Category Archives: Report Review

New Market Opportunity: The Digitalisation of African Agriculture

By | July 12, 2019

Just over two weeks ago, I analyzed a report on the Digitalization of African Agriculture on twitter. Bandwidth heavy PDFs aren’t user friendly for mobile first or mobile only browsing environments, such as prevalent across much of the African continent, and ‘granulating’ reports is something I’ve gotten into the habit of doing quite regularly for… Read More »

Why the Potential of the African Consumer Market Cannot be Considered in Isolation from the Informal Economy

By | December 17, 2018

Top flight management consulting firms like McKinsey, BCG, Deloitte, PwC et al have been taking a good long look at the emergent African Consumer Market for a number of years now. McKinsey, in fact, has just released a book on the theme, authored by their leading Africa experts. All of them acknowledge the existence of… Read More »

What happens when the informal economy is not criminalized? : Case of Hargeisa, Somaliland

By | December 3, 2018

In Hargeisa, the role of the informal economy during and after conflict has been vital to conflict prevention and peace-building. A recently released report by Cardiff University and Somaliland research partners on their work related to the role of urban informal economies in conflict zones offers us perspective from another angle. A little thin on… Read More »

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

By | April 13, 2018

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… Read More »

Disrupting Predictions: How Stereotypes Distort Expectations

By | February 27, 2018

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… Read More »

Trading economics: a new theoretical system

By | February 3, 2018

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.… Read More »

A Unique Path to Development Seen for the Informal Economy

By | January 30, 2018

Just recently I stumbled over this slim book < 60 pages that analyzed existing data sources in order to frame an answer to the research question they posed: How did the informal economy―markets and the private sector―develop in the absence of legal and administrative frameworks to support it? Some of the most intriguing insights extracted… Read More »

UNDP’s 2017 Report: Universalism and Human Development

By | May 4, 2017

Though I’ve often deconstructed a variety of reports released by private sector actors like management consultancies, and public sector institutions like the UNCTAD or World Bank, I’ve never been moved to write about them here on the blog. Last night, using the twitter hashtag #UNDP2017, I went through their recently released 2017 issue of the… Read More »

Mobile Money’s next challenge: Enabling the development of a cashless ecosystem

By | March 1, 2016

The latest GSMA State of the Industry report on Mobile Money is out this month and the numbers look great in the developing world. The report frames the industry’s next challenge as the need to grow the platform beyond the basics of airtime purchase and person to person transfer. Here are my concerns, starting with… Read More »

Future scenarios for sub Saharan Africa’s opportunity and market

By | January 14, 2016

When you look at selected sub Saharan African markets from the perspective of being a micro-SME up here in Finland, you discover just attractive they can be. This is Team Finland’s futures based report on four most promising (defined by size, growth and ease of doing business) countries: Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa and Tanzania. Using… Read More »