Entrepreneur launches first Africa-designed smartphone

Dec 29, 2012
The inventor of what has been billed as Africa's first tablet computer, Verone Mankou, displays the device on January 31, 2012 in the offices of his company, VMK, in Brazzaville. Congolese inventor Mankou has unveiled what he says is the first African-designed smartphone.

A Congolese inventor has unveiled what he says is the first African-designed smartphone.

Verone Mankou, 27, told AFP that the so-called Elikia, which means "hope" in the local language, went on sale the day before in the .

Mankou, head of the company VMK, said the Android-powered device was on sale in only in Congo for now, but he planned to launch it in other countries.

The phone was initially due to go on sale in October but its launch was delayed "because of an explosion in demand," he said.

Though the phone is Congolese by design, it is manufactured in China. It costs about 130 euros ($170)—a considerable sum in this central African nation.

The phone has a 3.5-inch touchscreen, 512 of RAM and a 650-Mhz processor. Its camera is five , and it also comes with GPS and Bluetooth.

Mankou last year designed what was billed as Africa's first .

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User comments : 9

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kochevnik
4 / 5 (3) Dec 30, 2012
What mods would specifically benefit a Congo user? High humidity? Shock resistance? Language features? Power consumption? Does VMK have a web site?
cantdrive85
2.7 / 5 (12) Dec 30, 2012
What mods would specifically benefit a Congo user? High humidity? Shock resistance? Language features? Power consumption? Does VMK have a web site?

Extra backlighting, it's a dark continent.
LordKinyambiss
2.8 / 5 (9) Dec 30, 2012
cantdrive85 ur why we need to engineer humans in the future, to weed out effin idiots like u. F.A.H
alfie_null
5 / 5 (5) Dec 30, 2012
it is manufactured in China

It shouldn't need be said that manufacturing the phone in Congo (or somewhere in Africa) has much more significance than designing it.
ekoos
5 / 5 (5) Dec 30, 2012
@cantdrive85 I am from Africa it is a very very dark place.... very!
cantdrive85
4.4 / 5 (8) Dec 30, 2012
cantdrive85 ur why we need to engineer humans in the future, to weed out effin idiots like u. F.A.H

Come on now, I didn't coin the phrase, and you can be sure my comment has nothing to do with the skin complexion of some Africans.

"Africa, the Dark Continent. A romantic name for an unknown and under explored region of the world to the Europeans of the 19th century."

Btw, have you seen a satellite image of Africa at night? There are like fourteen lights there.
Mugabe_Our_Hope
2 / 5 (4) Jan 01, 2013
@Centdrive85, without Africa you and your people will be nothing. Actually if Africa decide to cut ties with USA/EU they will declare a war to the continent because it will mean starvation for you.
hagger
not rated yet Jan 01, 2013
probably use them to co ordinate further slaughter of the almost extinct Gorilla.
Sophos
not rated yet Jan 04, 2013
How is this significant in any way. When was the first cellphone designed in India or Brazil ... who cares