Technology for Street Traders in Tanzania: A Design Science Research Approach
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CitationMramba Nasibu. Apiola Mikko. Kolog Emmanuel Awuni. Sutinen Erkki. (2016). Technology for Street Traders in Tanzania: A Design Science Research Approach. African Journal of Science, Technology, Innovation and Development, 8 (1) , 121-133. 10.1080/20421338.2016.1147208.
The informal sector employs the major part of workers in developing countries. Street trading is a common form of informal work. Despite its huge economic value in developing countries, little research is being done to improve street traders’ empowerment and entrepreneurship. Also, development informatics is over-focused on social development and under-focused on economic development. This study takes a design science research (DSR) approach in order to identify barriers for street traders in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, that can be addressed with technology. As a follow-up to our previous qualitative study, a questionnaire was administered to a sample of (N = 285) street traders. The data was analysed using mixed methods. The results show that street traders operate in a challenging environment, and make most of their decisions based on tacit knowledge. Traders are restrained by unreliable business information, weak business strategies, and access to capital. A variety of technology innovations, such as customer-client matchmaking, and record keeping are proposed to directly address the daily challenges of street traders. Future technology projects form exciting possibilities for technology experts, students, and scholars globally. The expected future implications of this project are increased STI capacities, economic growth, and human development.