Critical Mass in Mobile Money: Case of Marketing and Distribution & Math in Unpacking M-Pesa's Meteoric Rise

Creating a viable mobile money service is fundamentally a question of marketing (driving appropriate use cases tapping into clear customer pain points) and distribution (creating a sufficiently dense, liquid agent network). But success on both fronts requires getting to scale quickly: on the marketing side because payment solutions are only really useful if enough other people and businesses […]

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Scaling Internet-Based Startups in African Markets

We’ve all heard of the idea that entrepreneurs are people who see a ‘gap’ in the market and then create a product or service to address that gap. The implication is that there’s a ready market there that will snap up your product if you can address that need. However, this can be a challenge […]

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Bitcoin Crypto-currency and the opportunity for a truly Pan-Africa money revolution

NOT AN APRIL FOOLS JOKE: Imagine you are a freelance coder in Zimbabwe during the collapse of the financial banking system in the last decade. Your local currency is going through world record inflation meaning anything you earn locally is worthless. Any foreign currency you earn, say through accepting paypal transactions cannot be withdrawn to a […]

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E-commerce & Mobile Payments in Africa will not scale without Business Process Integration

E-Commerce (or M-Commerce) and Mobile Payments in Africa gets a lot of attention.  I get a number of mobile payments pitches every month, and you can imagine how tough my skin has become over the last 6 months. Especially as I have personally transitioned from a plastic world into a mobile money world- I carry […]

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Where Opportunities Lie in the African Mobile Space

This is the second in a 4-part series on Africa: The Present frontier.  Africa straddles two realities. One is underpinned by the belief that Africa is the next frontier and measures the continent’s progress against an expected trajectory and momentum modeled on that which developed economies have followed in the past. As the continent leapfrogged […]

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Systems Thinking Applied To Why M-Pesa’s Economic Impact and Wealth Creation Lessons Affects the Ecosystem and Not Just the Bottom of the Pyramid

Image via Wikipedia Niti Bhan is Founder at the Emerging Futures Lab. Niti integrates her multidisciplinary background in business, design and engineering with a global perspective to offer immediately actionable insights and strategic directions for successfully entering the challenging markets of the developing world. Much of the topic in today’s discussions on Africa especially here […]

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From Mobile Money to Mobile Finance: Effects of Mobile Money on household, community and national economics

Back in 2011,  Erik Hersman, Ken Banks & Rudy De Waele curated a presentation dubbed “Mobile Trends 2020 Africa“, a collaborative outlook. Essentially they sought the views of different people across the continent who are players in one way or another in mobile on what they thought the future of mobile in Africa held and what […]

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12 predictions for Africa Tech Scene in 2012

It has been a banner year for the Africa technology scene as the world begins to turn to the continent – the Economist Africa rising cover story article was for many, a big validation in the future opportunities as well as challenges for Africa. The best follow up post worth reading is by Professor Juma […]

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M-Pesa: Beyond the Buzz

Image by smagdali via Flickr This is a guest post by futurist and technologist Soud Hyder. I’ve been meaning to pen my thoughts on this over the better half of this year but time has nonetheless been very elusive. I happened to watch a video recording of a panel discussion about technology in Africa and […]

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Visa gets serious: Let the Africa Mobile Payment Wars Begin

A student at the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania was asked by a former lead engineer at paypal during a mentoring session almost a year ago “Why are you not using Amazon web services for cloud computing?”, he replied “I don’t have a credit card to set up the service”…. The student could […]

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