Tag Archives: trade

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

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

Informal trade is big business in Africa

On my way to Nairobi  from Singapore a couple of years ago, I had the opportunity to observe first hand the phenomenon of informal trade between China and the African continent. The energy and excitement of the traders, laden with goods on their way back, was a palpable part of the inflight experience. Today, I […]

Posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Business, China, global, Informal & Flexible, Kenya, Marketing, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Research | Also tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Uncle Cooks with dal from Malawi in your desi kitchen

Indian brand Uncle Cook’s Malawi Toor Dal sold in Singapore My mother lives in Singapore and prefers to do her monthly shopping at the well known megamall Mustafa’s – frequented by South Asians from every region plus anyone looking for anything, all of which is available under one humongous roof. This packet of toor dal, […]

Posted in Africa, Assumption filter, Culture, Emerging Markets, global, Indigenous & Traditional, Perspective, Rural Economy, South Asia, Sub Saharan Africa | Also tagged , | Leave a comment

The ubiquitious rural computer

Bargaining for bananas in rural Rwandan market could not have been completed without the use of the mobile phone’s calculator function. While a combination of broken Swahili, Kinyarwanda and English was used by the customer and the shopkeeper, the transaction’s clarity was increased by piling goods on the table and then using the clear numerals […]

Posted in African Consumer Market, Consumer Behaviour, Mobile platform, Perspective, Platforms, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, rural, Rural Economy, Sub Saharan Africa, Technology, UCSD, User research, Value | Also tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

African Traders in Guangzhou, China: Routes, Profits, and Reasons

While digging around for information after my recent flight where I was offered an upclose and personal look at increasing informal trade between Africa and China, I came across this research paper by Yang Yang from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. A snippet from the introduction: Based on my fieldwork in Guangzhou, this paper […]

Posted in Africa, Assumption filter, Business Models, Cashless transactions, China, Consumer Behaviour, Culture, Economy, global, Informal & Flexible, Literature review, Migrant worker, Research, urban | Also tagged , , , | Leave a comment

On the New Silk Route

The 21st century’s version of the old Silk Road that led caravans of traders from around the world to China and back is the flight path between the African continent and China. Bangkok Airport is one of the oasis on the New Silk Route, where I caught the Kenyan Airways flight on its stopover between […]

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