A study of quality and efficiency of the printing industry in Tanzania

No Thumbnail Available
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
University of Dar es Salaam
Most of the knowledge and skills are acquired through printed matter. Therefore printing is important for the development of any nation. Apart from the acute shortage of books, the quality and efficiency of printing in Tanzania is deteriorating. The present study which was mainly exploratory was intended to show that, although this trend has always been attributed to age of machinery and lack of inputs, there are many other manageable contributing factors. The influence of quality and efficiency variables like staff skills, environmental conditions, materials and production methods was reviewed and critically examined in the context of the local printing industry. Data on the said variables and an efficiency effectiveness indicators like delivery schedules, magnitude and frequency of printing faults, material wastage and customer complaints were collected and analyzed. The results of the study indicate that all the variables mentioned above may have adverse effects on quality and efficiency of the local printing. Specifically, three major variables were singled out. First since printing is still new to many Tanzanians, customer provide inadequate specifications that can produce the desired quality. Second, with 97% of the entire workforce being "mediocre professionals" the comprehension and enforcement of the correct working procedures is difficult. And thirdly, the institutional inequality in the marketing of print products results into trading of quality and efficient printing for trade commissions. It is recommended that the establishment of every printer's style of the house; upgrading of staff education and training and the equalization of the "print market" by liberalizing the trade commissions may improve the present quality and efficiency levels. Furthermore, the author feels that the establishment of a graphic school for advanced studies in printing is overdue for the development of the printing industry in the country. The results of the present study has three main contributions. First, being the first major study in printing within the local conditions, the results provide background knowledge for future specific research work in the field. Second, the results are expected to contribute in guiding both customers and printers in the possible requirements for improved print quality and efficiency. And thirdly, the exposure of the "primitive trap technique" (as named by the author) as a possible source of machine downtime may call for increased staff training and close management supervision not only in the printing industry, but also in other industries.
Available in print form
Printing industry, Tanzania
Bundara, M. M. P( 1992) A study of quality and efficiency of the printing industry in Tanzania, masters dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Available at (