kta

Yes, African food traders have better techniques than PhD graduates in Economics

Academics like economists rely on authors and literature based on research conducted within a given time frame. Such literature has no room for adjustments as new events and knowledge emerge.  For instance, Keynesians economics was based on theories of John Maynard Keynes whose research revolved around the laws of supply and demand, among other principles of economics.[…]

zimbabwe

Why economic growth should not be about turning productive land into buildings

With Africa fast becoming the world’s centre of economic gravity due to its natural resources, it should re-define economic growth. Growth is not about building sky scrapers or turning productive land into residential areas. In addition to food production, African countries should define growth as purifying indigenous knowledge systems into excellence that can be exported[…]

charles dhewa

Building knowledge driven succession pathways – Lessons from informal markets

The survival of African informal markets is hinged on fluid succession pathways based on indigenous knowledge systems. Old people who inherited trading stalls from their parents smoothly move out of the market after training their children or relatives to take over. Those taking over will have taken years under-studying those retiring and ultimately the old[…]

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[…]