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Congo’s VMK Tech building Brazzaville factory

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Congolese phone and tablet maker VMK Tech is building a factory in capital city Brazzaville in a bid to assemble as well sell its products in the Republic of Congo.

In September 2012, VMK joined the likes of Africa’s Tecno Mobile to become one of the first companies on the continent to design an Android smartphone called ‘elikia’, meaning ‘hope’ in the local Lingala language.

The move to launch the smartphone came after VMK Tech launched its first tablet in 2011: the $200 Way-C device.

VMK Tech devices are sold in the Congo and France, while the technology company has also struck a deal with mobile operator Orange to deploy its devices in Niger as part of an education project.

In 2014, VMK plans to expand to the Democratic Republic of Congo as well as Cameroon.

And in an interview with Wired.co.uk, VMK Tech chief executive officer Verone Mankou says his company is building a handset manufacturing factory in the Congo.

"Now we are building our factory in Brazzaville," Mankou told Wired.co.uk.

"Before we designed in Congo, assembled in China, and sold in Congo—no! I want to design it in Congo, assemble in Congo, and sell it in Congo."

Mankou told the publication that he has expanded his team in Brazzaville to 150.

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