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Michael Kimani @pesa_africa
, 15 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
People forget that the next generation of mama mbogas and boda boda people and taxi drivers and the whole of informal sector will be educated upto college/university level.

They'll be digital natives.
They'll be exposed to global trends 1/
The early signs of this shift are evident now

Young graduates leaving school and straight into informal sector

Formal employees quitting 9-5 jobs to go into biashara

For example Met a lady who quit her job to sell bags from mitumba via social media. 2/
In the near future matatu touts will be educated, on the same platforms as everyone else (fb, whatsapp, mobile phone, mpesa, Instagram)

Nairobi's street hawkers will be educated too and on the same platforms as you and I

Why does this matter ? /3
Because there is a prevalent attitude of looking at informal sector as "dirty" for the unemployed and uneducated who "never made it" and "had no options"

They're are viewed as helpless and underprivileged /4
It is assumed they have no intelligence and need to be taught in the ways of the more civilized/formalized people

It is assumed they are poor and need saving

How do i know this? /5

Evident in the way we shape narratives, solutions and "innovation"

News. Media. Founders. Techies.

Even the derogatory phrase "mama mboga". It doesnt capture the highly intelligent mama in a sea of uncertainty and volatility

Its why I prefer "mama biashara" /6
The informal sector is a vertical

The hawker on Latema road is the lower tier
The Nyamakima importer of wholesale container of electronics is the upper tier /7
The mama at your local kiosk is the lower tier

The women in trade in the cosmetics import biashara who fly back and forth to turkey and chine are the upper tier /8
But they are all the same!

In how they grow, how they network, how they spot opportunities, how they innovate, how they assess the value proposition of services and products

They're all in the informal sector see /9
Why does this matter?

Be cause east africa is over 60% informal

Because informal sector captures over 60% of human capital

Because the formal sector is unable to absord all the young people

Because, because /10
This matters because going forward innovation, tech, policy, products, services, government will have to adapt to this overarching regime

You're not dealing with "stupid" people /11
These are highly adaptable people who have figured out how to survive and make it work at all costs with or without enabling policy and government

Whatsapp,facebook and mobile phones and p2p tools and social networks and trade networks are their tools of trade
unencumbered /12
Just look around today and see how masons and boda boda people and hawkers can understand and process highly complex tiered bets on sportspesa and all the gambling platforms

Because the incentive is $$$

Thats the mindset /13
I am a trained engineer and cant even figure out how a multi bet works


There is much to learn from the tried and tested ways of these people

I believe transformative innovation patterns for Africa that scale lie in this sector /14
Also think these patterns can be extrapolated to much of Africa

I think African governments are in trouble if they dont step up /15
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