Africa Knows! It is time to decolonise minds
Panel F37 (1 video; 1 paper, 1 with)
Title of panel:
Resilience and scarcity
[initiated by the 2SCALE, the Partnerships Resource Centre, The Centre for Frugal Innovation in Africa]
This panel aims to advance our understanding of the resilience of these business practices. Revealing these capacities shows how SMEs, as change agents, cope with shocks and disturbances and how they navigate scarcity or volatility related to changing weather patterns or social conflict.
The panel starts with an empirical inventory of proven business practices in the so-called hidden middle in the food provisioning system. The 2SCALE program partners with SMEs with the aim to incubate inclusive agribusiness and contribute to food and nutrition security. The capacities of SME's to navigate scarcity and volatility is anchored in their everyday practices of handling product and finance flows related to sourcing, aggregating, processing and/or distributing food.
Next, the panel examines with a frugality lens in what ways the business practices combine affordability and accessibility, and how SME's make use of and/or combine low-end and high-end technologies. A frugality lens highlights tacit knowledge vested in local innovators and entrepreneurs and people who live in resource constrained environments; knowledge gained through and fed by experimentation, intergenerational knowledge transfer and daily experiences.
Finally, the panel stimulates a creative discussion outlining the contours a research agenda that is attentive to involving informal sector-based innovators and entrepreneurs in transformative processes of co-creation of sustainability pathways. Central to this agenda is the question whose knowledge really counts?