Nandera Mhando and Nasibu Mramba on improving young women’s working conditions in Tanzania’s urban food vending sector

Nandera Mhando and Nasibu Mramba on improving young women’s working conditions in Tanzania’s urban food vending sector

Nandera Mhando and Nasibu Mramba gave a presentation on 14 April 2021, as part of the Sustainable development solutions for Tanzania – strengthening research to achieve SDGs project. The presentation was held as a webinar, in collaboration with UONGOZI Institute.

The event was chaired by Caroline Israel, Acting Research and Policy Specialist of UONGOZI Institute.

Abstract - Improving young women’s working conditions in Tanzania’s urban food vending sector

The research investigates the working conditions of the young women working as assistants in the food vending sector in Tanzania using qualitative data, which are supplemented with quantitative data. Data were collected in the municipalities of Nyamagana and Ilemela in Mwanza Region, northern Tanzania, and from officers working with the government and insurance fund organizations in Dodoma region, central Tanzania.

The results show that young women’s working conditions are poorer than those of the fellow workers in the informal sector and that they continue working in the sector on the basis of resilience. They are paid lower salaries than those paid to informal workers in Tanzania in general and most young women seek employment in food vending as a matter of economic necessity. The emergence of the coronavirus disease has further increased their vulnerability.

The government can improve their working conditions by establishing an authority/agency responsible for managing the informal sector, making formalization of their business a long-term objective, reviewing the municipal councils’ by-laws that are prohibitive, establish vending zones and, in collaboration with other institutions, empower women.

About the speakers

Nandera Ernest Mhando is a Social Anthropologist with a background in Sociology. Her research topics are development and cultural transformation, informal/formal sector and livelihoods, gender and agriculture, religion, and disability and inclusion. Her work focuses on women's market engagements, urban vending, employed mothers, working conditions of young women, producer organizations, decolonizing gender, Pentecostal Charismatic Female Church leaders, Faith Based Organizations' works across the border of Kenya and Tanzania, and Christianity and African religion. Nandera is the Head, Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies (College of Humanities) and Senior Lecturer, Department of Sociology and Anthropology (College of Social Sciences), University of Dar es Salaam - Tanzania. She holds a PhD in Social Anthropology (Goldsmiths, University of London).

Nasibu Mramba is a lecturer at the College of Business Education (CBE) Tanzania since 2005. He is teaching and researching marketing, informal economy, and small business management. Nasibu received his bachelor’s degree in marketing at Mzumbe University in Tanzania. He then continued to receive a Master of International Trade from the University of Dar es Salaam Tanzania, and a PhD at the University of Eastern Finland. Nasibu has conducted and published a tenth of research in street vending business. He has undertaken several consultancies, training, and workshops in small business management and the informal economy.  Currently, Nasibu is a Manager of Academic Research and Consultancy at the College of Business Education – Dodoma Tanzania.