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Inside Emerging Markets

March 2016 Edition 

After 3 busy weeks I finally have time to put together an update covering the best articles of the last month. It's only fitting to use a stock image of an Indian Uber cab to kick off the newsletter, I spent 4 days in India earlier this month mostly seeing the inside of cabs and meetings rooms. Uber represents a new breed of start up, the rapid multi-national. They are in Nairobi and Delhi but blocked in Vancouver, their expansion plans included China and Kenya along with Europe and Canada when going international. They are rapidly changing the economics of the cab industry, true innovation. The simple customer experience, push a button, get a ride is what every entrepreneur strives for whether in Silicon Valley or Silicon Savannah. 

On the news side of things I’ve put together a unique mix of articles on traveling in Africa, solar powered drones and a blog post on my trip to a remote Kenyan island microgrid. 
Ryan's Writing & Off-Grid Story of the Month : 

Matatus, Ferries and Microgrids

In January I visited SteamaCo’s Kisumu office in Western Kenya and took 2 days to visit a remote island microgrid. This blog outlines the bumpy journey, and my experience on the island. The image above shows a serene sunset on Mageta Island. 

Innovation & Design:
Microsoft's Radical Bet On A New Type Of Design Thinking


This article provides a unique perspective on how designing for marginalised groups can often lead to innovation for the general public.

Off-Grid Awesomeness! 
Solar-powered drones could deliver goods in rural areas, charged by micro-solar home systems

Although Amazon Air toilet paper deliver after 11pm when the nearest CVS is closed might be helpful medical deliveries or nutritional supplement drops in remote parts of the world piggy backing on renewable energy is truly innovative! Mobisol a German/Tanzanian company is looking to develop a delivery network using their solar home systems as charging stations in remote areas. With the increased presence of Android phones in Africa this could bring online deep off-grid. 

Great Energy News Source!

Over the last year I’ve subscribed to many newsletters and one aggregates the most off-grid energy content, Smart Villages. They provide a mix of interesting new tech, unique projects and energy research. Click Here to view a recent edition.

VISAs, Africa, Bureaucracy 

The trials, restrictions and costs of traveling in Africa if you’re an African

Working in Kenya has made me realise the difficulties many Africans face when applying for VISAs to enter most developed countries. While a Canadian waitress can fly to London without thinking a Kenyan Lawyer will have to apply weeks in advance, provide documentation sometimes even financial records.

What I wasn’t aware of were the inter-African travel difficulties. The cost of flights often make it prohibitive but this article outlines the ridiculous bureaucracy when it comes to intercontinental flights. 
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