Tag Archives: history

Ibn Battuta in Timbuktu

An ongoing project has me immersed in the history of West African trade, and of course, contemporary accounts of regional cross border trade. Rather than not blog, here’s a link heavy post on Ibn Battuta‘s travels in the region back in the 14th Century. Click on the image for a larger version of the map. […]

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Trade in East Africa – A very short introduction to a very long history

Who were the pioneers who opened up the trade routes that criss cross the seas and deep into the interior from the ancient ports of Zanzibar and Mombasa? We don’t know who these intrepid sailors must have been, making their profit from rich Roman’s wives seeking Indian silks and spices, but the African continent’s eastern […]

Posted in Africa, China, Economy, global, India, Indigenous & Traditional, Informal & Flexible, Kenya, Mama Biashara, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Research, Sub Saharan Africa | Also tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Book Review: Adventures in Stationery by James Ward

I read this book in one sitting yesterday. Now I’m here writing on it. Any adult who’s furtively indulged in scented erasers, colourful gel pens or handmade paper, to be shoved secretly down the lowermost drawer in the desk will love this book. Pens and pencils, paperclips and pushpins. James Ward lovingly describes them all, […]

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China’s revival of ancient trading ties along the historic Silk Road

The South China Morning Post has a great infographic on a favourite topic of mine – the Great Silk Road. Some related posts: On the new Silk Route – Experiencing Africa’s informal trading network with China The African Diaspora in the Indian Ocean World

Posted in ASEAN, China, Culture, Ecosystem, global, Platforms, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, Systems | Also tagged , , | Leave a comment

The Letter writer: Yesterday’s social mediators

Letter writer Mr Thangaraju s/o Singaram, who is 85 years old and was from Tamil Nadu, India. Click to enlarge and read the stories of those who were lucky enough to have been educated when they migrated looking for work. They made their living helping others… as the Tamil letter writer Mr Thangaraju says, we […]

Posted in ASEAN, Base of the Pyramid, Culture, Indigenous & Traditional, Migrant worker, Perspective, Photography, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, urban | Also tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Vignettes from Singapore’s past: Independent Women

Look up more on Samsui women , pioneering globe trotting. independent employment for women. The Samsui women were a proud and independent lot. Prostitution, opium peddling and various vices were common with other women mired in poverty. However, Samsui women chose to be engaged in hard labour with little pay instead of being lured into […]

Posted in ASEAN, Base of the Pyramid, Culture, Frugality, Indigenous & Traditional, Migrant worker, Perspective, Photography, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Scarcity, urban | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

25 years of interacting with a computer

I’m still surprised that I’m the closing speaker at the 25th anniversary of the computer human interaction society’s conference in San Jose this year on May 3rd 2007. Personally, I don’t have a clue about how one goes about all this technical stuff, I’m just a user and probably classify as an internet addict. Though […]

Posted in Perspective, Systems, Technology | Also tagged , | Leave a comment

Why South Africa should not be the entry point to reach Africa’s emerging consumer markets

This post is about something I’ve been musing upon for some months now, ever since my 2011 project which took me around rural and small town Kenya visiting with a variety of cyber cafes. Since then, many other well respected Kenyan professionals that I’ve spoken with, either in person or online, have confirmed my suspicions […]

Posted in Africa, Analysis, Assumption filter, Business, Consumer Behaviour, Culture, Emerging Markets, Indigenous & Traditional, Innovation Planning, Marketing, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, South Africa, Sub Saharan Africa, User research | Also tagged | Leave a comment

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