Huawei 4Afrika brings Windows Phone 8 to the growing African market

On Tuesday, Huawei unveiled a new smartphone running Windows Phone 8 aimed at the "rapidly-growing" African market. Dubbed 4Afrika, the device is based on the Ascend W1 unveiled at CES 2013 in Las Vegas, and is marketed as an "affordable option" for developers, first-time smartphone buyers, small businesses and students.

The 4Afrika is part of larger initiative which, by 2016, plans to deliver tens of millions of modern mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) into "the hands of African youth". The initiative also intends to bring one million small and medium local enterprises online, and help 200,000 locals succeed in entrepreneurship and employability.

In case the Huawei Ascend W1 doesn't ring a bell, prospective buyers can expect a similar device to the HTC Windows Phone 8S in terms of specifications. By implication, the 4Afrika is not a speed demon nor a flagship smartphone, but it's pretty decent hardware-wise.

Specs include a 4-inch display with a resolution of 800 by 480, a dual-core 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, and 4GB of internal storage. The 4Afrika also features front and back-facing cameras and comes in at 10mm thick.

The 4Afrika is the first step in driving the African smartphone adoption, which according to Microsoft, represents 10 percent of the entire phone market. The smartphone will be available in Angola, Egypt, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria and South Africa in late-February. The 4Afrika comes with a market-specific app store and ships with custom apps made by local developers.

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