Musings on Africa, Politics, Technology, Love, Life and Trifles...

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lundi, mai 16, 2011

How to spot a liar?

dimanche, mai 15, 2011

Amazon.com : l'Empire cache

Amazon.com : l'Empire cachéFabernovel décrypte le succès d'une des plus belles marques du eCommerce : Amazon.com. Enjoy :)

 

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mercredi, mai 11, 2011

Buying In : the rise of a middle class in Africa

source : Wall Street Journal


According to the African Development Bank Group, the middle class now accounts for  nearly 34% of the total population, which represents 313 millions people. It's a great uptick (more than 60%) since the beginning of the last decade, but major improvements remain to be done to enlarge further this group and include more the too many people that remain standing at the bottom of the pyramid.

Expanding from the data of the African Development Group, the Wall Street Journal contends that      A New Class of Consumers Grows in Africa.

"Sustained economic growth in Africa has produced for the first time a broad middle class, one that cuts across the continent and is on par with the size of the middle classes in the billion-person emerging markets of China and India. The rise of a middle class in the world's poorest continent is a dramatic marker for the global economy. At a time when the U.S., Europe and Japan are struggling to grow, Africa is beginning to beckon as a consumer of what other nations produce, thanks in part to a young population more upwardly mobile than ever before."

If we look closely at the numbers presented, middle class is defined by people living with a revenue ranging from $2 to $20 per day. With the exchange rate, that makes a disposable income ranging from XAF  (CFA Francs) 1,000 to XAF 10,000 per day that equate to a monthly income of XAF 30,000-300, 000. It's relatively little, but it's enough to generate demand for laptops, cars, brand new smartphones, private schools etc... Therefore one can observe an afflux to the last frontier of  multinationals telecoms and retailers alike. These companies have diverse market entries strategies, ranging from direct presence like Vodaphone or Yum Brands (KFC), Microsoft or Google or through buying stakes in local companies like Wal-mart. Another upside of this new trend is the impact this new demand has on growth in return.

"These new consumers are credited with cushioning Africa from the recent global economic crisis. The International Monetary Fund projects that sub-Saharan Africa, a collection of 47 countries, will grow 5.5% this year and 6% in 2012"

But the picture is not so rosy, forasmuch as the vast majority of Africans do not have access to these goods and poverty remains prevalent. Disparities also persist : not all countries could be properly documented (Equatorial Guinea is a notable exception amongst others), consumption habits are not the same in Kampala or in Timbuktu, in subsaharan Africa for example, only Gabon has more than 60% of its population belonging to the middle-class cushion, compared to the average 34% for the rest of the continent.
"About 100,000 of the richest Africans had a collective net worth totaling 60% of the continent's gross domestic product, according to the report, citing 2008 figures."
Unfortunately the last frontier still carries some risks that are the corollary of big benefits than could be reaped from this relatively untapped market. "A series of violent elections in some of the continent's biggest markets, for instance, threatens to reverse nascent economic gains for millions of Africans."

To mitigate the possible adverse impacts at the very moment when we can see the light at the end of the tunnel, every government across the continent must address aggressively these issues by crafting policies that re-assure citizens and foreign investors alike, that create transparency and open markets even further, that nurture a climate of confidence for business. That is both an absolute necessity and an imperative.

Last, to sustain the trend and not have it subsume in yet another step backward, this new "wealth" needs to be spread even more uniformly. Let us all aspire and strive to make it happen for the greater good of the vast majority. Remember the words that I shared with you in the previous post "our aspirations are our possibilities."


affaire a suivre...

Dear People...Sincerely, Grammar

Citation du jour 11-05-2011


 Our aspirations are our possibilities. 
— Robert Browning
via Forbes

dimanche, mai 08, 2011

Are you a Mac person or a PC person?

Great dilemma when it comes to take sides and adopt one of the two. 23% of the population in the world are said to have mac computers according to ChaCha. (name your own figure, the figure presented below is even higher) I happen to be one of them and do consider myself a Mac person.

According to the guys of Cre8ive Commando 
"There’s always been a battle between Mac and PC. PC users have always dominated the market but things are starting to change.[…] We’ve all seen the stereotypical Mac and PC guys from the Apple Mac commercials a while back, but this infographic gives us some actual statistics about Mac and PC people’s personalities, fashion sense and differences."
Check this great infographic by Hunch. Sociological analysis or mere compilation of stereotypes? I'd let you decide. I must admit that I did recognize myself in some of the data below. 

Characteristics and differences between Mac and PC users

So my question to you, fellow reader, are you a Mac person or a PC person?


Week-end's readings: TechCrunch, Flirting, internet in China, French politics, the “Facebook Class.”

  • The new start-up that the Valley is all excited about LAL.com, a flirting-facilitator platform (or FFP, for advanced users). Yup, that's right, check it out yourselves...(Paul Kedrosky)
  • Sleeping in Internet Cafes: The Next 300 Million Chinese Users (SXSW talk on slideshare)
  • France's National Front Le Pen, mightier than the sword? (the Economist)
  • The "Facebook Class" That Built Apps, and Fortunes (NYTimes)

samedi, mai 07, 2011

Internet : how fast is too fast?





How fast is the Internet at Google? by thenextweb. Via Loic Le Meur tweet. Mind blowing especially when you know that the fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) internet is making its way in subsaharan Africa only now. Some fortunate clients of Kenya Jamii Telecom will access a network that will be able to deliver "2.4 Gbps downstream and 1.25 Gbps upstream" (Mybroadband.co.za news).

The good side of it, you get your request at light-speed, the flip side,  you become even more impatient. And it has been proven that perceived long downloading times of a given webpage are a show-stopper for may surfers, the issue becomes even more pressing when it comes to e-commerce since this accounts for a great percentage of abandonment of the shopping process.

Right now @ home, I have a triple-play offer and I get 11Mbps downstream and approximatively 1Mbps upstream. It's ok for my use, despite that lags can occur, but it's rare and this is when I have all my toys running at the same time (2 Macbooks, 1 iPad, TV on with VOD and gossip with a friend over the phone).

Again, who needs all of that? Will I succumb to one of these FTTH offerings? We shall see, if I do, it would be only pure vanity at play!