Category Archives: Migrant worker

Book Review: Stuffed and Starved by Raj Patel

Although the book I’ll be reviewing today was first published in the year 2007, I only came upon it this year in a used bookstore. Raj Patel’s Stuffed and Starved lays bare the innards of the world’s food distribution systems and the market dominance of the megacorps in the business. The Guardian’s original review captures […]

Also posted in Africa, ASEAN, Base of the Pyramid, Biashara Economics, Book Reviews, Economy, Ecosystem, Emerging Futures, Indigenous & Traditional, Informal & Flexible, Perspective, Produits de grande consommation (FMCG), Retail in Africa, rural, Rural Economy, South Asia, Sub Saharan Africa | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

West Africa’s incipient mobile platform boom will transform the ECOWAS economy

While East Africa has tended to grab the headlines as the mover and shaker in mobile platform innovation, there’s an imminent boom due to emerge in West Africa. The GSMA’s most recent report on the West African mobile ecosystem contains all the signals of this happening within the next 3 or so years. Even in […]

Also posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Afrique francophone, Biashara Economics, Commerce en ligne (e-commerce), Consommateurs, Consumer Behaviour, Ecosystem, Emerging Markets, Ghana, Innovation Planning, Marchés africains, Marketing, Mobile platform, Nigeria, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Report Review, Senegal, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, Technologie, Technology, UEMOA | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Zambia’s inclusive approach to various sectors in the informal economy is worth noting

The Zambian government most recently announced that they would provide certificates to illegal (artisanal) miners in order to recognize and formalize their activities. In addition, they were being encouraged to form cooperatives – a legally recognized organizational structure – that would permit further benefits to this informal sector. Compared to the challenges Ghana is facing […]

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Leveraging Disability as Competitive Advantage: The Wheelchair Cargo Movers of Uganda

Only in Busia do wheelchair owners from all over Uganda congregate as it is to their economic advantage to do so. Documented, and observed were the handicapped professionals who crossed the border numerous times a day ferrying goods. In the past 25 years, the Busia tricyclists have created a strong community with initiative and resourcefulness […]

Also posted in Base of the Pyramid, Biashara Economics, Distribution, East African Community, Economy, Income, Perspective, Research, Systems, Uganda, User research | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Response

Mobiles at the Border Post: Anti-Atlas of Borders Exhibition Slides (Jan 2016)

In January 2016, our submission for the Anti-Atlas of Borders Art Exhibition in Brussels was accepted for a commission of 500e. We were thrilled and surprised since we’d never imagined our work on mobile platforms, technology, and the borderland biashara could be considered from the arts and culture point of view. Here is our story […]

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Fundamental Elements of Informal Sector Commercial Activity

There are two key elements which underpin the dynamics of any business or commercial enterprise in the informal sector. These are Time and Money. A generalized framework can be diagrammed, as shown above, where the dotted line denotes the degree of uncertainty and volatility of an individual’s cash flow patterns – whether from a variety […]

Also posted in African Consumer Market, Analysis, Assumption filter, Base of the Pyramid, Biashara Economics, Business Models, Economy, Ecosystem, Emerging Markets, Flexibility, Frameworks, global, Income, Informal & Flexible, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Projects and Reports, Research, Risk, Rural Economy, South Asia, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, User research | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Financial Behaviour Patterns Observed Among Households in Rural Informal Economy in Asia

This is the original working paper of the research conducted on rural household financial management, in developing country conditions, pioneering the use of methods from human centered design for discovery, during Nov 2008 to March 2009, aka the Prepaid Economy Project. It was peer reviewed by Brett Hudson Matthews, and I have incorporated his comments into […]

Also posted in African Consumer Market, Airtime, Alternative currency, Analysis, ASEAN, Assumption filter, Banking, Base of the Pyramid, Biashara Economics, Business Models, Cashless transactions, Cattle, Consumer Behaviour, Design, Economy, Ecosystem, Emerging Markets, Flexibility, Frameworks, global, Income, India, Indigenous & Traditional, Informal & Flexible, Innovation Planning, Livestock, Marchés africains, Marketing, Mobile platform, Philipines, Platforms, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Process, Produits de grande consommation (FMCG), Projects and Reports, Research, Retail in Africa, Risk, rural, Rural Economy, Savings, Scarcity, South Asia, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, Systems, User research | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Snapshot of the Dynamics of the Urban Informal Retail Trade in Nairobi, Kenya

Latiff Cherono quickly made up this diagram during a brainstorming session with Francis Hook and myself on the ways and means to further disaggregate the general category of “Informal wholesale and retail trade” that the Kenya National Statistics Board uses to lump together the second largest sector providing employment in Kenya after agriculture. In urban […]

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Cross-border mobile financial services in Africa are going to be huge

Analysis Mason has an excellent article on the next big thing in mobile money across the African continent – cross border payments. I covered the emergence of these services, through regional operators as well as partnerships based on interoperability earlier. This is what I asked for: Mapping it all I’d love it if someone could […]

Also posted in African Consumer Market, Afrique francophone, Airtime, Alternative currency, Business Models, Cashless transactions, Commerce en ligne (e-commerce), Consommateurs, Consumer Behaviour, Economy, Flexibility, Marchés africains, Marketing, Mobile platform, Perspective, Platforms, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Research, Retail in Africa, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, Systems, Technologie, Technology, UEMOA | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Can too much formalization be bad for poverty alleviation?

Earlier this year, there was an interesting article which pointed out the important role the informal sector plays in developing countries, particularly on the African continent. Apart from being over-financialised, which reduces the incentives to create “real jobs” the other structural problem facing the South African economy is its over-formalisation. The informal sector accounts for […]

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