(Ecofin Agency) - During the Mobile World Congress that was opened on February 25, 2019, Orange announced the launch of its $20 smartphone baptized “Sanza” in sixteen Middle East and African countries this year.
The smartphone equipped with the UNISOC SC7731EF processor, manufactured by UNISOC, is powered by KaiOS operating system by KaiOS Technologies. It offers the possibility to access internet by a larger number of Africans.
As of April 2019, Orange’s clients in Mali, Burkina Faso and Côte d’Ivoire will be the first to acquire this phone. Botswana, Cameroon, Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Guinea Bissau, Guinea Conakry, Liberia, Madagascar, Morocco, Sierra Leone and Tunisia will follow after. The phone will also be sold in Jordan.
According to Alioune Ndiaye (photo), managing director of Orange MENA, “Sanza is a concrete proof of the capacity of Orange to be a key player of digital inclusion in Africa and the Middle-East…With its access to internet with the voice and its attractive price around US$20, I have the conviction that this 3G phone and soon 4G is a powerful lever to develop access to internet for all Africa”.
In Africa where the smartphone penetration rate is so low because of its price, unaffordable for low-income earners that make the majority of the population, Sanza appears like an affordable alternative to the communication, internet connection and digital services access needs of the population.