(Ecofin Agency) - Telecom company KaiOS Tehnologies announced June 21 it has secured the support of French group Orange in raising $50 million to improve Internet access in Africa.
With this sum, KaiOs will reinforce its footprint on the growing market of smartphones; a market that should enable 827 million African people have access to digital services.
“We are looking forward to developing more innovative and tailored solutions that will reduce the digital gap in Africa, starting from 2019,” said Sébastien Codeville (photo), CEO of KaiOS Technologies.
The company already took a first step in this direction last May when it launched the Smartphone Sanza in partnership with Orange. The phone integrates voice recognition, long battery life and popular applications, and is sold in Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, Burkina Faso and Mali for $20 (11,642 FCfa).
In addition to the lack of telecom facilities, the high cost of quality telephones is also one of the main obstacles to Internet access on the continent. Alioune Ndiaye, CEO of Orange Middle East & Africa, said the group's investment in KaiOS Technologies will help the company develop more low-cost, high-performance mobile devices.