Tag Archives: East Africa

Will Africans lead innovation in resilience tech for sustainable lifestyles on a shoestring?

By | May 14, 2021

A Tanzanian startup offering a smart hydroponics kit for urban farming in limited spaces that costs around $500. Reading about the system yesterday – invented by founders Praygod Japhet and Dickson Mallya – I was moved to create a hashtag #resiliencetech on Twitter. Something about the topic made me feel that I should be keeping… Read More »

Introduction to rural household energy consumption behaviour in East Africa (1 of 3 parts)

By | January 27, 2018

The following is extracted from a six month study during 2012 on household energy consumption behaviour in rural Kenya and Rwanda among the lower income demographic, that led to an understanding of some of barriers hampering the sales of client’s solar products in this market. This first part is an overview of household financial management… Read More »

Cognitive dissonance and smartphones in East Africa

By | June 14, 2017

Its jarring to see high level INGO messaging still talking about “ICT4D” not doing it’s part to bring about technology driven transformation in rural or informal sector Africa when every other sign from the continent points to a mainstreaming of ICT that goes beyond the individual’s capacity to tweet. The kanga is a traditional item… Read More »

How the African movable assets bill can unleash innovation opportunities for the rural economy

By | May 13, 2017

As Kenya joins Zambia and Zimbabwe in ratifying a Movable Property Security Rights Act, there’s a sense that the floodgates to innovation in access to finance might be taking place in rural Africa, south of the Sahara and north of South Africa. Kenya’s law also goes beyond the cows and goats and allows a borrower… Read More »

Detailed breakdown of Uber’s business model in Kenya puts spotlight on weaknesses

By | October 25, 2016

Latiff Cherono has just published an indepth analysis of what exactly it takes for an Uber driver in Nairobi to cover the cost of doing business. Here’s a snippet, In this post, I try to understand the root cause of the disconnect between how the customer (who defines the value), Uber (the service that controls… 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 »

Trade in East Africa – A very short introduction to a very long history

By | December 4, 2015

Who were the pioneers who opened up the trade routes that criss cross the seas and deep into the interior from the ancient ports of Zanzibar and Mombasa? We don’t know who these intrepid sailors must have been, making their profit from rich Roman’s wives seeking Indian silks and spices, but the African continent’s eastern… Read More »

Reflecting on the mobile internet in Kenya

By | October 23, 2011

After the past three weeks of focusing on cyber cafes and internet access in urban and rural Kenya, we’ve been questioning the value of the “mobile internet” statistics provided by operators to the CCK. Muchiri pointed out that since most of our feedback seemed to revolve more around SIM operated routers installed by cybers, or… Read More »

Insights from the South African low income market (BoP) opportunity

By | September 4, 2011

I came across this article from South Africa titled “Why companies should care about the low-income market” which has some excellent insights about this demographic and opportunity space. Also called the ‘BoP or Bottom of the Pyramid’, it is the mass majority segment in the emerging middle class in Sub Sahara today (per recent reports.)… Read More »

Semacraft Announces Africa Innovation Tour June 2011

By | April 13, 2011

As Africa gets connected to the world wide web, there is an increasing hunger for relevant content and services in local languages. This has led to the rise of developer communities congregating in openly shared community spaces where new applications, software and technology can be nurtured and incubated. The mobile phone is the platform of… Read More »