Should technology solutions aimed at the developing world, seek to build on and enhance indigenous, activities — economic or otherwise — or, where necessary, is it okay just to replace and lose them?
By Ken Banks
In Ghana, it’s popularly known as Susu. In Cameroon, Tontines or Chilembe. And in South Africa, stokfel. Today, you’d most likely call it plain-old microfinance, the nearest term we have for it.
Age-old indigenous credit schemes have run perfectly well without much outside intervention for generations. Although, in our excitement to implement new technologies and solutions, we sometimes fail to recognize them.
Innovations such as mobile banking – great as they may be – are hailed as revolutionary without much consideration for what may have come before, or who the original innovators may have been.
Continue reading “Why Africans are not Just Passive Recipients of Technology”
The legacy that Uber will leave behind in Africa’s mobile first decentralized digital economic ecosystem is the ability of a simple algorithm to collate disparate sources of demand for goods or services, and then redistribute them in the most efficient and productive manner among suppliers.
By Niti Bhan,
As news of Uber’s possible decline and fall filters in, it behooves me to take a moment to ponder the implications for sub Saharan Africa’s digital economic ecosystem, particularly, the decentralized hybrid one emerging among the erstwhile informal sectors of the economy, such as motorcycle taxis like Safeboda and other on demand services.
While Uber itself has made waves in all the major urban metros across the African continent – Lagos, Nairobi, Johannesburg, etc – its inevitable end will leave a greater legacy than simply copycat taxi hailing services.
Continue reading “Why the Legacy of Uber’s App and Business Model in Africa will outlive the company”