Ghana phone manufacturer extends operations to Gambia

A new training program will involve mobile phone repairs and assembling electronics and computing components

After implementing its ICT youth program in Ghana, rLG Communications is moving into Gambia to replicate the training concept, aimed at developing skills in mobile telephony as well as expanding the market for its mobile phones.

The training program, under the Gambia Priority Employment Programme, will involve mobile phone repairs and assembling electronics and computer components. It will be implemented by the rLG Communications Institute in collaboration with Unique Solutions, which provides Internet and VPN Services, computer sales, maintenance and outsourced IT-management services in Gambia.

The high price of imported phones in the West African market -- relative to low earnings in the region -- is the main reason why cheaper phones such as Chinese-made devices have sold well. But inadequate spares and accessories for foreign-made phones has posed a problem for users. RLG phones are meant to address these concerns.

Formerly known as Roagam Links, rLG Communications is the first privately owned Ghanaian company that has embarked on a youth training program for mobile phone servicing, repair, assembling and sales.

At the beginning of the year, rLG started targeting key regions in Ghana's telecom market in a bid to secure a 60 percent share of total mobile phone sales and distribution in the country by 2011. The company set a target of selling more than five million phones, according to rLG CEO Roland Agambire. By May, the Ghanaian-owned company officially introduced its G-series of mobile phones, built and assembled in the country.

In July, rLG Communications signed a 2-year US$240 million agreement with one of Ghana's telcos, Expresso Telecom to, among other things, produce 180,000 CDMA handsets and provide after-sales support services for all phones.

RLG is planning to hit other countries in West Africa and Gambia is its launch pad outside Ghana, according to Agambire.