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VP urges Almaz to be competitive

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The assembly of laptops and cellphones has previously been the domain of our friends in the East and today we can proudly say Botswana joins the ranks of technological device producers of the world – Masisi

OAITSE MATHALA

A newly established manufacturing and distribution technology citizen-owned company, Almaz was launched last week in Gaborone, with the aim of changing the market landscape in the country. The company, which set up its assembly plant in Phakalane, will be assembling various gadgets from laptops to smart-phones.
Speaking at the launch, Vice President (VP) Mokgweetsi Masisi said the launching of Almaz comes as a great addition to government’s efforts to diversify the economy. “It is critical that we see more and more players in the private sector play an active role in creating and developing industries which previously did not exist in the country. The management at Almaz have certainly taken a brave step. The assembly of laptops and cellphones has previously been the domain of our friends in the East and today we can proudly say Botswana joins the ranks of technological device producers of the world,” he said.
The VP however, pleaded with Almaz management that it should remain resolute, be competitive and produce high quality products, noting that; “The world is increasingly becoming a tough place to do business, however, only the competitive and innovative can survive. It is upon yourselves to ensure that you are producing high quality products and bringing them to market at competitive rates that Batswana can afford.”
He called upon retailers and wholesalers to take a positive attitude towards the locally produced gadgets. “As much as carrying international brands has been norm, I urge you to re-consider your procurement processes and make space for locally produced goods. It is defeating for us to have a leading economy in Africa when our own products are not on shelves in our shops. It is through you that companies such as Almaz can actually grow and compete effectively,” he urged them.
Almaz co-founder and Chairman, Monametsi Kalayamotho said plans to open an assembly plant in Botswana have been under way for the past year and a half and have done benchmarking in similar environments like Rwanda, South Africa, Kenya, Senegal and Portugal. “We are excited to be launching a new brand into the market. Our aim is to have Almaz produce gadgets with competitive quality and price for the local market. As a tech company, it is important to affiliate with global tech suppliers in order to provide the best possible service. It is for this reason that Almaz is a Microsoft Named Partner (OEM) and Intel Partner (OEM) in all gadgets we produce. This gives us a competitive edge as we are able to preload our devices with content that is relevant to Botswana and Africa,” he said.
Almaz comes into being after an investment of P20 million with a plan to build a distribution, warranty and services network with 23 regional centres to provide warranty and support services to communities. The operation is set to create 500 skilled jobs in the first year of operation.

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