Researchers call on entrepreneurs to sue social welfare services

The call was made over the weekend at the Stakeholder Dissemination Workshop in Dar es Salaam where a team of researchers from Mzumbe University led by Dr Godbertha Kinyondo met with a group of over 70 micro-entrepreneurs from Magomeni, Mburahati, Ndugombi, Tandale and Manzese. neighborhoods.

The recommendation is the result of research conducted by Mzumbe University in collaboration with the University of Nairobi and Roskilde University in Denmark from 2017 to 2020/2021 in Tanzania and Kenya. It was funded by the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA).

The “Informal Sector and Social Protection” research focused on informal sector workers in construction, transport and micro-entrepreneurs in the cities of Dar es Salaam, Dodoma, Nairobi and Kisumu as a case study .

“Members of the informal sector should not hesitate to access these services. Many think it’s difficult and that these services don’t meet their needs… that’s a misperception,” Dr Kinyondo said.

She said many pension funds have innovative ways of accommodating micro-entrepreneurs through specialized schemes.

A total of 250 commuter bus workers and 158 motorcycle drivers participated in the study in Tanzania. 212 construction workers were involved in Dar es Salaam and Dodoma. A survey of 200 informal transport workers was undertaken in Kenya.

The research revealed that the majority of them 82 percent are not registered with social insurance. Moreover, although they are aware of the existence of such services, they do not think they can benefit from them. But they also complain about bureaucracy and the lack of adequate services for those who have access to them.

By comparison, 34% of workers in Kenya were enrolled in social insurance schemes/pension funds, while in Tanzania only 18% were enrolled.

“We are here to tell them that they can access and benefit from these services,” said Dr Kinyondo.

As part of ongoing outreach and research deliverables, the Mzumbe University team also created reflective coats with a list of pension funds, health insurance bodies and financial institutions with their respective contacts displayed on the back of the coats.

  1. intends to distribute the coats to more than 1,000 members of the informal sector, mainly in Dar es Salaam and Dodoma regions. Over 300 coats have already been distributed.

In the past, researchers have encountered “bodaboda” bikers and commuter buses or commonly known as “daladala” drivers and drivers. They plan to meet construction workers in similar broadcast workshops.

According to Dr. Kinyondo, Mzumbe University strives to implement its research for the benefit of the country.

“It’s not just about publishing research papers. We would like to have a real impact for the greater benefit of all,” she said.

Dr. Aloyce Gervas of the same university said the research aimed to find out whether members of the studied sectors are pensionable, whether they have health insurance, whether they receive regular training to improve their services and products and whether there is an institutional system to support these groups.

The research also involved stakeholders such as police forces, pension funds and the Vocational Education Training Authority (VETA), among others.

Asha Omari Hassan, a small businesswoman from Mburahati market, thanked Mzumbe University for enlightening entrepreneurs about the services they can get from different pension funds in Tanzania. “I was in the dark…but now I’m enlightened,” Asha said.

Amani Mwinyimvua, Deputy General Secretary of the Tanzania Road Transport Workers Union (TAROTU) urged union members to take advantage of networking with other stakeholders with the aim of learning and taking advantage of opportunities.

He said: “It is through such engagements that researchers and policy makers learn about our challenges, study them and solve them.”

Some of the notable outcomes of the four-year research are the publication of the book “Social Protection and Informal Workers in Sub-Saharan Africa: Lived Realities and Associational Experiences from Tanzania and Kenya” and the production of two PhDs, one in each county .

Joel C. Hicks