Tag Archives: china

Will Direct Access to China-made Goods Disrupt Trade in West Africa’s Consumer Market?

The first e-commerce platform for direct trade of China made products has just been launched in the West African country of Togo. Squeezed together with the Benin Republic between the larger, and better known countries of Nigeria and Ghana, Togo is a small francophone country of around 7 million people. Per the article: “We want […]

Posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Afrique francophone, Analysis, Business, Business Models, Cashless transactions, China, Commerce en ligne (e-commerce), Consommateurs, Distribution, Emerging Markets, Ghana, Marchés africains, Marketing, Mobile platform, Perspective, Platforms, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, Technologie, Technology, UEMOA | Also tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Growth in Africa’s informal trade with China needs more formal diplomacy

China Southern Airlines announces 3 flights a week between Nairobi and Guangzhou. This can only be a signal of increasing informal cross border trade between the greater African continent and China’s manufacturing hub. Earlier, we’d noted the importance of this trade for Kenya Airways when they announced the opening of a ticket office in Nairobi’s […]

Posted in Africa, Business, Emerging Markets, Informal & Flexible, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Sub Saharan Africa | Also tagged , , , | Leave a comment

“Cheap is expensive.”

Mama said something very profound when I asked her which of those kerosene stoves she would purchase for herself, “Cheap is expensive,” she said, making a moue at the low cost imports jostling for space in her kitchengoods shop on the outskirts of Kibra. While the limitations of cash in hand may drive her customer’s […]

Posted in African Consumer Market, Base of the Pyramid, Business, Design, Ecosystem, Emerging Markets, Frugality, Kenya, Marketing, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Research, urban | Also tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Informal trade is big business in Africa

On my way to Nairobi  from Singapore a couple of years ago, I had the opportunity to observe first hand the phenomenon of informal trade between China and the African continent. The energy and excitement of the traders, laden with goods on their way back, was a palpable part of the inflight experience. Today, I […]

Posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Business, China, global, Informal & Flexible, Kenya, Marketing, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Research | Also tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Traveling on the New Silk Route with African traders to the Far East

The 21st century’s version of the old Silk Road that led caravans of traders from around the world to China and back is the flight path between the African continent and China. Bangkok Airport is one of these new oasis for caravaneers on the New Silk Route, where I caught the Kenyan Airways flight on […]

Posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, China, Ecosystem, Emerging Markets, global, Informal & Flexible, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Sub Saharan Africa, Systems | Also tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Informal Economy Problems: Chinese BoP in Africa

Market forces led to the increasing visibility of the street hawkers from China in the informal markets of Africa. Mostly lower income and uneducated, Chinese traders are rapidly becoming the bane of African markets, much like how cheap, Chinese goods disrupted the local informal trade in the early years of the century. An indepth look […]

Posted in African Consumer Market, Base of the Pyramid, Culture, Ecosystem, Emerging Markets, Migrant worker, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Sub Saharan Africa | Also tagged | Leave a comment

African Traders in Guangzhou, China: Routes, Profits, and Reasons

While digging around for information after my recent flight where I was offered an upclose and personal look at increasing informal trade between Africa and China, I came across this research paper by Yang Yang from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. A snippet from the introduction: Based on my fieldwork in Guangzhou, this paper […]

Posted in Africa, Assumption filter, Business Models, Cashless transactions, China, Consumer Behaviour, Culture, Economy, global, Informal & Flexible, Literature review, Migrant worker, Research, urban | Also tagged , , , | Leave a comment

On the New Silk Route

The 21st century’s version of the old Silk Road that led caravans of traders from around the world to China and back is the flight path between the African continent and China. Bangkok Airport is one of the oasis on the New Silk Route, where I caught the Kenyan Airways flight on its stopover between […]

Posted in Business, Emerging Markets, Marketing, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector | Also tagged , , , , , | 1 Response

Postcard from Kajiado: Cheap chinese phones and the internet

It wasn’t the first time we’d heard this from a cyber cafe operator, but apparently the biggest challenge to mobile phone users wishing to get online by using their spanking new phones was whether they were a cheap Chinese phone or a fake.  Up and down Kenya, or right in the heart of Masai country […]

Posted in Analysis, Cyber cafe series, Design, Ecosystem, Emerging Markets, Frugality, Kenya, Marketing, Mobile platform, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Projects and Reports, rural, Strategy, Technology, User research | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

We arrive in Shanghai

with the PowerKiss table. The team that took off from Helsinki on the evening of the 20th arrived early morning of the 21st of May and went directly to the Aalto Tongji Design Factory premises in Shanghai. Naturally, the first thing to be the built was the sauna on the roof – construction started in […]

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