Will Collaborative Consumption Thrive in Africa?

White African/CC BY 2.0

There's been much talk about "collaborative consumption" and the sharing economy in the West. But what does it mean for countries who have yet to develop a fully-fledged consumer economy? Much like solar is leap frogging fossil fuels and cell phones and the internet are revolutionizing communications, many Majority World economies may be well placed to capitalize on the collaborative consumption revolution—indeed traditional cultures in many poorer countries already encourage sharing and collaboration over ownership and exploitation. Clinton Mutambo over at TechZIM explores what the sharing economy might mean for Africa:

The collaborative model can work in Zimbabwe due to the existence of a small, tightly knit population. In many cases friends, family and friends of friends could extend their social networks by taking part in this sharing economy. For a country battling to find its economic feet, a great deal of opportunities can be unlocked in the process. On the other hand, experience has shown that without trust the model is useless. For local entrepreneurs keen to roll out a collaborative consumption platform, understanding local laws and putting in place safety or insurance measures is important.

Head over to TechZIM for further discussion on collaborative consumption in Zimbabwe and other African economies.

Tags: Activism | Africa | Consumerism | Economics | Poverty

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