Thursday, 10 May 2007

What's up?

Not much, to put it bluntly. I said when coming here that it was for jobs and to examine BOP reality. Well, I noticed pretty soon that the former was a no go (even though I put extra effort in after noticing how high the quality of life is here). The main blame is with my need to remain in control (ie. I still feel unable to give my CV to somebody and “hope for the best”). Anyway, being in Intellecap’s second round and having a shot at the BOP impact assessment probably lets me off the hook on that one.

What do I mean when I speak of BOP (Base of the “economic” Pyramid – pc!!!) reality? Well. Its life really. Finding out who’s providing what for the poor… and what they demand. Old examples (BOP 1.0) include shampoo in single use sachets or the small Wrigley’s packet (see pic). Despite language barrier, I am trying to see what’s out there in the 2.0 world. Mobile Banking would certainly be one of them. But this seems a little unattainable for the BOP community non? I did here that there were some pilot projects out there? Can anybody help?

Best part of the 2.0 world is the “deep listening” requirement. I’m taking that seriously. Hanging out with as many locals as will hang out with me (although the rich world of Dakar and the middle class neighbourhood here somewhat inhibit me on the poor front). That means in short many evenings spent on the local basketball court (… these guys are good). Also the French course at university is doing its part of putting me in touch with locals. Although they are mostly from other West African countries and have come here to study language with an eye to university admission later.

Lately shopping has become a big feature, as well as a colonial style search for root causes. Im sure there’ll be more on that later.

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