Category Archives: Collection

2017 is the Year Mobile Service Operators Became Banks

By | November 4, 2017

South African business headlines read MTN takes on Vodacom for title of Africa’s biggest digital bank and usher in a whole new era for banking and finance on the mobile platform. Having watched this space impatiently for more than a decade, seeing this was a landmark worth noting. The number of mobile-money customers in the… Read More »

Work in Progress: An Introduction to the Informal Economy’s Commercial Environment

By | July 27, 2017

This topic is being shared in the form of a collection of essays on the following themes, each becoming hyperlinked on completion. Do bookmark this page for regular updates. Introduction to Background and Context, some caveats apply Fundamental Elements of Informal Sector Commercial Activity Rural household financial management as a foundation Linkages and Networks span… Read More »

Livestock as movable assets and financial collateral: Collected insights

By | May 11, 2017

Following in the footsteps of Zimbabwe, Kenya has just passed a law on the use of movable assets as collateral for loans. President Uhuru Kenyatta has signed into law a Bill allowing borrowers to use household goods, crops, live animals and even intellectual property to secure commercial loans in a move aimed at boosting access… Read More »

Analysis of the mobile phone’s impact on cash flows and transactions in the informal sector

By | October 21, 2016

As we saw, Mrs Chimphamba needs to juggle time and money as part of her household financial management in order to ensure that expenses can be met by income. We also saw that the mobile phone was made viable and feasible by the availability of the prepaid business model that gave her full control over… Read More »

Top 5 African Trending Topics in 2015

By | December 31, 2015

Every day I scan the African business news, and share selected articles on Twitter and Tumblr. Fascinating hobby aside, it gives me a finger on the pulse of stories swirling around the infowebs. On the last day of the calender year, it’s de rigeur to sit oneself down and attempt to cluster these swirling motes… Read More »

Emerging Futures: Opportunities in Digital Africa

By | February 24, 2014

In January 2011, my friend Dirk Knemeyer, Founder of Involution Studios, an internationally reknowned app design studio, suggested I write a series of articles on the imminent opportunities in technology and design emerging across the African continent. That first article in the series “Opportunities in Digital Africa” was published on 22nd February 2011. Below, I’ll… Read More »

Reflecting on this blog’s genesis after 5 years

By | August 20, 2013

I started this blog in late December 2008, in earnest and every day during the first prototype fieldwork for The Prepaid Economy project, one of the iBoP Asia Project’s first batch of Small Grant winners from the ASEAN region. For the first 5 months of 2009, this blog was on the mainpage of my website… Read More »

Lessons from working with Social Enterprises

By | April 26, 2012

Aisle Manager at Nakumatt By the end of my most recent project, I was convinced that the label “Bottom of the Pyramid” (or Base of the Pyramid) also known as “the BoP” was one of the biggest barriers for organizations seeking to serve these emerging consumer markets in the informal economies of the developing world.… Read More »

iBoP Asia’s Frontiers: Charting the future of S&T innovation for the poor in Southeast Asia

By | February 6, 2010

A bicycle-powered paper shredder that can be used to make environment-friendly charcoal. A new way of processing waste cooking oil that turns it into cheap fuel for vehicles. A web-based system that allows small-scale fishers to access marine data using mobile phones. These are just some of the promising devices that will be showcased, along… Read More »