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Maker Faire and the R & D Rise in the South

By David SouthDevelopment Challenges, South-South Solutions

SOUTH-SOUTH CASE STUDY

The majority of the world’s research and development (R & D) in science and technology is now shifting to the global South. Powerhouses like China boast vast numbers of published papers in peer-reviewed journals and hefty cash inputs into research and development.

China increased its R & D spending in 2009 to US $25.7 billion, a 25.6 percent increase over 2008, according to Du Zhanyuan, vice minister of the Ministry of Science and Technology. China is rapidly closing the science funding gap with Japan: in 2009 it allotted US $37.1 billion for R & D.

The times have never been better for those with new ideas in the global South.

And it’s not just big companies that are involved. There is R & D going on at ground level as well. African inventors, innovators and creatives met in Nairobi, Kenya in August as part of the Maker Faire Africa 2010 (http://makerfaireafrica.com). This is research and development on a shoestring, and done in a very practical, problem-solving way. While Africa’s inventors and innovators lack the big budgets of other economies, they are not short on ideas and drive.

The Maker Faire Africa is a family-friendly gathering where the inventors can showcase their work and connect with others. It is a mix of workshops, tips on business skills, awards and a party.

The global economy thrives on innovation and so-called ‘creative destruction’ – as economist Joseph Schumpeter called it (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creative_destruction) – that takes place as out-of-date technologies and ways of doing are surpassed by better ideas and more efficient methods. The power to innovate is the deciding factor for sustained economic growth.

The philosophy behind Maker Faire Africa 2010 – the brainchild of ‘venture catalyst’ and entrepreneur Emeka Okafor (http://timbuktuchronicles.blogspot.com) – is to prove that innovation doesn’t just happen with computers.

As its website says, “The aim of a Maker Faire-like event is to create a space on the continent where Afrigadget-type innovations (http://www.afrigadget.com), inventions and initiatives can be sought, identified, brought to life, supported, amplified, propagated, etc.”

Maker Faire Africa is working with research organizations like Ghana’s Ashesi University (http://www.ashesi.edu.gh/index.html) and Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (http://www.knust.edu.gh/pages) “to sharpen focus on locally-generated, bottom-up prototypes of technologies that solve immediate challenges to development.”

In the end, the goal of engaging all this creative and inventive energy is to spur Africans towards building “a manufacturing base that supplies innovative products in response to market needs.”

This initiative stands out in several ways: it is truly inspiring, it gets to the core of how wealth is created, and helps build communities of innovators and inventors to tackle the problems facing Africa – and humanity.

“We have a broader variety of makers this time around,” says Emeka Okafor of the 2010 Maker Faire. He notes makers are bringing more complex systems to the Faire, rather than just single devices. And that they “have more makers who are actually from the region.”

“Maker Faire Africa is essentially a platform whereby innovators, inventers, creative types, across all disciplines, share ideas, showcase their products, interact with attendees and other makers,” he continues. They “begin the process of building what we think is an essential community of what I like to term the productive class. That is essentially where we see ourselves playing a key role. A productive class whose foundation is laid upon building problem-solving systems.”

Okafor believes Africa just doesn’t “have enough wealth creation as we should.”

“We have things backwards. … One of the essential steps is that you had productive systems that allowed those countries (Asia and Europe) to create wealth. And they had to draw those resources from within.

“We see Maker Fair Africa celebrating resources that we already have, with knowledge from within and outside.

“In many ways the Makers as we see them, epitomise the very sense of problem-solving that as a society acquires more of it, it begins to deal with its challenges very differently. And not look elsewhere in terms of dealing with its challenges. We want to make our Makers sexy, we want to make inventors sexy, innovators celebrities.”

Some of the inspiring inventors from this year’s Faire include Norbert Okec from Uganda. His prototype for a solar powered street lighting system comes straight from his frustration with the traffic lights of Kampala, Uganda. Many don’t work and so he has developed a prototype solar-powered traffic light using a mix of recycled local parts and some LEDs (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Light-emitting_diode) brought by a friend from China.

He hopes to produce an e-book on his invention to share with other inventors. He was joined by fellow inventors working on a dashboard for managing wireless networks, how to recycle plastic parts, solar-power torches, water and sanitation products, junk art, community cookers, sculptures, eye glasses, bicycles, and an automatic lighting system for homes.

Okafor is a passionate advocate of the Maker philosophy and how it changes the game: “…building is equivalent to making and making is a joyful thing, it is an interesting thing. It is a very satisfactory thing. It is not work. Most of the individuals around here have the biggest smiles on their faces. They don’t see what they are doing as work.

“The fact they are sitting next to other people like them if anything is one of the biggest take-aways for them. Because for some of them they were toiling away on their own. Now they see others like them. And they realise they aren’t crazy.

“When you build a community and the community begins to get stronger and sustain itself, all the other things come naturally: businesses get formed, partnerships happen: and then everything else people look for first…actually begins to happen.”

And Africa’s future prosperity is what is at stake at the Faire: “There is a market for the products. And we believe as more individuals – Africans and otherwise – come into contact with what is on display, they will come to see their own societies differently. ”

Published: September 2010

Resources

  • Flickr photo gallery: A clickable archive of the Maker Faire inventors and their inventions. Website: http://www.flickr.com/groups/makerfaireafrica/pool/
  • Afrigadget: ‘Solving everyday problems with African ingenuity’: This blog never ceases to amaze and fascinate. Website: http://www.afrigadget.com/
  • Afrobotics: A competition for African engineering students to develop robots. Website: http://www.afrobotics.com/
  • International Development Design Summit: The Summit is an intense, hands-on design experience that brings together people from all over the world and all walks of life to create technologies and enterprises that improve the lives of people living in poverty. Website: http://iddsummit.org/
  • Butterflyworks: A social design studio using design to make social change. They use media, social branding and experiential learning to share knowledge, trigger creativity and build sustainable businesses. Website: http://www.butterflyworks.org
  • AshokaTECH: AshokaTECH is a blog about technology and invention within the realm of social entrepreneurship. It aims to find, support, and celebrate social innovators whose technologies offer fresh, effective approaches to advancing social change. Website: http://tech.ashoka.org/

Development Challenges, South-South Solutions was launched as an e-newsletter in 2006 by UNDP’s South-South Cooperation Unit (now the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation) based in New York, USA. It led on profiling the rise of the global South as an economic powerhouse and was one of the first regular publications to champion the global South’s innovators, entrepreneurs, and pioneers. It tracked the key trends that are now so profoundly reshaping how development is seen and done. This includes the rapid take-up of mobile phones and information technology in the global South (as profiled in the first issue of magazine Southern Innovator), the move to becoming a majority urban world, a growing global innovator culture, and the plethora of solutions being developed in the global South to tackle its problems and improve living conditions and boost human development. The success of the e-newsletter led to the launch of the magazine Southern Innovator. 

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

ORCID iD: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5311-1052.

© David South Consulting 2022

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African Innovators Celebrated in Prize

By David SouthDevelopment Challenges, South-South Solutions

SOUTH-SOUTH CASE STUDY

Innovation is increasingly being recognized as the key to tackling long-standing development problems in Africa, as well as across the developing and developed world. While it is easy to draw up a list of challenges facing the global South, it takes a special person to see not problems but solutions.

Innovation tends to mean fresh thinking brought to bear to old problems, or completely radical new technologies, insights and ways of doing things that are transformative.

The Oslo Manual for measuring innovation (http://www.oecd.org/innovation/inno/oslomanualguidelinesforcollectingandinterpretinginnovationdata3rdedition.htm) has defined four types of innovation: product innovation, process innovation, marketing innovation and organizational innovation (OECD).

Product innovation is a good or service that is new or significantly improved. This includes significant improvements in technical specifications, components and materials, software in the product, user friendliness or other functional characteristics. Process innovation is a new or significantly improved production or delivery method. This includes significant changes in techniques, equipment and/or software. Marketing innovation is defined as a new marketing method involving significant changes in product design or packaging, product placement, product promotion or pricing. And finally, organizational innovation is a new organizational method in business practices, workplace organization or external relations.

How quickly these can be brought to the marketplace, and the level of innovation in society, will be critical to a country’s success in the coming decade, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Importantly, innovation is being seen as the big driver of economic progress and well-being and the best way to deal with the plethora of challenges facing human health and the environment.

As an example, in the past decade, communications innovation has given more and more of the world’s population access to mobile phones and the Internet. This has led to the success of many new companies, from the search engine giant Google to multiple software innovations such as Kenya’s M-Pesa mobile phone banking application (http://www.safaricom.co.ke/personal/m-pesa/m-pesa-services-tariffs/relax-you-have-got-m-pesa), to small and innovative companies spreading the innovation bug such as Pico Crickets (http://www.picocricket.com/) or the Raspberry Pi (http://www.raspberrypi.org/).

As the OECD has said, “Not only has innovation moved to centre stage in economic policymaking, but there is a realization that a coordinated, coherent, ‘whole of government’ approach is required.

“Even countries that have generally refrained from active industrial policy in recent years now seek new ways to improve the environment for innovation in order to boost productivity and growth. Today, innovation performance is a crucial determinant of competitiveness and national progress.”

In the past, African innovators mostly went unacknowledged, unsupported and unrecognized. But this is changing, as new resources come online to support, finance, encourage and champion African innovators. Until very recently, people outside the continent heard little positive news about what was happening there. But the African innovator story is an inspiration to people around the world.

The Innovation Prize for Africa (http://innovationprizeforafrica.org), begun in 2011, awards US $100,000 for the top innovation that matches its criteria of marketability, originality, scalability, social impact and business potential.

The prize aims to encourage people to come up with practical solutions to the continent’s long-standing problems. This year’s prize received 900 applications from 45 countries.

The 2013 prize went to the South Africa-based AgriProtein (http://www.agriprotein.com) team for an innovation that uses waste and fly larvae to produce animal feed. The solution collects biodegradable waste and then feeds it to flies. The larvae the flies produce are then ground into a protein which is used as a feed for animals. Not only does this approach improve the nutritional quality of the feed, it also lowers the cost for African processors and farmers.

This year’s finalists offer a mixed bag of innovations, including creative ways to find new energy sources, improving access to clean water and preventing diseases.

Joining a clutch of other South African finalists, Dr. Dudley Jackson has created the SavvyLoo, a waterless toilet for use in rural areas and makeshift settlements. It separates the waste into liquids and solids to reduce the risk of disease, odour, and harm to the environment and eases waste removal.

Another South African, Professor Eugene Cloete, is the inventor of the TBag Water Filter that cleverly uses material recovered from tea bags to filter polluted water until it is completely safe to drink.

When it comes to the thorny issue of finding new energy sources for an energy-hungry continent, the prize unearthed some interesting solutions. One is Justus Nwaoga, a Nigerian finalist, who developed a way to turn a common weed into a source of renewable solar energy.

Nwaoga, a researcher from the Department of Pharmaceutical and Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Nigeria Nsukka (http://unn.edu.ng/), found the common tropical weed Mimosa pudica (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mimosa_pudica) surprisingly provides a way to tap into the sun’s energy.

The weed has leaves which fold in on themselves when touched, but spring quickly back into their normal form when exposed to daylight. The plant opens up in the morning and closes in the evening – an indicator of how sensitive it is to sunlight.

Nwaoga began to experiment with the plant, subjecting it to artificial light at night to see if the leaves would open up again. But they didn’t. He came to the conclusion there were properties in the leaves that only responded to natural, solar light. He further concluded it had something to do with electrical transmission in the leaves. He isolated the element that was making the leaves respond to solar light, finding it more sensitive than the silicon solar cell used in solar panels.

Other innovators recognized by the prize include a Tunisian research and development startup called Saphon Energy (http://www.saphonenergy.com/), which makes bladeless wind turbines, and Muna Majoud Mahoamed Ahmed from Sudan, who has created the Agroforestry Model Farm in Khartoum.

“We see a strong trend emerging of innovations that have significant social impact for Africa,” Dr.Francois Bonnici, director of the Bertha Centre for Social Innovation at the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business, told Ventures Africa.

The call for applications for the 2014 Prize will be announced in July 2013.

Published: June 2013

Resources

1) Innovation Prize for Africa: Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) is a joint initiative of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the African Innovation Foundation (AIF) started in 2011. Website: http://innovationprizeforafrica.org

2) Appfrica: Accelerating the Growth of Africa’s Tech Sector: Appfrica has launched “The Cheetah Code”, an ongoing web series documenting the African tech and creative space. The series is a collection of mini-documentaries chronicling Africa’s young entrepreneurs, creative class, and emerging technology sector. The goal is to record high-quality video content that is entertaining, educational, and inspirational all at once. You can find all of this content and more at tv.cheetahcode.com. Website: http://blog.appfrica.com/2013/05/12/a-web-series-about-africas-entrepreneurs-creatives-and-technologists/?utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=twitterfeed

3) Innovation and Growth: Rationale for an Innovation Strategy: Publisher: OECD. Website: http://www.oecd.org/science/inno/39374789.pdf

4) Reverse Innovation: Ideas from the Global South. Website: http://urbantimes.co/2012/09/reverse-innovation-ideas-from-the-global-south/

5) African Innovator Magazine: Technology insights for Africa’s decision makers. Website: http://www.africaninnovatormagazine.com/

Southern Innovator logo

London Edit

31 July 2013

Development Challenges, South-South Solutions was launched as an e-newsletter in 2006 by UNDP’s South-South Cooperation Unit (now the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation) based in New York, USA. It led on profiling the rise of the global South as an economic powerhouse and was one of the first regular publications to champion the global South’s innovators, entrepreneurs, and pioneers. It tracked the key trends that are now so profoundly reshaping how development is seen and done. This includes the rapid take-up of mobile phones and information technology in the global South (as profiled in the first issue of magazine Southern Innovator), the move to becoming a majority urban world, a growing global innovator culture, and the plethora of solutions being developed in the global South to tackle its problems and improve living conditions and boost human development. The success of the e-newsletter led to the launch of the magazine Southern Innovator. 

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

ORCID iD: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5311-1052.

© David South Consulting 2022

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Lagos Traffic Crunch Gets a New Solution

By David SouthDevelopment Challenges, South-South Solutions

SOUTH-SOUTH CASE STUDY

Around the world, traffic congestion is often accepted as the price paid for rapid development and a dynamic economy. But as anyone who lives in a large city knows, there comes a tipping point where the congestion begins to harm economic activity by wasting people’s time in lengthy and aggravating commuting, and leaving commuters frazzled and burned out by the whole experience.

According to the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, 95 per cent of congestion growth in the coming years will be in developing countries. Even in developed countries like the United States, in 2000, the average driver experienced 27 hours of delays (up seven hours from 1980) (MIT Press). This balloons to 136 hours in Los Angeles.

Developing countries are seeing vehicle numbers rise by between 10 and 30 per cent per year (World Bank). In economic hotspots, growth is even faster.

Lagos, Nigeria, the throbbing business hub of West Africa’s most populous nation, has a network of over 2,700 km of roads with a vehicle density of 740 vehicles per kilometre (E.I. Bello). All those cars consume over 85 per cent of the petroleum products imported into the country – a costly expense for a country that actually imports oil. All this driving is necessary because the city has no rail or sea mass transit system and all movements of people and goods are by road.

Nigeria suffers from the irony of being a country that makes 95 per cent of its export earnings and 80 per cent of its revenue from oil, yet has to import most of its fuel because its refineries are constantly breaking down.

The overwhelming majority of mega-cities are now located in developing countries, including sprawling conurbations such as São Paulo, Brazil (18.8 million inhabitants in 2007), Delhi, India (15.9 million), and Manila, Philippines (11.1 million). By 2015 Lagos will have 12.8 million inhabitants and by 2025, it is estimated it will have 16.8 million citizens.

That will be a lot of cars and frustrated people trying to get around.

One project trying to alleviate the pain of a daily commute in the city is called Traffic (Traffic.com.ng). The computer application, or ‘app’, has a live feed of traffic on its homepage, collecting information from a wide variety of sources: the web, mobile phones and SMS (short message service) text messages sent in by mobile telephone. The service is also looking to extract information from microblogging site Twitter (twitter.com).

The service says it aims to “reduce stress on Lagos road by providing up-to-the-minute traffic status in the state.”

It uses the powerful concept of ‘crowdsourcing’, in which a large group of people contributes to solve a problem by combining the technological power of mobile phones and the Internet. These two technologies mean it is possible to solve problems in real time and draw on a very large group of people spread out over a wide geographical area.

So, how does it work? A user can go to the homepage and click “View Traffic Report From” and see live data streaming in. If the user wants to see traffic conditions in a particular area, they type in the road and area in a box on the page and click to see the report.

Those who are stuck in a traffic jam and want to alert others can send an SMS message with the keywords to 07026702053.

The Traffic app came under scrutiny by the anonymous blogger Cherchez la Curl, whose blog is about “celebrating African women and natural hair”: “It’s no Einstein-worthy revelation to say that solving Lagos’ traffic problem (and, more generally, improving Nigeria’s poor transportation network) is one of the keys to sustaining growth and economic development in Nigeria,” the blog said.

The blog’s author found the service was still in its early days: “While the idea is a fantastic application of modern technology to developing Africa, the only problem I see is that it seems like no-one is sending through traffic alerts! On a recent visit to the site, the alert stream was empty of alerts save for a few tweets. It’s a shame as this service would be extremely handy as a counterpoint/band-aid whilst government sorts out the root cause of the traffic.”

It sounds like it is still early days for the Traffic app and Lagos residents will be its harshest critics.

Published: January 2012

Resources

1) LagosMet.com: An Internet bulletin board offering rolling updates on Lagos traffic and security reports. Users can also post their reports. Website: http://lagosmet.com

2) eNowNow: A website offering live updates on Lagos traffic congestion. Website: http://traffic.enownow.com

3) SENSEable City: A project at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s SENSEable City Laboratory to use the new generation of sensors and hand-held electronics to change how cities are understood and navigated. This includes creating real-time maps of cities that can then be used to help with avoiding traffic congestion and other problems. Website: http://senseable.mit.edu

4) Mobility 2001: World Mobility at the End of the Twentieth Century and its Sustainability published by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. Website: http://www.wbcsd.org

5) Lagos Traffic Crowdmap: A mix of user-contributed reports on the traffic conditions in Lagos. Website: https://lagostraffic.crowdmap.com/main

6) A study of Urban Traffic Management – A Case Study of Lagos State Traffic Management Authority by E. I, Bello et al., 2009. Website: http://www.scientific.net/AMR.62-64.599

7) Cities for All: An interview on book seeking to find solutions to the congested cities of the South. Website: http://globalurbanist.com/2010/08/24/cities-for-all-shows-how-the-worlds-poor-are-building-tiesacross-the-global-south

Development Challenges, South-South Solutions was launched as an e-newsletter in 2006 by UNDP’s South-South Cooperation Unit (now the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation) based in New York, USA. It led on profiling the rise of the global South as an economic powerhouse and was one of the first regular publications to champion the global South’s innovators, entrepreneurs, and pioneers. It tracked the key trends that are now so profoundly reshaping how development is seen and done. This includes the rapid take-up of mobile phones and information technology in the global South (as profiled in the first issue of magazine Southern Innovator), the move to becoming a majority urban world, a growing global innovator culture, and the plethora of solutions being developed in the global South to tackle its problems and improve living conditions and boost human development. The success of the e-newsletter led to the launch of the magazine Southern Innovator. 

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

ORCID iD: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5311-1052.

© David South Consulting 2022

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Burgeoning African E-commerce Industry Full of Opportunity

By David SouthDevelopment Challenges, South-South Solutions

SOUTH-SOUTH CASE STUDY

Africa has seen huge change since 2000 in the way people access information and do business electronically. The most championed accomplishment has been the widespread take-up of mobile phones. This has given birth to countless entrepreneurs and innovators who are using  phones to help people, do business and sell goods and services.

Not as quick to spread, mostly because of high cost and poor infrastructure, is access to the Internet. While Web access is taken for granted in many wealthy countries and is increasingly commonplace in many developing nations, Africa as a whole still suffers from poor infrastructure for access to the Internet. But this is changing by the month as  more undersea cables connect countries and bandwidth is increased (http://www.submarinecablemap.com/).

Africa’s population can be expected to at least double from 1.1 billion to about 2.3 billion by 2050 – and most will live in urban areas (Population Reference Bureau).

And incomes are rising. Africa is richer than India on the basis of gross national income (GNI) per capita, and a dozen African countries have a higher GNI per capita than China (Africa Rising).

According to the McKinsey Global Institute, “The incomes of these new consuming classes are rising even faster than the number of individuals in the consuming classes. This means that many products and services are hitting take-off points at which their consumption rises swiftly and steeply. By 2025 urban consumers are likely to inject around (US) $20 trillion a year in additional spending into the world economy.”

Research firm Jana (jana.com) – which specializes in emerging markets – studied the consumer preferences of people in Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa. They surveyed 600 consumers in each country, seeking to unearth what their preferences were when it came to using e-commerce services (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E-commerce). E-commerce is the buying and selling of products and services over electronic systems such as the Internet and other computer-enabled systems. This is still a young industry in Africa and one ripe with opportunity for hardworking and innovative players. Many are starting to realize they had better move fast because this is a market that still has much up for grabs and is not – yet – dominated by mature players such as eBay or Amazon.

The survey uncovered five trends driving e-commerce in Africa. These trends address the unique conditions present in Africa and what challenges need to be met.

The first trend the firm identified is cash on delivery. This has become the main way people do e-commerce in Africa because of the lack of trust in the security of online payments. Cash is still king in the region. The second trend is having a proprietary logistics network. This comes in response to the poor infrastructure present in much of Africa. This has meant e-commerce companies need to take charge of the whole process of getting a good to the customer’s home. This is, of course, costly and places a big restraint on any new company in the e-commerce market.

The third big trend is one that reflects the reality of how people communicate electronically in Africa. Mobile phones are king, and this means e-commerce needs to be mobile phone-friendly or lose out on reaching many customers. The fourth trend is related to the fact Africa is still off the logistics route for much world trade. This means e-commerce companies need to set aside space for large warehouses to store the goods so that they are on hand when the customer wants them.

And, finally, the fifth trend is the importance of good customer service as the clincher for success in the marketplace. Word of mouth gets around if a company is not able to deliver on what is promised so it is important to have high-quality customer service to build trust, keep engaged with consumers and let them know problems are being resolved.

South Africa has emerged as the continent’s powerhouse when it comes to e-commerce, according to Jana. Successful players in that country include Zando (http://www.zando.co.za/) an online fashion store by Rocket Internet, MIH Internet Africa’s Kalahari online store (http://www.kalahari.com/) and entertainment and consumer electronics online store Takealot.com supported by Tiger Global. Research firm World Wide Worx (http://www.worldwideworx.com/) calculated that online retail in South Africa is growing by 30 per cent a year.

But South Africa cannot rest on its laurels: the survey found Nigeria is fast overtaking South Africa as its large population takes to the Internet. Impressively, Nigeria’s Government has pledged to expand broadband Internet access to 80 per cent of the country over the next five years.

In East Africa, Kenya’s Rocket Internet’s service Jumia (http://www.jumia.co.ke/) is now one of the top 100 online destinations in the country.

Jana also found there were various key areas for improvement for the e-commerce industry in Africa. One, was the importance of explaining to African consumers the basics of online shopping. Many respondents to the survey seemed confused about making purchases on the Internet and through e-commerce. They also showed low levels of understanding about payment methods and available financial products. And finally, one of the big obstacles to expanding the industry is improving delivery reliability.

But all these problems and challenges spell opportunity for innovators who can solve them and make some money too!

Published: July 2013

Resources
 
1) E-commerce: The latest news from The Guardian newspaper. Website: http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/efinance

2) E-commerce Expo: From 2 to 3 October 2013 in London, UK, the eCommerce Expo is the industry event for the UK and, increasingly, Europe. It ranks as one of the largest gatherings of e-commerce professionals in Europe and boasts over 180 exhibiting companies plus a comprehensive conference programme. Website: http://www.ecommerceexpo.co.uk/page.cfm/newSection=Yes

3) Mashable e-commerce: E-commerce (or electric commerce) refers to the buying and selling of goods and services via electronic channels, primarily the Internet. Online retail is decidedly convenient due to its 24-hour availability, global reach and generally efficient customer service. Website: http://mashable.com/category/e-commerce/

4) Actinic: An online software system for setting up an online e-commerce website. Website: actinic.co.uk/

Development Challenges, South-South Solutions was launched as an e-newsletter in 2006 by UNDP’s South-South Cooperation Unit (now the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation) based in New York, USA. It led on profiling the rise of the global South as an economic powerhouse and was one of the first regular publications to champion the global South’s innovators, entrepreneurs, and pioneers. It tracked the key trends that are now so profoundly reshaping how development is seen and done. This includes the rapid take-up of mobile phones and information technology in the global South (as profiled in the first issue of magazine Southern Innovator), the move to becoming a majority urban world, a growing global innovator culture, and the plethora of solutions being developed in the global South to tackle its problems and improve living conditions and boost human development. The success of the e-newsletter led to the launch of the magazine Southern Innovator.  

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

ORCID iD: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5311-1052.

© David South Consulting 2022