Category Archives: Analysis

One (last) word: Plastics

A UN report issued on World Environment day  showed dozens of nations acting to cut plastic, including a ban on plastic bags in Kenya, on styrofoam in Sri Lanka and the use of biodegradable bags in China. via There’s a backlash against plastics that is ongoing in many not so noticed parts of the world […]

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How do we make a business case for an innovative concept given the data scarcity for the African mass market?

Anzetse Were writes some thoughtful points on the challenges facing private sector innovation in Kenya, and Africa. Two of her points caught my attention, in particular: With regards to the private sector, an interesting point raised is that innovation targeting it must have a business case for adoption otherwise the innovation won’t be absorbed. Innovation […]

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How informal financial services can lower the barriers to formal financial inclusion

Around 2 and a half years ago, I was on a short visit to Abidjan, the capital of Cote D’Ivoire as a guest of the African Development Bank. They were holding an innovation weekend for young women and men in the Francophone West African region who were interested in becoming entrepreneurs. David O. Capo Chichi, […]

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Why does the prepaid model work so well and what are the lessons for business model innovation?

Increasingly, employment is becoming ad hoc and flexible. The gig economy and the informal sector share a common characteristic of incomes which are irregular and unpredictable, unlike the timely wages characteristic of formal employment. Both budgeting and planning thus become a challenge when there’s no predictable paycheck to rely on. Expenses are managed against cash […]

Also posted in African Consumer Market, Base of the Pyramid, Biashara Economics, Business Models, Consumer Behaviour, Design, Emerging Markets, Flexibility, Frameworks, Income, Informal & Flexible, Innovation Planning, Marketing, Mobile platform, Perspective, Platforms, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Produits de grande consommation (FMCG), Research, Retail in Africa, Rural Economy, Strategy | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Disrupting Predictions: How Stereotypes Distort Expectations

This chart embodies some stereotypical thinking regarding the high growth opportunities now available in low income and lower middle income countries. Its from the just released World Development Report 2019’s concept note on the theme “The Changing Nature of Work”. Where the cognitive dissonance lies is in the accompanying text which highlights the transformational capacity […]

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Connectivity, Communication, and Commerce: The 3 Cs of Africa’s Smartphone Led Future

Recent headlines touted the decline in marketshare being seen by smartphones on the African continent, and the concurrent increase in sales of basic devices. Yet a closer look shows that this shift might only be numerical due to the opening of new markets in heavily populated DR Congo and Ethiopia – first time buyers are […]

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Lessons for development from the demand driven investment strategies of the informal sector

This shopkeeper in Laare, Kenya provided me with deep insight on how investments in expensive inventory are managed in a heavily cash based economy. He runs a consumer electronics store stocking everything from solar panels, music systems, spare parts and batteries, through to mobile phones and accessories. His purchasing decisions are based on visible consumer […]

Also posted in Assumption filter, Base of the Pyramid, Biashara Economics, Business Models, Consumer Behaviour, Distribution, Ecosystem, Emerging Markets, Innovation Planning, Marchés africains, Marketing, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Produits de grande consommation (FMCG), Strategy, User research | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

East African Imports in rural Rwanda?

This highway ‘storefront’ in rural Rwanda made me wonder if the trader had imported his goods rather than purchased them locally. And, further, if they were imports from Kenya. First, unlike the majority of such roadside shops, he is dealing with multiple products – while all are related to home decor, they are made of […]

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Trading economics: a new theoretical system

From the Financial Times, a snippet from a guest post by Wang Zhenying, director-general of the research and statistics department at the PBoC’s Shanghai head office and vice chairman of the Shanghai Financial Studies Association, summarising the arguments in his new Chinese-language textbook on economics. “Trading economics” is one new theory emerging against this backdrop. […]

Also posted in Assumption filter, Base of the Pyramid, Biashara Economics, Business Models, China, Consumer Behaviour, Economy, Ecosystem, Emerging Markets, Frameworks, Informal & Flexible, Marchés africains, Platforms, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Report Review, Research, Systems, UCSD, Value | Tagged , , , | 1 Response

Household energy consumption behaviour in East Africa: Lighting & Conclusion (3 of 3 Parts)

  The following is extracted from a six month study during 2012 on household energy consumption behaviour in rural Kenya and Rwanda among the lower income demographic, that led to an understanding of some of barriers hampering the sales of client’s solar products in this market. This 3rd and final part will focus on fuel […]

Also posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Base of the Pyramid, Biashara Economics, Business Models, Consumer Behaviour, Design, Economy, Ecosystem, Frugality, Indigenous & Traditional, Informal & Flexible, jua kali, Kenya, Marchés africains, Marketing, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Research, Retail in Africa, Rural Economy, Scarcity, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, Technology, User research | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Response