Category Archives: Airtime

Kenya’s informal economy clambering on to the information highway through their smartphones

Sometimes cliches are the only way to communicate the sheer breadth and depth of the transformation now undergoing in the informal sectors, such as trade and light manufacturing, thanks to affordable smartphones and data bundles. I began calling it digital and not online yesterday when we discovered many people didn’t recognize the word “online” in […]

Also posted in Africa, Biashara Economics, Commerce en ligne (e-commerce), Consumer Behaviour, Emerging Futures, Informal & Flexible, Innovation Planning, jua kali, Kenya, Mama Biashara, Marketing, Mobile platform, Perspective, Platforms, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Research, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, Technology, User research | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Mobile Phones and the Informal Economy

Over the past week or so, I’ve been scanning literature from African researchers on the broad theme of mobile phones and the informal economy. Here are some of my top findings: The Mobile Phone is a Business Tool and Income Generator – Regardless of the region (and cultural context) of study –  Cameroon or Cote […]

Also posted in Africa, Banking, Cashless transactions, Consumer Behaviour, Ecosystem, Flexibility, Income, Literature review, Mobile platform, perfect storm, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Sub Saharan Africa, Technology | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lessons from African Fintech for the Gig Economy

Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to share my research on the past decade of mobile ecosystem development across the African continent with Dr. Antti Saarnio, founder of Zippie; co-founder of Jolla (developers of the Sailfish OS, among other things). “We want to test our product first and foremost in Africa because there is […]

Also posted in Africa, Alternative currency, Analysis, Assumption filter, Banking, Base of the Pyramid, Biashara Economics, Business Models, Cashless transactions, Commerce en ligne (e-commerce), Consumer Behaviour, Economy, Ecosystem, Emerging Futures, Emerging Markets, Flexibility, Frameworks, Income, Informal & Flexible, Kenya, Loans, Mobile platform, Perspective, Philipines, Platforms, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Research, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, Systems, Technology | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Response

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 […]

Also posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Afrique francophone, 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 | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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 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, Technology, 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, 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, Technology, Value | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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, 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 | 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, Alternative currency, Biashara Economics, Cashless transactions, East African Community, Kenya, Mobile platform, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Strategy, Tanzania, Technology | 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 […]

Also posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, 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 | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

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