Category Archives: Assumption filter

Tips on managing African fake news articles and websites

By | December 27, 2018

Today, I was faced with the challenge of having to choose between two conflicting quotes attributed to the same spokesperson, during the same press conference. Attempting to uncover an authoritative source for the content in order to discern which of the two was authentic led me down a rabbit hole of fake news sites allegedly… Read More »

Lessons from African Fintech for the Gig Economy

By | December 20, 2018

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… Read More »

Why the Potential of the African Consumer Market Cannot be Considered in Isolation from the Informal Economy

By | December 17, 2018

Top flight management consulting firms like McKinsey, BCG, Deloitte, PwC et al have been taking a good long look at the emergent African Consumer Market for a number of years now. McKinsey, in fact, has just released a book on the theme, authored by their leading Africa experts. All of them acknowledge the existence of… Read More »

The Quiet Digital Revolution: Indigenous Innovation in Intelligent Information Systems

By | December 13, 2018

Big data, machine learning, and artificial intelligence are the buzzwords of the day, along with the obligatory blockchain and bitcoin. Much is being written on their potential to solve Africa’s problems, or India’s challenges. In turn, each has been promoted as the next big thing to address poverty and its discontents. Yet, we note, that… Read More »

Lessons from the Informal Economy: Managing on Irregular Payments in the Gig Economy

By | November 3, 2018

Last week, an unusual report was released in Great Britain. Lloyds Banking Group (LBG), together with the Resolution Foundation, addressed the question of earnings volatility in the UK, a first for a developed country with a formal economy. Their research and analysis made use of anonymised transaction data from over seven million LBG accounts. That… Read More »

Chinese investments in African tech will transform the fintech landscape

By | October 20, 2018

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… Read More »

Disrupting Predictions: How Stereotypes Distort Expectations

By | February 27, 2018

This chart embodies some stereotypical thinking regarding the high growth opportunities now available in low income and lower middle income countries. Its from the just released World Development Report 2019’s concept note on the theme “The Changing Nature of Work”. Where the cognitive dissonance lies is in the accompanying text which highlights the transformational capacity… Read More »

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

By | February 25, 2018

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… Read More »

Lessons for development from the demand driven investment strategies of the informal sector

By | February 19, 2018

This shopkeeper in Laare, Kenya provided me with deep insight on how investments in expensive inventory are managed in a heavily cash based economy. He runs a consumer electronics store stocking everything from solar panels, music systems, spare parts and batteries, through to mobile phones and accessories. His purchasing decisions are based on visible consumer… Read More »