Friday, October 31, 2008



Participation is about getting people involved in decisions that affect their lives. It may be how small traders can engage on plans about their lives and nature of their activities, how they can decide about the area of doing their business legally without creating a conflict with local government. Dar es Salaam city is one of the biggest City in East Africa with a big number of Small trader who perform their activities contrary to the law and regulation of the City. Every day you find City Auxiliary Police fighting Machingas who a trading illegally in different area of the city. The problem is growing fast because of the problem of un-employment in the city which is the result of rural urban migration and some retrenchment made by different organization including local government after implementation of Local Government Recovering Program. Machinga in Dar es Salaam is a big problem since they operate their activities in area which is prohibited such as along road reserve (danger zone), within open spaces and others are moving from house to house. Highly populated area such as Manzese, Tandale, Tandika, Kariakoo are the area of Machingas. The rate of crime in this area is very high this is because after making a daily trading with less return Machinga’s went back home without fund to finance their daily demand at the result they engage on illegal activities such as prostitution, drug abuse and stilling people’s properties such as women handbags, watch, cell-phone etc. To overcome the problem participation of machingas in identifying their problems and come up with a proper solution will be the best way of eliminating the war between City Councils and Machinga which exists for a long time.

Participation is the process through which stakeholders influence and share control over development initiatives and the decisions and resources which affect them. It is an active engagement of organizations, communities and individuals in decision making and action that affect them. It is how civil society operates and how the public can have a say in decisions that affect their lives. FAO defines Participation as the process of equitable and active involvement of all stakeholders in the formulation of development policies and strategies and in the analysis, planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of development activities. Is the organized effort within institutions and organizations to increase stakeholders access and control over resources and related decision making that contributes to sustainable livelihoods.

Tanzania had a process of economic, social, and political reforms to improve the business environment and to increase economic growth and reduce poverty. Its economy has been growing at an annual average rate of more than 4% (UNDAF, 2002-2006). For example in 2003, the economy grew by 5.6% in real terms. Inflation had been reduced to 4.6% by March, 2004 (Budget speech, 2004/2005). The balance of payments position has also improved substantially with foreign exchange reserves rising and maintained at a sustainable level (UNDAF, 2002-2006). Despite all these success stories, Tanzania is facing challenge of translating these achievements into tangible human development. The rate of poverty is still high with 50% of the population living below poverty line (ibid). The rate of growth of national economy has not been high enough to generate the number of jobs required. Majority to entering into private sector in the form of entrepreneurship and small business (Machingas) thus expanding the private and informal sector of the economy from 23.9% in 1971 to 79.6% in 1996. The share of Public sector in the economy decreased from 76.1% in 1971 to 18.8% in 1996 while the share of Public Sector employment in the formal sector increased from 23% in 1984 to 65% in 1994. Tanzania is one of the most rapidly growing population and urbanizing countries in Africa, with total population of 34.56 million people, annual population growth rate of 2.9% and urban population growth rate of 4.5% per annum (National census, 2002), the implications of this rapid population growth are enormous.

Firstly, young people constitute two thirds of the country’s urban population. The entry into labour markets is too high, thus causing a further strain on already worsening unemployment situation. It is estimated that the number of new entrants to the labour force is between 600,000 and 700,000 annually, comparing un-favorably with the less than 300,000 new jobs that are created each year, most of them generated by informal sector (UNDP, 2003). According to the last labour force survey of 1991, the unemployment rate was 10.6% (UNDP, 2002; Bureau of Statistics, 1999). The retrenchment exercise and the collapsing of most state enterprises that have thrown most energetic people out of sustainable and reliable income all add to the problem of unemployment. It is the fact of the day that majority of retrenches remain in town trying to pursue other means of earning income. They resort to self-employment ventures in the form of entrepreneurship and small business (Machinga’s).

The problems facing Machingas in Dar es Salaam is fighting in order to fulfill their daily needs, that is affording having a accommodation, clothes, food, pay school fees for their kids and other social demands. Most of Machinga in Dar es Salaam are trading goods like used clothes (mitumba), fruits, vegetables, grains, industrial products such as soap, water and traditional medicines ect. They normally move from one street to another, from one door to another. Most of the problems facing them are as follow:-

Lack of area/premises of doing their business, this is due to the fact that the no enough spaces set aside to accommodate them especially within the area which is highly populated. Rent of Premises at Kariakoo is about 200,000.00 per month and it required to be paid per annum that is 2,400,000.00, machinga has a capital of 10,000 to 50,000.00 they cant afford having a premises at Kariakoo, the same applied to an area like Tandale, Manzese, Tandika ect. It is better for a petty trader to run around the city looking for a customer of its products.

Lack of Capital, machinga’s face a problem of capital, with small capital they can be able to buy goods in large quantity and sell it in a small units. Since most of them are youth they don’t have a mortgage to enable them to access fund.

Lack of business knowledge, most of petty traders (machingas) thought that after having goods to sell it is enough, they don’t know about marketing strategies which are required for sustainable business development.

Machinga are loosing their goods daily through conflicting with city Auxiliary Police, that is instead of making their capital grow they a losing it. Number of them are taken to court and jailed.

Local government leader are required to involve Machinga and encourage them to find the source of their problem and decide the proper measure to tackle that problem. For example Machinga can participate in deciding the place they prefer in doing their business and participate in contribution which will enable the area to be acquired by government for public use. They can also participate in advising about the premises plan they require instead of local government erecting the premises which are not required by machingas.

Machinga can participate forming organization such as SACCOS which can enable them to borrow for improving their business. With good capital machinga can advance from small trader to medium trader with ability to rent and enjoy the economies of scale.

Participation of Machinga in Municipal level will cause the solution of making them doing their business without fighting with City Auxiliary Police who are City Law Enforcers.

Participation is a process through which stakeholders influence and share control over development initiatives and the decisions and resources affecting them. With participation people can identify the strengths and weaknesses of existing policies and support system, they can decide and articulate what is needed, they can decide in pragmatic terms, directions, priorities and institutional responsibilities and lastly they develop or oversee the development of their program. More effort must be taken through participatory approach to enable the problem of Machinga in Dar es Salaam not seen as a problem but one of the most component in economic development. A very big number of youth are employed in this sector. Participation play a vital role in formulation of policies which can be applied to find a proper solution about the problem.

The World Bank Participation Source Book, Reflections: What is Participation?

622d: Participatory Method in Research and Development . Bemmo Pokomy.

Local government support project, Dar es Salaam Community Infrastructure Upgrading Program

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