Category Archives: Retail in Africa

How informal financial services can lower the barriers to formal financial inclusion

Around 2 and a half years ago, I was on a short visit to Abidjan, the capital of Cote D’Ivoire as a guest of the African Development Bank. They were holding an innovation weekend for young women and men in the Francophone West African region who were interested in becoming entrepreneurs. David O. Capo Chichi, […]

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Why does the prepaid model work so well and what are the lessons for business model innovation?

Increasingly, employment is becoming ad hoc and flexible. The gig economy and the informal sector share a common characteristic of incomes which are irregular and unpredictable, unlike the timely wages characteristic of formal employment. Both budgeting and planning thus become a challenge when there’s no predictable paycheck to rely on. Expenses are managed against cash […]

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Elements of Handpainted Graphic Design and Signage

The first time I went to Africa, my research companion, a South African designer, very apologetically mentioned the use of handwritten signage in his country. We were there on behalf of Samsung, and our global design research team included members from Seoul, Singapore, and Pretoria. “Its all rather primitive over here” he said, but I […]

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Why the African Consumer Market is NOT the same as the African Middle Class

The biggest challenge faced by consumer facing companies looking at the African Consumer Market is the age old positioning of the “middle class” as the ideal target audience. This middle class is segmented by the same attributes as the original middle classes who formed the consumer markets of the developed world. This is the outside […]

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The Strategic Entry of China’s Transsion into the Vacuum Left by Nokia in Africa

If you’re outside Africa, you’ve never heard of them before, but a mobile phone brand called Tecno has been painting Kenya blue ever since I started fulltime fieldwork there in late 2011. It was in Mombasa that I first noticed the name and wondered what it was about. Over the years, I saw the line […]

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Zambia’s inclusive approach to various sectors in the informal economy is worth noting

The Zambian government most recently announced that they would provide certificates to illegal (artisanal) miners in order to recognize and formalize their activities. In addition, they were being encouraged to form cooperatives – a legally recognized organizational structure – that would permit further benefits to this informal sector. Compared to the challenges Ghana is facing […]

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Household energy consumption behaviour in East Africa: Lighting & Conclusion (3 of 3 Parts)

  The following is extracted from a six month study during 2012 on household energy consumption behaviour in rural Kenya and Rwanda among the lower income demographic, that led to an understanding of some of barriers hampering the sales of client’s solar products in this market. This 3rd and final part will focus on fuel […]

Also posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Analysis, Base of the Pyramid, Biashara Economics, Business Models, Consumer Behaviour, Design, Economy, Ecosystem, Frugality, Indigenous & Traditional, Informal & Flexible, jua kali, Kenya, Marchés africains, Marketing, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Research, Rural Economy, Scarcity, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, Technology, User research | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Response

Introduction to rural household energy consumption behaviour in East Africa (1 of 3 parts)

The following is extracted from a six month study during 2012 on household energy consumption behaviour in rural Kenya and Rwanda among the lower income demographic, that led to an understanding of some of barriers hampering the sales of client’s solar products in this market. This first part is an overview of household financial management […]

Also posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Analysis, Biashara Economics, Business Models, Consumer Behaviour, Culture, Design, East African Community, Frugality, Informal & Flexible, Innovation Planning, jua kali, Kenya, Marketing, Mobile platform, Perspective, Platforms, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Projects and Reports, Research, rural, Rural Economy, Scarcity, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, Systems, Technology, UCSD, User research | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Response

Some Highlights from Reviewing the African Consumer Market 2014-2017

Recently I was reminded of the cover story in the Africapitalist magazine published back in 2014 on the theme of the true size of the African Consumer market, that is, the hidden and untapped purchasing power embedded in the continent’s vast informal and unrecorded sector. Today I’ll start by reviewing some of the consumer trends, […]

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Women’s Entrepreneurship Driving Emerging Future in Africa

We’ve been silent of late on this blog due to work deadlines and end of the year paperwork, however this will change. I’ve promised to write one blog post every day – even if its a few lines – for the next 30 days. I realized it was habit and discipline that was missing, not […]

Also posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Afrique francophone, Business, Compétitivité, Consommateurs, Consumer Behaviour, Design, Emerging Markets, Fashionomics, Indigenous & Traditional, Informal & Flexible, Innovation Planning, Mama Biashara, Marchés africains, Mobile platform, Perspective, Platforms, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Produits de grande consommation (FMCG), Sub Saharan Africa | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment