Africa, Kenya, Senegal and Portugal.

Apart from benchmarking in other economies, Almaz has also swiftly moved to form collaborations with international companies Microsoft and Intel, after adhering to the company's international global standards.

"This gives us a competitive edge as we are able to preload our devices with content that is relevant to Botswana and Africa," said Kalayamotho.

With a production capacity of 30 000 annual, the company hopes to reduce the import bill, offer skilled job creation, skills development and capacity building.

Botswana heavily relies on Asia, America and South Africa for technology imports.

Masisi challenged retailers to support the company citing that Almaz launch epitomises the shift in global industrialisation trends, the relocation of light manufacturing away from China to other emerging market economies.

"The assembly of computers has been the domain of our friends in the East and today we can proudly say Botswana joins the ranks of technology producers of the world," he said.

According to Almaz, the company's operation is set to create 500 skilled jobs in the first year, while indirectly acting as a catalyst to local content development.

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