30 posts tagged market
30 posts tagged market
Permanent market hall in rural Rwanda.
As you can see, its not polite to take people’s photographs, though sometimes it might happen by accident. In which case, you apologise profusely.
Many folks in the rural areas I’ve visited are sick and tired of foreigners taking photographs of them only to discover they’re the poster child for some NGO’s website or brochure, representing the face of “poverty stricken, starving, poor Africans”. Without their consent with no compensation. More so in Rwanda, so my photography was very limited.
Most of the non food items for sale are either from China or imported from neighbouring countries such as Kenya.
These photos were taken in Rwanda by Niti Bhan in July 2012.
Steers and Debonairs Pizza, two fast food chains, launched in Kenya sixteen years ago. Azam Samanani – managing director of Hoggers Limited, the firm that runs the two franchises – told How we made it in Africa’s Dinfin Mulupi about doing business in Kenya’s restaurant market. Below are excerpts
More international brands are entering the Kenyan market. What could be driving the interest of international brands?
Where do you go if you are coming into Africa? Most people think of South Africa but it is a developed economy. In many ways it is saturated on the basics whereas the rest is not. International brands are seeing other brands doing well here [in Kenya]. One of those brands is us.
If you are trying to grow an enterprise, why wouldn’t you do it here? Kenya is a market that is a trendsetter for the region… if you get it right here; the logical expansion is pretty big. Kenyans are educated and sophisticated. If you think about developing economies, Kenya is much more sophisticated than the level of development would lead you to believe. If you take the average Kenyan verses the average anyone else in another developing country, Kenyans know what it is going on in the world. They are smart, they are hard working, and their tastes are more sophisticated.
Continuing our weekend of photographs from Africa is this snapshot of a storefront in rural Kenya.
I selected it because to me it seems to exemplify the essence of the entrepreneurial and aspirational spirit of what I’ve been calling The Prepaid Economy - cash based, local, social and flexible - its the informal sector ubiquitious across the developing world.
Your margins are my opportunity
Lets take a closer look - Equatorial Traders seems to be a general store in a market town. In addition to whatever range of dry goods and general merchandise they stock, they are agents for Equity Bank. This means they can help you open a bank account (at least the paperwork), deposit and withdraw small sums of cash, and manage the day to day needs, within constrained limits, acting as an extension of the bank for this region.
In addition, we note that they offer to charge your phone and sell you a cold bottle of Coca Cola - this means they have electricity or at least a means to generate power, such as solar or a generator. Their reputation matters to them and they assert on the front door that they sell original batteries, brands like Eveready and Duracell, not cheap fakes.
Outside, on the walkway, on each side of this distinguished general store, are entrepreneurial services - on the left, a seamstress with her sewing machine, some display of fabrics and finished clothing, sitting with a customer who is on the phone. On the right, we have a cobbler with his kit, including the stool where customers can sit to have their shoes cleaned or wait while he fixes their footwear.
These services of repair, refurbish, repurpose and recycle are the mainstay for many in the lower income demographic across emerging markets. Materials are scarce, goods are expensive and resources are limited. Everything is paid for, on demand, in cash.
On the other hand, labour is cheap. So for the vast majority, it makes more sense to refurbish a hand me down dress for a younger daughter or repair her elder sister’s school shoes than to think of purchasing a new one.
This is the heart of the informal economy.
This photograph was taken by Niti Bhan in April 2013 in Kenya.
And… its Market Day in Migwani, on the other side of Kenya. From the top:
Photos taken by Niti Bhan in Migwani, Kenya, on 19th April 2013
Firms in north-west Africa’s Morocco and Algeria hubs are seeing a greater influx of international clients into the French-dominated market
The Japanese government is putting in place strategic mechanisms aimed at expanding its investments in Africa, Tanzania being one of the key targets, as more foreign powers rush for the continent’s resources.
For the past several years, Japanese multinationals have concentrated their investments in the developed countries and some few parts of the developing world including Africa.
Among the reasons for the Japanese global investors to direct their capital to other parts of the world and pay less attention to Africa is the unreliable investment climate triggered by repeated and prolonged conflicts in the continent, according to David Ohito Aol, a Kenyan journalist.
Speaking at a special programme organised by the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for journalists from developing countries, Aol said: “I think the Japanese global investors are not risk-takers. That’s why they hesitate to invest more in Africa,” he said.
“They still have that negative perceptions that Africa is a conflict zone…but global economic dynamics are changing so fast, and Africa is now seen as potential and fast-growing economy where serious and visionary investors would like to be…there is no question about that,” said Aol.
Toru Tukushige, founder and Chief Executive Officer of Japan’s emerging SMEs company, “Terra Motors”, which manufactures state-of-the art electric-driven motorbikes, motorcycles and tricycles, said:
“The big problem with many Japanese large corporations is that they are not aggressive enough…they still use old fashioned operational and business management models. That’s why most of them have collapsed, as a number of them currently operate at a loss.”
Tukushige, who is determined with his small company, to transform the global transport sector by providing solutions to sustainable urban and metropolitan transport added:
“If they don’t change, they would be outsmarted by Chinese companies.”
But the current pace and dynamics of economic growth coupled with abundant natural resources in Africa, which attract massive investments from giant economies, including China, US and Europe, have opened the eyes and ears of the Japanese government.
It is now drawing up focused and strategic mechanisms geared to expand their investments in Africa.
Eighty and seven years. That is how long it took for a Kenyan to break into the beer brewing industry – one of East Africa’s most lucrative.
In a field traditionally dominated by powerful multinational companies and men, one Kenyan woman broke the mould to become the country’s first home-grown beer manufacturer.
Tabitha Mukami Muigai-Karanja is the Founder and CEO of Keroche Breweries, the first Kenyan-owned beer manufacturer. Hers is a classic entrepreneurial tale: she has battled with banks unwilling to part with desperately needed start-up capital, wealthy and exclusive competitors, uncooperative government officials and even a shut-down of her offices!
Yet somehow, Tabitha, has successfully navigated all setbacks and today controls at least 20 percent of Kenya’s beer market. In her own words,
“We have fought countless battles and we seemed to have sunk at times, but true to the word we believed we could make it, we rose above the barricades and the story is now told of how we made it and won the war.”
Given these trends, the continent’s consumer industries are expected to grow a further $410 billion by 2020 – more than half the total revenue increase that all businesses are expected to generate in Africa by the end of the decade. But, for many companies entering Africa or seeking to expand there from a local base, the challenge now is to obtain a better understanding of the market and its consumers.
In one of the first studies of its kind, the McKinsey Africa Consumer Insights Center surveyed 13,000 individuals from 15 cities in ten of the continent’s 54 countries in 2011 and 2012. The ten countries – Algeria, Angola, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, South Africa, Sudan, and Tunisia – accounted for 81% of Africa’s private consumption in 2011. But, throughout the continent, market opportunities for consumer-facing companies are concentrated more in cities than in particular countries.
Indeed, with 40% of its population living in cities, Africa is more urbanized than India (30%), and nearly as urbanized as China (45%). By 2016, more than 500 million Africans will live in urban centers, and the number of cities with more than one million people is expected to reach 65, up from 52 in 2011 (on par with Europe and higher than India and North America).
This development is critically important for consumer companies. Urban household spending in Africa is increasing twice as fast as rural spending, with urban per capita incomes, on average, 80% higher than those of countries as a whole.
AWARD is a career development programme that strengthens the research and leadership skills of African women in agricultural science, empowering them to contribute more effectively to poverty alleviation and food security in sub-Saharan Africa. It offers two-year fellowships focused on mentoring partnerships, science skills and leadership development.
African women working in agricultural research for development from Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia, and who have completed a bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree in selected disciplines, are eligible.
Mary Njenga, an AWARD fellow from Kenya, is one woman with her sights set on changing policies and mindsets about the role of women in food security. Njenga, an environmental scientist linking agriculture to environment and energy issues, has focused on improving natural resources management to mitigate climate change.
She has done this by bringing technologies such as environmentally-friendly, simple fuel briquettes made from charcoal dust, sawdust and other organic by-products to poor community-based groups.
“I can work with women and come up with good technologies, but if I do not have a voice with policy-makers, my technologies will remain in the books and not be adopted,” Njenga told IPS.