emkambo

If development agencies were investors most rural areas would be towns by now

If development organizations and NGOs were investors, districts like Buhera, Binga, Chimanimani, Insiza and many others in Zimbabwe would be towns by now. The same can be said for several rural areas in whose name millions of United States dollars have been spent in most African countries. Each rural county or district has received not[…]

emkambo kta

African home-grown economies have their own unique indicators

Convergence between formal and informal African economies has become fertile ground for building home-grown economies that have unique indicators. Cities are platforms for such convergence because they are conduits through which Western knowledge flows into Africa via coasts, air transport and communication systems. While African countries are obsessed with marketing tourist sites like game reserves[…]

kta

Key characteristics of a home-grown African economy

A home-grown economy is all about identity and some identity features start from a country’s name.  During the colonial era Rhodesia had its own meaning and image associated with Cecil John Rhodes. Come independence in 1980, Rhodesia became Zimbabwe, derived from Zimba raMabwe – a house built of stones. Naming a country is often based[…]

emkambo

The flip side of participatory methodologies

While the importance of involving communities in solving their own challenges has been supported for decades, the limitations of participatory methodologies have not received enough attention. Usually participatory methods emphasize the participation of individual people as opposed to communities. Unfortunately, many people may have limited capacity to interpret information and knowledge. It is also sometimes[…]

charles dhewa

How knowledge is different from technical expertise and more powerful

African countries have been taking advice from foreign technical experts for generations. If technical expertise was a solution, the majority of countries and poor communities would have moved out of poverty by now. The fact that poverty levels have remained the same and in some cases worsened indicates a need for developing countries to pause[…]

emkambo vibe

It is not late for African countries to start building home-grown economies

Instead of competing for external extractive investors and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), African countries should start building home-grown economies anchored on Indigenous Knowledge Systems (IKS) which continue to keep rural communities resilient. IKS have traditionally been adept at strengthening relationships, trust, social fabrics as well as people’s passion and commitment to grow their communities. That[…]

emkambo

How African mass markets harness the benefits of diversity

Unlike formal markets that tend to promote a narrow selection of commodities easy for commercialization, African mass markets are a true expression of a country’s food diversity. To the extent they are more associated with social class, middle class in particular, formal markets like supermarkets do not often stock indigenous food which are key staples[…]

charles dhewa

The value of domesticating the Consumer Price Index and other imports

The fundamental role of agriculture and SMEs in many developing countries should by now have seen local economists inventing better ways of capturing and expressing economic conditions and inflation. It is clear that imported concepts like Consumer Price Index and Producer Price Index developed in the North cannot adequately represent economic dynamics in agriculture-driven low[…]