China-based handset manufacturer, Tecno Group has concluded plans to build a factory in Ethiopia to enhance its presence in African market, investigations have revealed.
BusinessDay learnt that Tecno, which already runs two factories in the Ethiopian capital, chose Ethiopia for the ‘third phase’ mobile phone assembly and production plant ahead of Nigeria because of what industry sources linked to security challenges facing Nigeria.
It is not clear whether the Tecno Group would still consider Nigeria for assembly plant in the future.
According to AllAfrica, an online news report, the “Ethiopian government has already dedicated an investment area for the establishment of an ICT park to support the development of ICT. The foundation stone preparatory to the plant was laid for Tecno Group in the park which is under construction.”
Although the group vice president of the mobile phone brand, Arif Chowdhury, had last year assured that the company would build its African plant in Nigeria, it is not clear whether the company would live up to this promise or it has made a u-turn.
On the planned plant in Nigeria, Chowdhury says in a report that “Nigeria is Tecno’s biggest market in terms of volume, and Lagos will be the location of the plant because Lagos is not just the commercial nerve centre of Nigeria but also the economic capital of Africa.”
The company is still waiting for the right policies of government on duty structure for mobile phone imports to finalise their plans in building the plant, he says.
But reports indicate that the Tecno Group has made significant progress in its factory construction in Ethiopia where it started operations in 2009, and has employed about 400 workers.
Nigeria, the largest market in Africa with largest population, must have over time influenced Tecno’s business growth, a situation analysts believe would have influenced the company’s choice of where to set up its third African assembly plant.