This year’s Annual Research Workshop (ARW) theme was Transformation, Job creation, and Poverty Eradication: Enterprise Development for more inclusive growth.The event was featured by a keynote presentation by Prof. Keijiro Otsuka and Dr. Tetsushi Sonobe, from the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies in Tokyo, followed by parallel sessions with different papers on Entreprise Development, agricultural & Rural Transformation, and Technology, Innovation & Access to Resources.
The objective of the workshop
To address the deficit in productive employment and low productivity among the majority of Tanzanians working in low productivity agriculture and informal economic activities and to identify options for managing the enterprise transformation process. The transformation process entails the transition from low productivity to high productivity and dynamic enterprises.
Specific objectives of the workshop are:
i. To explore the challenges of enterprise development in non-farm activities in bringing about transformation of the rural economy with special attention to facilitating the process of moving up the value chains in the rural economy.
ii. To examine employment found non-agriculture employment found in micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) can be transformed into more dynamic enterprises which are more productive, capable of creating more decent jobs and more competitive.
iii. To explore the linkages between informal and formal enterprises in the context of understanding the nature of the production system through which they are linked based on the allocation of authority (over the work situation and the outcome of work done) and economic risk between the informal and formal firms.
iv. To explore how key actors in the government raise their level of awareness of the potential and importance of the economic activities of small-scale enterprises and how the relevant public institutions can reach out to informal businesses, better understand their diversity and challenges and help them to participate more effectively in the growth and development process?
v. To explore the nature of political dynamics that influence MSMEs organization and other means of collective action that facilitate voice through policy dialogue, facilitate formalization, contribute to reducing risk and uncertainty in their operations and facilitate access to public support services
vi. To explore how gains from exploitation of oil and gas can contribute to transformation of enterprise development and facilitate productivity enhancement and more even distribution of productivity gains realise more inclusive growth.
vii. To enhance understanding of the changes which have occurred in recent years in the rural economy and their potential for future development (e.g. the rapid expansion of trade in foodstuffs, the spread of mobile phones, new transport modes such as the “bodaboda”, the growth of cross-border trade in food items) and to explore options for building on these successes..
viii. The capacity of small-farmers to introduce new crops has always been a feature of Tanzanian agriculture, typically through spontaneous spread.
ix. What can be done to more effectively support this potential? How can new seeds and new crops be better promoted? In recent years, access to seeds has largely been through the private sector. Is that sufficient to promote the desired rate of technical progress or does it needs to be supplemented by public sector and co-operative efforts?