Nokia will not be setting up a phone manufacturing plant in Africa just yet, despite the huge market that it has on the continent, as it would not make economical sense.
This is according to Vice President and Managing Director of Nokia West and Central Africa James Rutherfoord, while speaking at a side interview at the company’s product launch in Lagos, Nigeria.
“At this point in time it is difficult because most of our component suppliers, all the people that make chips; that make batteries and all the other components of the devices are not around here. They are all in the Far East. So it’s very difficult to create a factory very far away from them,” Rutherfood said.
“We need the whole ecosystem of people producing the components to be very close, otherwise we will have products which cost will be much higher if they are not close to the other manufacturers.”
Nokia has nine factories globally, located in North America, South America, Europe and Asia, but none in Africa, despite the huge market share that the company enjoys in Africa.
It is reported that Nokia handsets constitute 44.4 percent of the Global System for Mobile (GSM) communication, with the other handsets sharing the remaining percentage.
The company has been facing a lot of challenges, especially in the African market, with the influx of counterfeit models threatening the companies market share. African governments have, however, recognised the problem, and have launched campaigns to disconnect them from their country’s phone networks.