Following the launch of a plant in Nigeria, Ghana-based laptop and mobile phone manufacturing company Rlg Communications has opened an ICT assembly facility in Gambia, marking its commercial foray into the country.
Rlg has been operating in the West African country, with a population about two million people, since 2009 in a collaborative arrangement with the government to train young people in ICT.
The partnership between Gambia and Rlg will equip unemployed Gambian youths with specialized employable skills in mobile phone repairs and entrepreneurial wherewithal that will make them socially responsible and financially independent, said Gambian Vice President and Minister for Women's Affairs Isatou Njie-Saidy, who presided over the Rlh plant launch event Saturday.
"Having a company like Rlg in The Gambia is an integral part of the government's ICT agenda and is apt and timely," she said.
The Gambian plant has a state-of-the art showroom, training centers, after-sales and repair facilities and two assembly lines capable of producing 500 phones and 200 laptops on a daily basis.
The associated training program, conducted under the Gambia Priority Employment Programme, involves mobile phone repairs and assembling electronics and computer components and is being implemented by the RlgCommunications Institute in collaboration with Unique Solutions, which provides Internet, computer sales, maintenance and IT management services in Gambia.
Rlg's expansion in the region is part of a strategy to push the sales of its products, which face tough competition from Chinese imports. The mobile-phone assembling company has said that its plant in Nigeria, for which it signed a memorandum of understanding with Osun State in 2011 worth US$10 million, will be producing laptops at a run rate of 1.5 million units a year when completed and commissioned at the end of this month, according to Taiwo Latilo, Rlg's chief operating officer in Nigeria.
Rlg says it has invested more than US$7 million in the local Gambian economy and also intends to use its success in Gambia as a springboard to enter neighboring Sierra Leone, Senegal and Liberia.
RLG's latest device is Uhuru, a combination laptop-tablet with a detachable keyboard. Uhuru comes with Windows 8, a touch screen and uses a Core i5 processor.
The company is also set to open its global office in Dubai next month, making it the first Ghanaian company to do so.
Rlg Group CEO Roland Agambire said in a statement that the opening of Rlg Gambia is part of his vision to create an African brand worthy enough to compete with other brands globally.
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