Two days ago I saw knowledge management in action while visiting a rural village where people live in simple huts, internet does not exist and the local language is called Pular. It’s the story of Boubacar Keita, a traditional baker.
From one baker to another, knowledge was shared, people were trained and eventually a rural association was formed in order to obtain micro-credit from a local bank. The bakers save money by buying bulk flour, finding good prices through use of mobile phones and continuing to organize through internal communications.
While success is real, there are a few challenges ahead. An ongoing struggle is to secure credit from banks that require capital such as cars, homes or land to obtain a loan. The original baker succeeded in knowledge sharing across his peer group however, the sustainability of the network depends on moving the collective knowledge of the baker’s association outward to where the funding is.
I found it both amazing and inspiring that the strength of this network has led to new business development, more knoweledge over a large rural area and more profits for all the bakers. Judging by the baker’s new oven, it is likely he earns more than a dollar a day, not to mention he eats tasty baguettes!