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Michael Kimani @pesa_africa
, 14 tweets, 4 min read Read on Twitter
And this is why building a social network on top of a payment platform ie Safaricom's bonga chat is a tough approach.

The community is the most important base layer, then any magic can happen on top of this community. 1/
This is why this guy says

"Its much easier for chat\social network to move to payments then the other way around" 2/

Once you have your community your vision is clear and there's a force behind.

Safaricom has lost touch with its earliest community. Those people who made it 'take off'. This to me was the informal sector.

I always say Mpesa is like banking rails for the informal sector 3/
But now they are big and corporate. They have shareholder demands. So they cant take risks. there is a bare minimum expectation on profit. So making consistent reliable returns is first priority /4
Why does this matter?

B/c if i was safaricom, i wld position Mpesa as community bank for biashara. People in the informal sector - traders, boda bodas, service people.

thats the community they want. People who chat (social) and business (biashara) and close deals (payments)/5
My mentor @prepaid_africa says

"Trade is the network"
"Biashara is the networ" /6
There is your bloddy network! Its right there!!

Alice's trade network
Biashara networks

I see networks everywhere! /7

The Value web of biashara
Biashara is the Network
Alice's mitumba network /8
This is your base community. Your foundation. Safaricom already has a solid base of mini networks, layered on larger networks. Bishara networks.

All connected via phone, via mpesa, via sms, via whatsapp. in patches /9
If you read their press releases on the new Bonga Chat, you can see they have a clue, but aren't committed

Here is a snippet from Tech Crunch article from yesterday titled

"Safaricom rolls out Bonga social networking platform to augment M-Pesa" /10
Close but not close enough /11
Someone needs to build a new social network for biashara people. For biashara people to connect with each other, find networks, connect with other networks, conduct trade, commerce, get into contracts and close ie pay. /12
I think Chamas and social savings and investment groups are a great place to start. Because people in biashara are almost always in atleast 2 biashara related business group /13
See this tweet

How Kenyan Farmers reap through Chamas

Inspiring stories of farmers using savings groups to get funding, training and lucrative market reaping big from agribusiness /14

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