Do you know of any examples of collaborative consumption in Africa?

I am particularly interested in finding out contact details and information on collaborative consumption business models in Africa. Please leave a comment below if you know of any examples.

The Collaborative Consumption hub defines collaborative consumption as 'the rapid explosion in traditional sharing, bartering, lending, trading, renting, gifting, and swapping reinvented through network technologies on a scale and in ways never possible before'.

I wrote a short article about collaborative consumption as a new economic model to enhance sustainability in Africa for the Green Africa Directory, which you may find relevant.



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Hello Kate,

Thank you very much for your comment. I read your article in the Green Africa Directory, which was very interesting.

The online platform Gweet provides a regional network of alternative accommodation offered by locals in the Middle East. They are connecting people who have extra space with people who are looking for spaces.

An interesting business interface is The Kaleidoscope. The Kaleidoscope Creative Business Interface provides a place for creative thinkers and artists of all disciplines to gain insight into the needs and methods of business, to rub shoulders with those in the sphere of business, who are receptive to the potential of the arts to positively influence business and to form collaborations to bring their products to market.

Another African interesting development in business is the "Afrique, laboratoire des economies du future". These could be an ideal partner for developing collaborative consumption networks and business ideas.

There are also some articles about collaborative consumption in Africa. Gulay Ozcan writes in her article “Can a Sharing Economy Take Root in the Middle East? (Can AirBnB Clo...” about the new developments of on collaborative consumption business models in North Africa. Clinton Mutambo writes in his article “Africa: The era of Collaborative Consumption has Arrived” about the need of a sharing Economy in Africa.

Furthermore there are people such as Sean Bonthuys, who is looking forward to meet entrepreneurs, designes and developers passionate about collaborative consumption in Africa.

I hope we can find other people involve in collaborative consumption business models, who can share their expierences with us!


Hello Kate. Thank you for sharing the interesting Green Africa Directory. I don't know much about the cases in Africa now, but I am interested in the collaborating life in China. It interests me that the young generation are increasingly active in sharing life or exchanging, includcing active second-hand exchange on campus or through online platform, active skill exchange in large cities like Beijing(, and collaborative car sharing in busy cities as well. The internet and IM tools like QQ group really fetilized this trend. There are also mutual-help tradition in the conventional community, where people simply taking helping neighbours as a traditional virtue. I think this tradition remains for some part but also gradually transforms with the urbanization trend. The spread of collaborative living might be a special form to enhance social bond in the E-age and also rebuild the trust in the urban life in China. But it's evolving gradually and the question is how to spread and promote its faster development?

Hello Sunny and Daniel

Thanks so much for your responses. I find it very interesting and inspiring to hear about collaborative consumption initiatives around the world and I enjoyed reading more about the examples you sent through. I think it's quite fascinating how collaborative consumption trends are happening differently, through local adaptations, around the world and how there seems to be a revival of these concepts and an upward trend recently - and like you suggest Sunny, it would be good to find out more about what the enabling factors are for this to develop at a faster pace. That is also part of the reason I like this Global Netwok platform so much - so that I can be part of sharing ideas and facilitating growth of sustainable lifestyles (even if just on a small scale). I think that the more examples we find and share of successful models for sustainable and collaborative consumption, the more likelihood of entrepreneurs and innovators replicating and scaling up those examples around the world. And like you say, collaborative consumption may also present a good opportunity for societies to become more connected, to rebuild trust and to enhance social bonds.

Obviously, there LOADS of "traditional sharing, bartering..." in Africa, and if you go to the informal economy, you might find it difficult to find pure cases of "individual consumption". But then I don't know how well equipped with sources for field research you are. But it would be interesting to ask how and which practices of collaborative consumption should be conserved, and which ones we can learn from.

On a more specific level, you might look into "ROSCAs" and similar models under their respective names (Stokvel in ZA, Susu in Ghana...).

Thanks Martin. Very interesting. I see that you are involved in a co-working hub in Germany and I thought you may be interested to see some examples from Africa - here are a few I know of:

Hubspace, Cape Town

The District, Cairo

The Hub Kampala

NICE International, the Gambia


I know of ICEaddis, and I've worked a bit with the Hub Johannesburg team... good to see so much action in this space! Hubspace looks very nice!

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