Tag Archives: 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 […]

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, Technology, UEMOA | Also tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Competitive Advantage & Customer Relationships: Lessons from Market Mummies of Ghana

How would you differentiate yourself in this informal retail market? Ghanaian market research guru Gerry van Dyke took a closer look at the market ‘mummies’ – Mama Biashara, as we call her – and their consumer marketing techniques in the “non-label environment”. His findings form an excellent foundation for understanding marketing and customer relationships in […]

Posted in African Consumer Market, Biashara Economics, Business, Consumer Behaviour, Culture, Ghana, Indigenous & Traditional, Informal & Flexible, Mama Biashara, Marketing, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, urban, User research | Also 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 […]

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, Technology, Value | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ibn Battuta in Timbuktu

An ongoing project has me immersed in the history of West African trade, and of course, contemporary accounts of regional cross border trade. Rather than not blog, here’s a link heavy post on Ibn Battuta‘s travels in the region back in the 14th Century. Click on the image for a larger version of the map. […]

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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, […]

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, Technology, UEMOA | Also tagged | Leave a comment

How informal financial services can lower the barriers to formal financial inclusion

Around 2 and a half years ago, I was on a short visit to Abidjan, the capital of Cote D’Ivoire as a guest of the African Development Bank. They were holding an innovation weekend for young women and men in the Francophone West African region who were interested in becoming entrepreneurs. David O. Capo Chichi, […]

Posted in Africa, Afrique francophone, Analysis, Banking, Base of the Pyramid, Biashara Economics, Business Models, Consumer Behaviour, Design, Flexibility, Income, Indigenous & Traditional, Informal & Flexible, Innovation Planning, Mama Biashara, Marchés africains, Marketing, Mobile platform, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Research, Retail in Africa, Savings, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, UEMOA | Also tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Connectivity, Communication, and Commerce: The 3 Cs of Africa’s Smartphone Led Future

Recent headlines touted the decline in marketshare being seen by smartphones on the African continent, and the concurrent increase in sales of basic devices. Yet a closer look shows that this shift might only be numerical due to the opening of new markets in heavily populated DR Congo and Ethiopia – first time buyers are […]

Posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Airtime, Analysis, Assumption filter, Business, Business Models, Commerce en ligne (e-commerce), Consumer Behaviour, Emerging Markets, Informal & Flexible, Marchés africains, Marketing, Mobile platform, Perspective, Platforms, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, Technology | Also tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The Resilience of Innovation under Conditions of Scarcity

Innovating beyond the traditional tin lantern – a simple wick attached to the can – Kouassi Bafounga cuts shapes from tin cans and fixes them together with glass, string and a little petrol to produce storm-proof lanterns. Last year, Bafounga was one of 11 winners in a “Fab Lab” innovation competition run by the French […]

Posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Base of the Pyramid, Biashara Economics, Consommateurs, Design, Frugality, Innovation Planning, jua kali, Marchés africains, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Sub Saharan Africa, Systems, Technology | Also tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Elements of Handpainted Graphic Design and Signage

The first time I went to Africa, my research companion, a South African designer, very apologetically mentioned the use of handwritten signage in his country. We were there on behalf of Samsung, and our global design research team included members from Seoul, Singapore, and Pretoria. “Its all rather primitive over here” he said, but I […]

Posted in Africa, Biashara Economics, Culture, Design, Marchés africains, Marketing, Perspective, Retail in Africa | Also tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The Strategic Entry of China’s Transsion into the Vacuum Left by Nokia in Africa

If you’re outside Africa, you’ve never heard of them before, but a mobile phone brand called Tecno has been painting Kenya blue ever since I started fulltime fieldwork there in late 2011. It was in Mombasa that I first noticed the name and wondered what it was about. Over the years, I saw the line […]

Posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Afrique francophone, Business, China, Commerce en ligne (e-commerce), Consumer Behaviour, Design, Emerging Markets, Innovation Planning, Marchés africains, Marketing, Mobile platform, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Retail in Africa, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, Technology, Value | Also tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment