via Clutch Magazine
Verone Mankou hopes to become the Steve Jobs of Africa. The 27-year-old Congolese entrepreneur recently released the continent’s first ever homegrown smart phone and tablet, a move Mankou hopes will result in his company, VMK, cornering the booming mobile phone market in Africa.
“Only Africans know what Africa needs,” Mankou explained during a speech at a technology conference. “Apple is huge in the US, Samsung is huge in Asia, and we want VMK to be huge in Africa.”
VMK’s offerings, the Way-C tablet and Elikia, are “African designed” gadgets with lower price tags than major brands, a fact Mankou hopes will make them more attractive to local consumers.
Despite VMK’s promise, not everyone is convinced the company lives up to its hype. After a Nigerian company claimed to have produced Africa’s first smart phone a few years ago, consumers later learned it was an OEM (original equipment manufacture) product available throughout the world sold under different names. But Mankou insists his products are original and designed in Congo.