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Posts Tagged ‘Africa’
Q&A with Eria Hisali, case author of MAP International (Uganda)

Eria Hisali is a lecturer at the Faculty of Economics and Management at Makerere University, in Uganda where he has worked since 2000. He holds a PhD in the field of Economics from the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania. He has previously done various consultancies for UNDP and the Parliament of the Republic of Uganda; the Tanzania Economic Development Trust; for the World Bank/FAO; and done research for the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). Dr. Hisali is a Peer Reviewer for the Africa Development Journal and the African Journal of Business Management.

MAP International provides central bank approved biometric identification and a mass-market virtual financial service that links consumers, merchants, banks, and service providers. This has enabled them to build a leapfrog solution that has the potential to be scaled quickly in order to expand access to financial services.

To download the MAP International case study from the GIM database, please click here.

What is the state of financial inclusion in Uganda today?

Financial inclusion remains a major challenge in Uganda in spite of all the efforts by government to promote it. Many people still use informal channels of access to credit and more than 90% of Uganda’s approximately 5 million households do not have access to a bank and only 17% of rural households live within 10 km of a commercial bank branch. These are the kind of problems MAP International is trying to solve by providing technology which enables one to operate an account from any location.

What is MAP International’s basic value proposition and what makes its financial model sustainable?

To enhance financial inclusion by providing technology that facilitates a range of services including banking services, electronic bill payments, local money transfer and mobile airtime top up.  All this is done without participating banks and financial institutions having to incur the costs of opening additional branches.

What have been the biggest challenges hindering MAP International’s development and growth?

The major challenges include failure to appreciate the kind of technology MAP International is providing and the cash nature of the transactions in the economy.

What are the promises in terms of human development of the use of technology as presented in this case?

There is a lot of potential and scope for MAP International to contribute to poverty reduction by facilitating expansion to financial services which has been identified variously as central to welfare enhancement.

What has been your personal experience going through the GIM training and case research process?

The GIM training and case research process has been a very rewarding experience. I have had the opportunity to produce a fairly different type of research output than the usual academic type that I usually participate in.

Q&A with Olayinka David-West, author of case study: Esoko (Ghana)

Olayinka David-West is a lecturer of Information Systems at Lagos Business School, and has over 19 years experience in the local IT industry. She is also an academic director at the Enterprise Development Services (EDS) Centre of Pan-African University.

She combines her teaching and research interests with industry consulting engagements in the areas of Strategic IS Planning, IT Personnel Selection, IT Assessment & Review/Due Diligence, E-Business, Business Planning, Software Selection & Management, Systems Implementation, Project & Change Management, Process Improvement and Systems Design. Her research interests include the adoption, utilisation and performance of of information systems in organisations, IT governance, and issues relating to the development of IT organisations.

Olayinka is currently enrolled in a doctoral programme at the Manchester Business School, and is researching e-banking performance for her DBA thesis. In addition, she holds an MSc in Business Systems Analysis and Design from City University, London, and a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Lagos. She is a Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA), Certified in the Governance of Enterprise IT (CGEIT) and an academic advocate to the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA).

Esoko is a technology-based market information system (MIS) providing  farmers and traders with market information such as prices, and a platform for advertising and negotiating buy/sell offers.

To download the Esoko case study from the GIM database, please click here.

What has been your personal experience going through the GIM training and case research process?

The GIM training and case research process provided an opportunity to write cases that I may not have written alone. The structured nature of the GIM research framework shared during the training provided a systematic approach to thinking and documenting inclusive businesses. In 2010, the Lagos Business School also introduced corporate social responsibility as one of the core teaching tenets and the GIM cases have provided excellent teaching material that extends the basic model of corporate responsibility.

What is Esoko’s basic value proposition and what makes its financial model sustainable?

Esokos main value proposition is the market information system to facilitate communication and information sharing amongst farmers and communities that are difficult to reach. Riding on the GSM revolution in Africa, Esoko provides a working platform for existing associations and communities. The financial sustainability of the model comes from the diverse distribution approach where it can be sold as a retail or corporate product.

What have been the biggest challenges hindering Esoko’s development and growth?

The dynamic and changing nature of technology combined with the lack of professional systems development skill sets are the biggest challenges.

What are the main challenges for small-scale farmers in a country like Ghana?

Small scale farmers in a country like Ghana are limited by access to markets. Due to the numerous value chain processes and players, small scale farmers often fail to reap the full reward of their products. Also, farmers are inhibited by poor logistical support for storage and transportation.

What are the promises in terms of human development of the use of technology as presented in this case?

With the use of the technology presented in this case, the main deliverable is knowledge that has various developmental byproducts.

Q&A with Michael Goldman, author of case study: Kuyasa (South Africa)

Michael Goldman is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Pretoria’s Gordon Institute of Business Science in Johannesburg, South Africa. He lectures, researches and consults in the area of Marketing, including topics such as Marketing Strategy & Management, Base of the Pyramid business strategies, Customer Centricity and Strategy, and Sports Marketing and Sponsorship. He is an active member of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation funded BoP South African Learning Lab. Michael studied for his B.PrimEd degree from the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in Port Elizabeth before completing the Programme for Management Development and his MBA from GIBS. He is currently completing a doctorate through GIBS in the area of marketing.

To download the Kuyasa case study from the GIM database, please click here.

What is Kuyasa’s basic value proposition and what makes its financial model sustainable?

What I found most interesting about the Kuyasa case were their efforts to create a sustainable funding model for energy efficiency within one of the poorest urban areas in Africa.  Their “business-like” approach to implementing a project that was languishing without strong management, is a lesson for similar initiatives.  Their understanding of the carbon credit funding environment and application of strong financial engineering skills may give Kuyasa an edge in being able to make this happen on a larger scale.

What have been the biggest challenges hindering the implementation of Kuyasa?

The initial hurdles, before the current team took on the challenge, related to the lack of a suitable implementation partner that was able to finance the implementation within the limited resources available.  The more recent challenges relate to the delays in sourcing suitable solar-water geysers, of an appropriate quality standard and at the budgeted amount.

What are the main opportunities for CDM projects benefiting the poor in a country like South Africa?

South Africa faces the related challenges of rapid urbanisation, lack of adequate low-cost housing, and increasing energy costs.  CDM projects, that are able to be implemented and funded on a large scale (millions as opposed to thousands) within the coming few years, have the potential to have both an immediate positive impact on the energy costs of poorer residents of urban townships, as well a longer term positive impact on the health of the population and the reduction of emissions.

What is the promise of using renewable energy for human development?

This case provides strong evidence for the tangible immediate and longer term benefits of government policy choices that unequivocally favour renewable energy.  It promises more affordable, cleaner, and healthier energy that can also contribute to the dignity, pride and economic empowerment of poorer urban residents.

What has been your personal experience going through the GIM training and case research process?

It has been a significant learning experience working with the GIM team and engaging with different Kuyasa & Tedcor stakeholders to prepare and write these case study reports.  I am very appreciative of the openness and cooperation received from the teams at Kuyasa & Tedcor, and applaud their efforts to make a real difference to their communities and the greater sustainability priorities.