Category Archives: Technology

Mobile Phones and the Informal Economy

Over the past week or so, I’ve been scanning literature from African researchers on the broad theme of mobile phones and the informal economy. Here are some of my top findings: The Mobile Phone is a Business Tool and Income Generator – Regardless of the region (and cultural context) of study –  Cameroon or Cote […]

Also posted in Africa, Airtime, Banking, Cashless transactions, Consumer Behaviour, Ecosystem, Flexibility, Income, Literature review, Mobile platform, perfect storm, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Sub Saharan Africa | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Emergence of a decentralized digital economy? Snippets from Nigeria and Kenya

Continuing the conversation from the recent posts on app enabled demand redistribution as well as digital platforms being used by informal sector economic actors to boost their own productivity and efficiency, I thought to share snippets from these two recent articles I just came across, as cases in point. From Nigeria, West Africa: How WhatsApp […]

Also posted in African Consumer Market, Business, Business Models, Emerging Futures, Kenya, Marketing, Mobile platform, Nigeria, Perspective, Platforms, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Sub Saharan Africa, Systems | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lessons from African Fintech for the Gig Economy

Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to share my research on the past decade of mobile ecosystem development across the African continent with Dr. Antti Saarnio, founder of Zippie; co-founder of Jolla (developers of the Sailfish OS, among other things). “We want to test our product first and foremost in Africa because there is […]

Also posted in Africa, Airtime, Alternative currency, Analysis, Assumption filter, Banking, Base of the Pyramid, Biashara Economics, Business Models, Cashless transactions, Commerce en ligne (e-commerce), Consumer Behaviour, Economy, Ecosystem, Emerging Futures, Emerging Markets, Flexibility, Frameworks, Income, Informal & Flexible, Kenya, Loans, Mobile platform, Perspective, Philipines, Platforms, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Research, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, Systems | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Response

The Quiet Digital Revolution: Indigenous Innovation in Intelligent Information Systems

Big data, machine learning, and artificial intelligence are the buzzwords of the day, along with the obligatory blockchain and bitcoin. Much is being written on their potential to solve Africa’s problems, or India’s challenges. In turn, each has been promoted as the next big thing to address poverty and its discontents. Yet, we note, that […]

Also posted in Assumption filter, Cattle, Design, Ecosystem, India, Innovation Planning, Kenya, Livestock, Perspective, Research, rural, Rural Economy, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, Systems, User research | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

All Hail the Business Model Behind the Global Gig Economy

The first world’s ardent embrace of the gig economy is already over. Buyer’s remorse is setting in, even though it may have helped global unemployment hit its lowest point in forty years. What will remain, however, is its impact on the usually overlooked Rest of the World, where the ability of an app to drive […]

Also posted in Biashara Economics, Business Models, Cashless transactions, Commerce en ligne (e-commerce), Consumer Behaviour, Culture, Emerging Markets, Flexibility, Frameworks, Income, Informal & Flexible, Mobile platform, Perspective, Platforms, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Systems | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Africa’s Delivery On Demand Apps are Transforming the Informal Economy

When women in rural Rwanda can buy sanitary napkins and contraceptives, on demand, simply by pushing a few buttons on their phones, you know the digital informal economy is here to stay. And, its not just imported apps and social enterprises pushing this digital commercial activity. The “uberization” of the African informal economy is well […]

Also posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Biashara Economics, Business Models, Commerce en ligne (e-commerce), Consommateurs, Consumer Behaviour, Distribution, Ecosystem, Emerging Futures, Flexibility, Frameworks, Informal & Flexible, Innovation Planning, Mama Biashara, Marchés africains, Marketing, Mobile platform, Perspective, Platforms, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Produits de grande consommation (FMCG), Retail in Africa, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, Value | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

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 […]

Also posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Afrique francophone, Airtime, Emerging Markets, Ghana, global, Informal & Flexible, Kenya, Marchés africains, Marketing, Mobile platform, Nigeria, Perspective, Platforms, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Sub Saharan Africa, Systems, UEMOA | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pondering India’s Cashless Future

Chhotu here accepts digital currency payments via the mobile platform on a daily basis. His QR code is prominently displayed upfront next to the bottles of sauce, and a sticker displays the icons of all the payment apps acceptable to his Bhim app. The Bhim system, launched by the Government of India, is a godsend […]

Also posted in Airtime, Alternative currency, Analysis, Banking, Biashara Economics, Business Models, Cashless transactions, Consumer Behaviour, Culture, Economy, Ecosystem, Emerging Markets, Flexibility, India, Informal & Flexible, Mobile platform, Perspective, Platforms, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, South Asia, Strategy, urban | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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 […]

Also posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Airtime, Alternative currency, Analysis, Assumption filter, Banking, Business, Business Models, Cashless transactions, China, Commerce en ligne (e-commerce), Compétitivité, Economy, Ecosystem, Emerging Markets, Flexibility, Loans, Marchés africains, Marketing, Mobile platform, Perspective, Platforms, Risk, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, Systems, Value | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment