Ears to the Streets: Vendors and Mobile Phones

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Street vendors animate the urban landscape in Africa. From fresh vegetables and cooked meals, to clothes and tools, or even cell-phone credit sold by ambulant vendors – the world of street vending and its inevitable bargaining is full of twists and turns. Drawing from this way of life, street vendors share insights on ways to adapt digital services to a constantly changing environment.

YUX, in partnership with the digital marketing agency ByFilling, met with street vendors across several days to understand their technological uses, frustrations and aspirations.

Top 5 key findings 

More than 1/3 of the vendors own a smartphone!


Many are from Guinea Conakry, and regularly buy internet passes in the evening to speak with distant kin on WhatsApp


Samsung stands out as the preferred brand for its accessibility and strength


Vendors rarely collaborate to buy wholesale, trade or invest


The merchants are bored! They desperately seek entertainment on their phones

Scope & Methodology 

32 qualitative field interviews in Dakar

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