Category Archives: Technology

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

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, Sub Saharan Africa | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Informal Industrial Ecosystem: An Introduction to REculture

This article introduces and explains some things I’ve been seeing in the informal industrial ecosystem in the developing world context for almost a decade now. First noticed in 2009, I then named it REculture, a neologism to capture the vast and complex ecosystem I saw in the revenue generating facility of recycle, replace, repurpose, reuse […]

Also posted in Articles on Design and Innovation, Base of the Pyramid, Biashara Economics, Business Models, Ecosystem, Emerging Futures, Emerging Markets, Frugality, global, Perspective, REculture, Research, Systems | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Designed in China, Made in Africa.

In Ethiopia, Transsion Holdings, a Chinese company, is manufacturing handsets costing as little as $10 in an industrial park outside Addis Ababa. Mobile phone models from Tecno, Infinix, and Itel brands, which all belong to Transsion, to be Made in Africa. Almost 13 years ago, in December of 2005, I wrote my first column for […]

Also posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Biashara Economics, China, Design, Distribution, Emerging Futures, Marketing, Mobile platform, Perspective | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

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 […]

Also posted in Analysis, Business Models, China, Consumer Behaviour, Culture, Design, Emerging Futures, global, India, Innovation Planning, Risk, Strategy, Systems | 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, Sub Saharan Africa, Systems, Value | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ecodesign, Ecolabels and the Environment: How Europe is redesigning our footprint on earth

What do chopped fresh green beans have in common with high definition flat screen TV’s? And how does this relate to design? In Europe, they’re both considered consumer products whose journey from raw material to shopwindow requires energy to process—emitting greenhouse gases that can have an adverse impact on the environment—and are considered to possess […]

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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, […]

Also posted in Africa, Afrique francophone, Airtime, Alternative currency, Banking, Biashara Economics, Cashless transactions, Commerce en ligne (e-commerce), Economy, Ecosystem, Emerging Markets, Kenya, Mobile platform, Nigeria, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Sub Saharan Africa, UEMOA | Tagged , | Leave a comment

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 | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment