KAKUTE: a Local African Social Enterprise

The term ‘social enterprise’ may have been coined recently (relatively), in the Western world, to try to capture and define somewhat new organizational models that do not fit the conventional ‘private sector, public sector and NGO’ categories. These are supposed to be organizations that do not belong to the public sector (which can be easily verified) but also not quite fitting for either the private business or the NGO definition.… More

Microfranchising and Last Mile Distribution: Making Impact, but…

I first came to know about microfranchising in the context of developing societies through my work in Tanzania in 2013. The company I worked with, as a product development fellow, used what seemed to me at the time to be a very unique and effective way of delivering its products to the farthest rural communities while at the same time enhancing the local economic cycle by engaging local community members as business partners (instead of simply customers).… More

The problem of seasonality: rural economic cycles in Tanzania

The problem we can call seasonality is not hard to notice in Tanzania, and most actors in the field of national economic development are quite aware of it. Tanzania by no means is unique in this issue. It is described in 9 points here:

  1. Since the main rural economic activity in Tanzania is agriculture, it is not a surprise therefore that rural economic vitality depends heavily on a good agricultural economy (i.e.

CAMARTEC: Directly Addressing Technological R&D Challenges in Tanzania

CAMARTEC is one of those Tanzanian organizations that immediately captured my attention as soon as I heard about in 2013, in my first visit to Tanzania. Eventually I was able to visit its headquarters, in Arusha, and meet and speak some of its staff who, over time, became friends and acquaintances. They showed me around the place (the workshops, the exhibition of products, the offices and departments, and the in-house bio-gas project).… More

Visit to STIPRO: Policy Research for Technological Change

On December 16th, I was in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and I had the pleasure of visiting STIPRO: Science, Technology & Innovation Policy Research Organization.  Before my visit I have been in communication, through email and telephone, with the Executive Director, Dr. Bitrina Diyamett. I introduced myself and my research intentions to her earlier before my arrival to Tanzania, and she was kind enough to respond with positivity regarding staying in touch and considering STIPRO as one local source of information for my research.… More

On Voting

Voting does not change the power structures in any given society. This is a general rule. The powers-that-be are typically so entrenched in the economic and political strata, as well as the mainstream culture, that the act of casting a ballot would not be able to remove them from rule, change hierarchies, and transform the big picture. There may be exceptions, you say?… More

Field Research: Challenges of Entering the Field

As a student researcher, arriving to a country to do field research is quite a different experience from arriving for a visit of leisure or volunteer, or even for a work contract of some sort. As soon you step foot in the country that is your field, you are mostly your own supervisor. Steps are calculated towards a particular goal (mostly collecting as much relevant and efficient data as possible).… More

Statements that Matter (to me)

– Morality is the explicator of human agency. In our daily lives we make multiple moral decisions, and these choices may be the only aspects of our circumstances to which we are justly accountable. We generally do not choose our genotype, phenotype, health, economic/social status, etc., but we are assumed to choose our morals and understand their consequences. It follows that moral discourse cannot be called “ideal” without dehumanizing daily ‘human’ activities.… More