Tag Archives: rural africa

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

By | January 27, 2018

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… Read More »

Lowering the barriers to effective communication is the key to sustainable development

By | August 21, 2016

One of the challenges that we discovered during our multistakeholder workshop in The Hague a few years ago was that people tended to fall back on their expertise when faced with the discomfort of empathizing with farmer’s needs. Particularly so when the farmers in question were from Africa, and not from their own regions. Our… Read More »

Priorities for an internet on the mobile platform for Africa’s prepaid economy

By | December 4, 2012

Something that Gustav Praekelt said in the news about access to no-cost information being a basic human right at the Mobile Web Africa caught my attention. There is still a gaping void in services accessible to and customized for the needs of the mass majority of mobile phone owners in the world. The next billion… Read More »

Deconstructing the solar lighting market hype

By | September 2, 2012

Nairobi solar lantern shop, July 12th 2012 The Economist’s Q3 2012 Technology Quarterly has a paean on the promise of solar lanterns replacing nasty, stinky kerosene once and for all. Of note is the careful mention of MKopa, a Nairobi based startup founded by Nick Hughes of MPesa fame, until now conducting pilot tests in… Read More »

Hub and spoke model for new product introductions

By | August 2, 2012

Nairobi’s Central Business District – Luthuli Avenue is the heart of the electronics and consumer appliance trade for Kenya. Chinese businessmen can be seen mingling with Somali traders and wholesalers come from all over the country to see “what’s new”. I saw recently introduced solar powered refrigerators (just 60W) on display, direct from China but… Read More »

Mobile phones, social media and the Maasai: Time to refresh the image

By | April 9, 2012

At first, I did not know what these two young men were upto during an enforced halt on our way to Kisii at the end of February this year. The road had been blocked by the local community demonstrating about land rights just a few kilometres outside of Narok, in the heart of Maasailand and… Read More »

What does it mean when Chinese manufacturers enter the social enterprise space?

By | March 7, 2012

“The market has been destroyed for solar” or so I heard today from someone who prefers to stay anonymous but I’d hazard a guess knows a fair bit about what is happening on the ground in East Africa from the point of view of social enterprises. Interestingly, I’d brought up the question of whether “It… Read More »

How do you compete in a market where charity distorts pricing?

By | December 24, 2011

Strategy guru Michael Porter’s 5 forces framework is quite well known to anyone attempting to assess or analyze the landscape of an operating environment for an industry or organization. Increasingly, since I’ve begun working out of Sub Sahara I’ve been sensing the challenge of a 6th force – one that is overlooked when consumer markets… Read More »

The challenge of assessing the size of an emerging market opportunity

By | September 17, 2011

Untapped opportunities in the developing world bring with them their own challenges for businesses seeking to invest in them.  An interesting one is that of assessing the market size and value, particularly for the lower income demographic that operates primarily in the informal economy (often called the BoP or bottom of the pyramid).  This snippet… Read More »