The informal sector and structural adjustment – strengthening collective coping mechanisms in Tanzania
Structural adjustment programmes have affected Tanzania more than most countries, and although the informal sector has grown in numbers of businesses, swelled by those who have lost their public sector jobs, the position of most urban small traders has become more precarious as public services crumble and frantic land-grabbing threatens their right to trade in a particular locality. As the centralized government has withdrawn from many activities, together with the protection it afforded the urban poor, small self-help organizations have come together spontaneously to provide their members with the very basics of health insurance, representation or land rights. This article describes some of these indigenous organizations, as well as the project which is providing advice and training to meet some of their limited objectives.
Youth unemployment is a serious problem world-wide, and young people often leave formal education ill-equipped to find employment or to be self-employed. This article proposes that training programmes for young people should include life-skills training and community work, as well as vocational skills, and should be embedded within the community, with the involvement of parents, community leaders and local business people. Such Community-driven Education and Training (CET) would recruit animators from the local community where a cycle of training had recently been organized and conducted. The proof of the success of the project would be if animators from one community were able to initiate and run courses in the next community, and when trainees who had successfully launched themselves in business were prepared to contribute financially to the running of future courses.