Yekani Manufacturing’s factory in East London, South Africa has been shut down, liquidated and all assets sold. This is after becoming insolvent and unable to repay debts.

Launched in 2018 at the cost of R1 billion by then South Africa’s Trade & Industry Minister, Rob Davies, Yekani Group’s Yekani Manufacturing was positioned to compete on the global stage as a premier Afrikan electronics manufacturer. However, this has failed.

Yekani’s demise is reminiscent of the demise of Mara Phones. Mara Phones assembly plant near Durban was launched in October 2019 and touted as a cutting-edge facility that will help generate thousands of jobs. The facility was built to the tune of R1,5 billion. The company has since also been auctioned off for defaulting on repayment loans due to Standard Bank and the Industrial Development Corporation.

Failure to launch.

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Why aren't we manufacturing electronics?

Mineral resources have been at the heart of Afrikan economies for a long period of time, however, Afrikan states remain relatively poor relative to the natural resource reserves they have. As the world has transitioned into the digital economy there is an increasing demand for all sorts of resources that Afrika possesses. Afrika is home to all the natural resources used in electronics manufacturing (especially smartphones), as well as the computer chips that power them. So, why aren’t there any Afrikan chip manufacturers to solve the chip shortage problem?

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