Category Archives: East African Community

Applying the Systems Test to the Regional Informal Economic System

By | December 13, 2021

If the informal economic system, as seen in east Africa, is a system, and there are social practices at both the rural end of the interconnections and flows that comprise the functioning of the system, then taking a systems approach to food security would facilitate not only the increase in stocks i.e. the yield of… Read More »

Contextualizing design of remote interventions for local food systems resilience strategies in literature

By | May 26, 2021

I began my academic explorations on this blog a couple of months ago with a post on the power of sensemaking to transform the context and frame of reference, and thus provide a means for empowering one to make decisions for a decidedly unknown near future, where increased uncertainty and volatility have become the norm.… Read More »

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 »

Reflecting on Béné’s review of important concepts for local food systems resilience in context of systemic shocks

By | May 13, 2021

Béné’s (May, 2020) review last year of the most important concepts for thinking about resilience of local food systems, in context of the pandemic and other shocks provides frameworks for situating empirical data on the resilience strategies employed by informal economic actors in the last mile of Nairobi’s urban food system specializing in fresh produce… Read More »

Strategy Tools for Value Creation by Including Informal Entrepreneurial Ecosystems

By | May 8, 2021

There is a lot to unpack in the title of this post and not all of it might happen here today. Consider this the amuse bouche of my current thinking and writing, with the unexpected side effect of releasing the first faint sounds of music that’s been long hidden in my keyboard. The phrasing of… Read More »

Is a business inclusive if its doing business in rural Africa? Why modeling economic capacity matters

By | April 23, 2021

Whether a business thinks of itself as inclusive or not, it must consider the sustainability of revenue streams and their expected duration, prior to committing themselves to infrastructural investments in rural locations of the global South. Those that position themselves as inclusive businesses – regardless of size, must consider the value being created for their… Read More »

Looking back at 2020 from Mama Mboga’s eyes: The Pandemic as Natural Disaster

By | December 4, 2020

I am moved today by my work to look back at this agonizingly long year of separations and losses and delays for peoples around the world. Uncertainty and complexity have both increased, and economic volatility has become the order of the day, regardless of the development status of the region or location. More people in… Read More »

Closing the Circle: Can integration of the flows in the post consumption ecosystem of Global North & South aid resilient recovery for all?

By | November 30, 2020

It was in July 2009 that I first attempted to visualize the significantly large subsector of informal recycling that fed the informal industrial ecosystem with re-processed ‘raw’ materials for their manufacturing output. The first draft was based on what I’d seen and documented in The Philippines, and in India, during the fieldwork for the ‘prepaid… Read More »

Value Webs: Structure and Characteristics of the African Market Economy

By | December 29, 2019

When these markets are analyzed, moreover, they turn out to have a structure very unlike those of the West. ~ The End of Corporate Imperialism by CK Prahalad and Kenneth Lieberthal, HBR “Best of 1998″ When Prahalad and Lieberthal wrote this sentence over twenty years ago, they were referring to the huge consumer markets of… Read More »

Less Technologically Advanced Societies are not necessarily backward or primitive: Assume at your own risk

By | December 26, 2019

This illustration by Jeroen Meijer of Jam Visueldenken of Amsterdam, The Netherlands, was created for our team during a workshop to capture the insights from a feasibility study on agritech we had completed for the Dutch government’s sustainable agricultural value chain development at Wageningen University’s Economic Research unit back in mid 2013. I’m pulling it… Read More »