DR Congo: Motema, KaiOS, and ADN collaborate to expand smartphone access

The project is anticipated to generate employment opportunities within the DRC while bolstering the skills of the Congolese workforce through technology exchange between the collaborating companies.

 Electronics, Mobile Phone, Phone, Photography, Iphone, Accessories, Wallet

On 23 March 2023, the DRC’s Digital Development Agency (ADN) announced a partnership agreement with startup Motema and the French firm KaiOS Technologies, which specialises in creating the mobile operating system KaiOS. The initiative aims to produce over one million phones, each priced at a flat rate of $20, which should work towards bridging the digital access divide within the second-largest country in Africa, the ADN said in a press release.

Aligning with Project 21 of the National Digital Plan Horizon 2025 (PNN), this initiative is focused on boosting e-commerce within the country, creating jobs, and transferring technology skills to the Congolese workforce. Motema, a Congolese venture, aims to provide affordable digital devices to every Congolese citizen, with their phones equipped with 4G capability, Google search engine access, and social media platforms, which promise to revolutionise digital access.

Why does it matter?

This development underscores the DRC’s efforts to narrow the digital divide by empowering citizens with affordable phones following a trend of infrastructure projects such as expanding mobile internet and broadband.

Aligning with the PNN, the partnership demonstrates the government’s commitment to achieving digital transformation goals, paving the way for sustainable progress and innovation. According to government sources, 14 initiatives outlined in the PNN have been completed, with an additional 25% nearing the stage of operational readiness. This progress collectively accounts for a completion rate of 57%.