In a previous Post, I talked about how Google could use GoogleCheckOut to monetize Africa and do a 2-fold win-win move:
- Help Millions if Africans access e-Commerce and sell to the world, as opposed to locally.
- Enable Google take a big chuck of the millions of USDs sent from US/Europe back home to Africa.
I also talked about the blacklistic that payPal does for African IPs. So bubbling with Ideas and possibilities, I approached CK [of Google Kenya and not DjCk]. Google is your friend, right? Ohh how wrong I was!
CK Made it clear to me that [Quoting the chat]:
- unfortunately we [google] are not ready for monetization in Africa
- even if we were to monetize the entire existing online population in sub-saharan africa, it would not be a significant amount.
So, apparently, Africa is too small for Google. I thought not. So I googled (sic!) some facts about Africa Remittances and what I foind blew my mind. According to this report, :
Kenyans in the diaspora are contributing an equivalent of 3.8 per cent of national income through remittances.
In the year 2004, for instance, Kenyans living and working abroad remitted about Ksh35 billion ($464 million), which overshadows the net foreign direct investment (FDI) of Ksh3.6 billion ($50.4 million), which accounted for 0.41 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product.
More recently, [According to this]:
Despite the global recession, remittances by Kenyans abroad, a key source of hard currency, grew 6.6 per cent to $611 million (Sh49 billion) last year, Central Bank has said.
However, the growth was much slower than the 41 per cent rise the previous year  when the remittances stood at $573.6 million (Sh46 billion).
The figure above oscillates between .6B and 1B USD depending on the source.
So, WHERE IS THE OPPORTUNITY FOR PAYPAL?
I believe that internet has reached sign-up saturation… people no longer jump to a bandwagon and register with no clear benefits. They now need a REASON. Free email sevices like yahoo and lycos had a boom because they had that UNIQUE offering.. FREE. Sadly, FREE is no longer a selling point nowadays.. people need to feed the fundamental human urge.. the urge to trade.
If a big player [PayPal] could use TRADE as a reason to get people online, this would be a winner. You know africans. We NEED a valid and convincing REASON to do anything constructive.
Trust me… Wangechi will not get online to poke Otieno… but tell her that Otieno will pay… she will log on to your site faster than you can say Paypal. Think of all the possible implementations of MicroPayment and MicroLending for social and business reasons in a typical African/Kenyan setup.
I will seek audiences with Menekse and the like and see if this cross-continent trade with Paypal Linking to Zap and Mpesa using our hand-made KuKanja Payment gateway can be made a reality.