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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The role of mobile phones in Tanzania's informal construction sector: the case of Dar es Salaam
Author:Molony, ThomasISNI
Periodical:Urban Forum
Geographic term:Tanzania
informal sector
construction industry
mobile telephone
External link:https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12132-008-9028-7
Abstract:Based on interviews conducted mostly from late June to mid-August 2003 with 19 leaders of groups of workers operating in the informal construction sector of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, this paper explores how mobile phones are being used in the informal construction sector in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. It reveals that ownership of mobile phones is stratified along employment lines. This observation acts as a good indicator of what is now perhaps the biggest split in employment in many developing economies: a split between a stratum of employers and middlemen (who in Dar es Salaam's informal construction sector are also mostly using mobile phones), and a stratum of employees, apprentices, family labourers and marginal-owner operators (who are generally not using mobile phones). The applicability of government policy on information and communication technology (ICT) is assessed in the context of these findings. This leads to the suggestion that since Tanzania's small-enterprise development policy concentrates on use of the internet, much of this is irrelevant to the majority of informal-sector construction enterprises which - when they do use ICT - rely almost exclusively on mobile phones as a significant cost-saving device. Bibliogr., sum. [Journal abstract]