Snippets of note

The fifth most important barrier to financial inclusion is individual level informality, a constraint cited by 15 percent of the unbanked population in Nigeria. Respondents who cite informality reasons for financial exclusion tend to be more educated and rurally based but do not display any greater levels of informality than the wider unbanked population. This suggests that education helps individuals understand the role played by formality in access to banking services and, as a result, it is reasonable to conclude that informality is an unnoticed constraint for many other respondents. ~ Michael King, The Unbanked Four-Fifths: Informality and Barriers to Financial Services in Nigeria

It is time to reengage the severely impoverished field of economics with the economy. Market economies springing up in China, India, Africa, and elsewhere herald a new era of entrepreneurship, and with it unprecedented opportunities for economists to study how the market economy gains its resilience in societies with cultural, institutional, and organizational diversities. But knowledge will come only if economics can be reoriented to the study of man as he is and the economic system as it actually exists. ~ Ronald Coase, Saving Economics from the Economists

The aim of the paper is to contribute to the empirical analysis of the process of transformation in traditional rural societies using a network perspective. A unique database on economic networks (land, labor, inputs and credit) collected in 60 villages of rural Gambia, where traditional non-monetary economic exchanges -gift economy- prevail, is used to study  the  behavior of  households involved in market transactions.

The empirical analysis is conducted at both household- and link-level … In all the econometric specifications I find support for the two main hypotheses: (i) Substitutability between internal and external exchanges, i.e. households with external economic links are less likely to be involved in economic interactions within the village; and (ii) Reciprocation  versus market, i.e. households with external economic links are less likely to be involved in reciprocated exchanges with fellow villagers.Dany Jaimovich – Bakary Baludin


Part of the reason is that food products manufacturers, and in particular breakfast cereals companies, find it is cheaper to pack dry ready-to-eat (milk or water to be added) portions in strips of single-use sachets than in a plastic containers. The prices at which these are sold are in simple multiples – 5, 10 and 15, with the grammage being adjusted for these prices. This is the ugly side of the ‘bottom of the pyramid’ market, a foul term that ignores the mis-nutrition these food companies are responsible for in their pursuit of the price-conscious consumer (rural and urban alike). It also ignores the environmental aspect of such packaging, the costs of which are borne by towns and cities in the form of increasing per capita loads of plastic, packaging and laminated sachets. ~ Cornflakes and oats invasion, 10 rupees at a time.


Pre-paid minutes can be swapped for cash or spent in shops most easily in Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, Ghana and Uganda, says Chris Chan of Tranglo, a Malaysian firm that facilitates “airtime remittances” to mobile phones. Airtime is commonly used as money in Nigeria, too. Hannes Van Rensburg, Visa’s boss for sub-Saharan Africa, says this is partly because regulators there have made it difficult for banks to offer the newer form of mobile money. ~ Airtime is Money, The Economist in January 2013

This entry was posted in Africa, Airtime, Banking, Base of the Pyramid, Business Models, Cashless transactions, Economy, Flexibility, Indigenous & Traditional, Informal & Flexible, Research, rural, Sub Saharan Africa, User research. Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

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