Category Archives: Emerging Futures

Transition to Student Life

I’ve been too busy to blog since August began, transitioning into the spaces where I will be a fulltime student once more, after 30 years. Now that the rush of registration and photography and getting all the keycards sorted is over, my time is my own again and I can write. You can see my […]

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The Perfect Storm: A Continent, A Phone, A Business Model

In the mid 1990s, in a small city in northern Finland, engineers and designers began work on the product development of a mobile phone that would eventually become one of the best selling Nokia models ever – the 3310, released in Europe and the Far East in the year 2000. The continent of Africa was […]

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The African Continental Free Trade Agreement and the Age of Interoperability

I have been writing on cross border mobile financial flows across the African continent since early 2015, when the partnerships and agreements made between African telcos to provide interoperability between their mobile money services first began to hit the headlines. In my last post back in August 2016, I asked if Cross Border Mobile Money […]

Also posted in Africa, Afrique francophone, Airtime, Alternative currency, Analysis, Assumption filter, Banking, Base of the Pyramid, Biashara Economics, Business Models, Cashless transactions, Commerce en ligne (e-commerce), Economy, Ecosystem, Ghana, Income, Informal & Flexible, Kenya, Mobile platform, Perspective, Platforms, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Research, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, Systems, Technology, UEMOA | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Response

Book Review: Stuffed and Starved by Raj Patel

Although the book I’ll be reviewing today was first published in the year 2007, I only came upon it this year in a used bookstore. Raj Patel’s Stuffed and Starved lays bare the innards of the world’s food distribution systems and the market dominance of the megacorps in the business. The Guardian’s original review captures […]

Also posted in Africa, ASEAN, Base of the Pyramid, Biashara Economics, Book Reviews, Economy, Ecosystem, Indigenous & Traditional, Informal & Flexible, Migrant worker, Perspective, Produits de grande consommation (FMCG), Retail in Africa, rural, Rural Economy, South Asia, Sub Saharan Africa | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

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, Airtime, Biashara Economics, Commerce en ligne (e-commerce), Consumer Behaviour, 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

Emergence of a decentralized digital economy? Snippets from Nigeria and Kenya

Continuing the conversation from the recent posts on app enabled demand redistribution as well as digital platforms being used by informal sector economic actors to boost their own productivity and efficiency, I thought to share snippets from these two recent articles I just came across, as cases in point. From Nigeria, West Africa: How WhatsApp […]

Also posted in African Consumer Market, Business, Business Models, Kenya, Marketing, Mobile platform, Nigeria, Perspective, Platforms, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Sub Saharan Africa, Systems, 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 […]

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Africa’s Delivery On Demand Apps are Transforming the Informal Economy

When women in rural Rwanda can buy sanitary napkins and contraceptives, on demand, simply by pushing a few buttons on their phones, you know the digital informal economy is here to stay. And, its not just imported apps and social enterprises pushing this digital commercial activity. The “uberization” of the African informal economy is well […]

Also posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Biashara Economics, Business Models, Commerce en ligne (e-commerce), Consommateurs, Consumer Behaviour, Distribution, Ecosystem, Flexibility, Frameworks, Informal & Flexible, Innovation Planning, Mama Biashara, Marchés africains, Marketing, Mobile platform, Perspective, Platforms, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Produits de grande consommation (FMCG), Retail in Africa, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, Technology, Value | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

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 […]

Also posted in Assumption filter, Banking, Biashara Economics, Business, Economy, Ecosystem, Frameworks, global, Innovation Planning, Perspective, Platforms, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Research, Strategy, Systems | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment