Category Archives: Economy

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

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 […]

Also posted in Africa, Analysis, Biashara Economics, East African Community, Frameworks, Informal & Flexible, Kenya, Literature review, Perspective, waymarkers, Work in Progress | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Strategy Tools for Value Creation by Including Informal Entrepreneurial Ecosystems

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 […]

Also posted in Africa, Assumption filter, Base of the Pyramid, Design, East African Community, global, Literature review, Perspective, Research, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, Work in Progress | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Can Africa’s Informal Trade Ecosystems Provide Lessons for Navigating Uncertainty and Volatility in the post Pandemic World?

It is virtually impossible today to consider emerging markets without taking into consideration the vastly different operating environment of the majority of the countries in the global South. As the map, based on GSMA data, above shows clearly in bright red and blue, the clearest indication of this difference is in the way mobile telephony […]

Also posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Airtime, Ecosystem, Emerging Markets, Flexibility, Informal & Flexible, Mobile platform, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Strategy, Work in Progress | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

IMD Case Study – how Mpesa’s adoption transformed Safaricom

There is a case study on Safaricom that supports my viewpoint – that first one must consider the operating environment pragmatically prior to design and delivery of services for low income markets for a successful outcome that then drives the transformation of both the customer base and the corporation, giving rise to new ecosystems and […]

Also posted in Africa, Airtime, Banking, Base of the Pyramid, Biashara Economics, Cashless transactions, Consumer Behaviour, Design, Ecosystem, Kenya, Mobile platform, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, South Africa, Technology | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Mobile telephony and low income customers: Market conditions drove product development and pricing

Many who were around and as obsessed by the entry of mobile telephony in the global South during the early years of this century will recall this eyecatching graphic used to illustrate the announcement by Cameroonian researchers Victor and Irene Mbarika that can now be pointed to as the moment Africa’s mobile revolution was born: […]

Also posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Airtime, Assumption filter, Biashara Economics, Ecosystem, Emerging Markets, Literature review, Mobile platform, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Rural Economy, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, Work in Progress | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

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 […]

Also posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Base of the Pyramid, Biashara Economics, Business Models, Consumer Behaviour, Distribution, East African Community, Ecosystem, Emerging Markets, Income, Informal & Flexible, Literature review, Marketing, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, rural, Rural Economy, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, Systems, Technology, User research, Work in Progress | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

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 […]

Also posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Analysis, Base of the Pyramid, Biashara Economics, Consumer Behaviour, East African Community, Ecosystem, Frugality, Kenya, Mama Biashara, Marchés africains, Marketing, Perspective, Retail in Africa, Risk, Scarcity, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, urban, User research | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

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 […]

Also posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Base of the Pyramid, Biashara Economics, China, Consumer Behaviour, East African Community, Ecosystem, Frugality, Ghana, global, India, Informal & Flexible, jua kali, Kenya, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Research, Retail in Africa, Senegal, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, Systems, Tanzania, Technology, Uganda, User research | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Coronavirus side-effect: Transformation of China’s business models, logistics, and service delivery

Just the way the SARs epidemic kicked off China’s e-commerce revolution back in 2003, the ongoing COVID-19 containment strategies maybe triggering an even larger transformation of the Chinese economic ecosystem. I went looking today for the earliest signals of what might be underway. Rural China is facing the biggest challenge right now as the spring […]

Also posted in Analysis, Business Models, China, Commerce en ligne (e-commerce), Consumer Behaviour, Culture, Distribution, Ecosystem, Emerging Futures, Informal & Flexible, Innovation Planning, Marketing, Migrant worker, Mobile platform, perfect storm, Perspective, Platforms, Research, Rural Economy, Scarcity, Technology, urban | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Value Webs: Structure and Characteristics of the African Market Economy

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 […]

Also posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Analysis, Business Models, East African Community, Ecosystem, Frameworks, Mobile platform, Perspective, Platforms, Research, Sub Saharan Africa | Tagged , | Leave a comment

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