Data for Africa's prosperity

Last December, we predicted that the 2016 was going to be a ground breaking year for data in Africa. As we are getting close to the end of the year, it is a good time to look back and summarize how entrepreneurs, governments or organizations produced or leveraged data for the good of Africans this year.

At KASI, it has been a busy and productive year, empowering business leaders and organizations with reliable data and actionable insights from Africa.

We launched our new website but more importantly, we grew our market research capabilities from 4 to 10 countries. Our clients include young entrepreneurs in Africa, diaspora entrepreneurs from the US, Europe and Canada, but also companies looking to unleash the potential behind local data and insights.

Last June, we launched the first monthly consumer confidence index in Africa (The KIC Score), capturing the pulse of the urban middle class when it comes to the economic environment, job prospects but also personal finances. The index has been well received, including by local government officials who view it as a tool to make better decisions. For investors or traders, the index has been a leading indicator of several stock markets including the Nigerian Stock Market.

Helping African developers understand mobile users to build better applications. Our research paper - Building mobile apps that impact African consumers won the best research paper at the MSRA last September. The paper is now being used by diaspora entrepreneurs who are looking to tap into the mobile economy but lack the understanding of the mobile users and the ecosystem.

This month, billionaire philanthropist Mo Ibrahim launched an online data tool this month which aims to help Africans stay up-to-date with local statistics and data. Contrary to what has been reported in the media, we don’t view this initiative as a way to challenge national and local governments, but rather a tool to support decision makers on the continent.

This month, we've confirmed again that having a single narrative when it comes to what Africans think, buy, eat or see leads to poor decision making and failed strategy. Despite media reports and expert analysis about the negative impact a Trump election in the US will have on Africa, a survey of 3000 urban dwellers reveals that Africans are more neutral than pessimistic when it comes to the future of US-Africa relations. They understand that their lives are directly impacted by local officials first, rather than some distant leadership. When it comes to how they feel about the Obama's presidency, the results are positive but still, have to be nuanced. Again, no single narrative.

Next week, I will talk about other exciting initiatives we saw in 2016 that aimed at tackling the data challenges of Africa. For the prosperity of Africans.

About KASI Insight

KASI Insight is Africa's most innovative research and advisory firm. We solve problems that present challenges for most firms doing business in Africa - lack of fresh local market data and the need for contextual insight and innovative research methods. We provide market research, actionable insights and data driven advice from over 10 countries in Africa.

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