Tag Archives: cross border trade

The African Continental Free Trade Agreement and the Age of Interoperability

By | July 15, 2019

I have been writing on cross border mobile financial flows across the African continent since early 2015, when the partnerships and agreements made between African telcos to provide interoperability between their mobile money services first began to hit the headlines. In my last post back in August 2016, I asked if Cross Border Mobile Money… Read More »

West Africa’s incipient mobile platform boom will transform the ECOWAS economy

By | April 13, 2018

While East Africa has tended to grab the headlines as the mover and shaker in mobile platform innovation, there’s an imminent boom due to emerge in West Africa. The GSMA’s most recent report on the West African mobile ecosystem contains all the signals of this happening within the next 3 or so years. Even in… Read More »

Not Disaggregating the Informal Economy Properly Hinders Development Efforts

By | April 12, 2017

Michael Kimani (@pesa_africa) brought this prize winning essay on the importance of understanding the informal economy to my attention, together with a snippet of text from our last inception report highlighting a major oversight that we believe is of critical importance. Mike took issue on Twitter with the author’s very first sentence introducing his work… Read More »

Will Cross Border Mobile Money Boost intra African Trade and Regional Integration?

By | August 13, 2016

Over the past 18 months, since I started tracking the spread of cross border mobile money payments across the African continent, there has been visible progress in leaps and bounds, as documented by the GSMA. In fact, back then, I’d written: Top down reportage on banking and interoperability seems to focus only on the customer’s… Read More »

Borderland Biashara: Mapping the Cross Border, National and Regional Trade in the East African Informal Economy

By | June 10, 2016

And, we’re back! With apologies for the long delay in posting on the blog, we’d been busy wrapping up our groundbreaking design research for development programming project for Trade Mark East Africa this past month or so. As you can imagine, the last few weeks of any project suck all the bandwidth out and leave… Read More »

Cross-border mobile financial services in Africa are going to be huge

By | December 22, 2015

Analysis Mason has an excellent article on the next big thing in mobile money across the African continent – cross border payments. I covered the emergence of these services, through regional operators as well as partnerships based on interoperability earlier. This is what I asked for: Mapping it all I’d love it if someone could… Read More »

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

By | April 15, 2015

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… Read More »

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

By | March 18, 2013

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… Read More »