Accessibility of information to small scale industries (SSI) in Tanzania: a case study of selected SSI in Dar es Salaam

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University of Dar es Salaam
This study was conducted at six SSI and four information centres in Dar es salaam. The objective was to examine the accessibility of information to SSI workers in order to identify barriers to the accessibility and utilisation of information to the SSI sector in Tanzania. Four aspects were examined: The status of SSI workers, their information needs and awareness to its availability and usefulness, information-seeking strategies used, and the barriers to information accessibility and suggested ways out. The major findings indicated that the SST sector was not doing well. Various problems related to marketing, financial constraints, high production costs, lack of technology and unavailability of information were said to slow down the development of SSI. The findings further indicated that SSI workers were more conversant in Kiswahili than English and/or any other foreign languages. They were also found to be mostly of low social economic status with some of them working for long hours. Those factors were additionally indicated to be the barriers affecting their accessibility to information. In addition, the study indicated that SSI workers mostly need information on business and managerial skills, business practices, credit and financial opportunities, marketing, science and technology, news, religion, policies and guidelines of SSI in Tanzania. Other findings were that, most of SSI workers do not visit Libraries and other centres to access information; instead, they rely on printed and electronic media. Use of oral, informal conversation, training and slight reading of books were also reported to be common. SSI workers made specific recommendations on removing barriers to information accessibility as follows: The media should be widely used to disseminate information, information units be established at various SSI, frequent training and seminars be given to SSI workers and that information providers should offer translation services.
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Small business, Small scale industries, Tanzania, Dar es Salaam, Information sources
Mwansasu, M. Y. (2001) Accessibility of information to small scale industries (SSI) in Tanzania: a case study of selected SSI in Dar es Salaam, Masters’ dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Available at (