Category Archives: Sub Saharan Africa

From the Caterpillar to the Butterfly: Africa’s Mobile Boom Years Are Over, Here’s What Next

For the past 15 years, Africa watchers have been waiting for her mobile phone industry to reach a critical landmark – almost full saturation of the market. This milestone may be close at hand, as recent news and data show. In June 2018, Kenyan mobile subscriptions reached 98% penetration, a 13% jump over the previous […]

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

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 […]

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Chinese investments in African tech will transform the fintech landscape

A recent article brought to my attention this report on the pattern of funding experienced by fintech startups in East Africa and India with rather damning results. 90 percent of the capital invested by “Silicon Valley-style” investors went to startups, technically in East Africa, with one or more North American or European founders. These results […]

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Financial Patterns at the Last Mile of the Farm to Fork Value Chain

This value web illustrates the last mile of the farm to fork agricultural value chain in the state of Maharashtra, India. We’d mapped it during our project/s for the Dutch government back in mid 2013, where we’d introduced human centered design thinking for sustainable agricultural value chain development. Subsequently, I led a multidisciplinary team conducting […]

Also posted in African Consumer Market, Analysis, Biashara Economics, Business Models, Consumer Behaviour, Ecosystem, Emerging Markets, Frameworks, India, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Research, Rural Economy, South Asia, Strategy, Systems, User research | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rural Household Financial Management on Irregular Incomes

While all farms are not alike, and scale and variety and geography differs, the pattern of household financial management holds its fundamental logic across continents. As we saw previously, an experienced farmer tends to fall somewhere in between a salaried employee and an odd job labourer in their ability to predict with any reasonable degree […]

Also posted in Africa, Analysis, ASEAN, Biashara Economics, Business Models, Cashless transactions, Cattle, Economy, Ecosystem, Emerging Markets, Frameworks, Indigenous & Traditional, Informal & Flexible, Livestock, Mama Biashara, Perspective, Philipines, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Research, Rural Economy, Savings, Strategy, User research | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Mobile as a Post Industrial Platform for Social and Economic Development: Top 3 Trends in Africa

Just over a decade ago, in San Jose, California, I was invited to speak as the Closing Plenary for the CHI 2007 25th Anniversary Conference. The theme was “Reach Beyond”, as this was the 25th Anniversary conference of the Computer Human Interaction society, and as the closing plenary, I was tasked with articulating the vision […]

Also posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Analysis, Business Models, Design, Ecosystem, Emerging Futures, Emerging Markets, Innovation Planning, Marchés africains, Mobile platform, Perspective, Platforms, Strategy, Technology | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Stepping up human centered innovation planning for financial inclusion

Two Ugandan analysts from the Financial Sector Deepening (FSD) programme in Uganda write on the need for more human centered product development approaches in the design and delivery of financial services for rural Ugandans, especially the rural poor. One of their suggestions caught my attention in particular: (iii) Third, to increase the introduction of new […]

Also posted in Africa, Articles on Design and Innovation, Base of the Pyramid, Business Models, East African Community, Frameworks, Innovation Planning, Strategy | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The comparative global impact of Alibaba vs. Amazon

Alibaba Business School and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) brought 29 young entrepreneurs from 11 countries across Africa to the Alibaba campus in Hangzhou, China for the third eFounders Fellowship cohort. Chinese corporate soft power influence is production driven, not consumption focused. Alibaba, the e-commerce giant with digital payment tentacles, has […]

Also posted in Africa, Business Models, China, Commerce en ligne (e-commerce), Ecosystem, Emerging Markets, Innovation Planning, Marchés africains, Marketing, Mobile platform, Perspective, Platforms, Retail in Africa, Strategy, Systems, Technology, Value | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Primer on African Fintech: Myths, Misconceptions, Opportunities, Hotspots and Roadblocks

As we prepare to start work for our third African fintech client, I thought it was time to quickly and briefly introduce the opportunity space and clear up some misunderstandings around fintech in Africa. The first point is the common confusion between Fintech and financial inclusion. Investopedia’s definition of Fintech says financial inclusion, that is, […]

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Implications of Mobile Money Interoperability in Kenya?

Mobile money pioneer Kenya, has finally gone live this month with account to account interoperability between mobile money services. Neighbouring Tanzania pioneered interoperability between the mobile money services offered by local telcos with a soft launch back in 2014. Fears of cannibalization and zero sum scenarios were unfounded, as documented in an early evaluation report […]

Also posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Airtime, Alternative currency, Biashara Economics, Cashless transactions, East African Community, Kenya, Mobile platform, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Strategy, Tanzania, Technology | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment