Samia: Regions to have market centres for use by petty traders

26Jan 2022
Getrude Mbago
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
Samia: Regions to have market centres for use by petty traders

THE government is set to build modern markets in regional capitals countrywide for petty traders which will be operating 24 hours and connected with the required systems and infrastructures.

President Samia Suluhu Hassan unveiled this in Dar es Salaam yesterday when she met leaders of petty traders to discuss ways to address challenges facing the petty trading community and their welfare generally.

“We are currently rebuilding the Kariakoo market. We have also got funds to commence construction of Jangwani market, then after this, the Karume market will follow but for the meantime traders at Karume may continue using it until the government comes up with a project to re-construct it in a modern and attractive manner,” she said.

The government will also choose some open areas to build markets for petty traders so as to bring affordable services closer to the people, she stated, underlining that the government recognises the value and contribution of petty traders in the country’s development and thus it has been taking several measures to support the subsector to grow.

“Promoting and supporting self-employment is important if the country is to address the employment crisis. We know that a big group of youth have been employed in this sector of small businesses; we assure you that the government will continue implementing various strategies to make the sub-sector flourish,” she said.

The government came up with the plan to remove petty traders along the roads to make things go well and make Dar es Salaam smarter, she affirmed, specifying that the aim is to see that road pavements are not used for trading purposes. “We want things to be conducted well and in designated areas,” she stated.

“The beauty of Dar es Salaam city can now be spotted and seen very well; the beautiful roads, flyovers and bridges are now seen clearly and attractively,” she said.

The exercise will have left hurts and challenges to the petty traders but its advantages are countless as it will help the petty traders to grow and later become formal sector traders by conducting their activities in designated areas and newly designed facilities, the president acknowledged.

Traders who were affected by the Kariakoo market fire will come back to work in the area after 18 months, she said, noting that prior to the fire, the Kariakoo market had 2500 traders but after the new construction, the market will accommodate 4000 traders.

President Samia said she had directed banks to come up with special programmes to support women, youth and special groups’ development. Similarly, district executive directors (DEDs) should set aside funds to improve areas and spaces where petty traders work, she urged.

Hawkers will be provided with improved business identity cards after the 2022 Population and Housing Census, she said, intoning that some big traders have been evading required tax dues by hiring a lot of hawkers to sell their products without providing receipts.

Hawkers must stop being used by big traders to sell their products as this affects revenue collection and growth, she declared, urging the public to continue paying taxes and levies so as to support development initiatives.

The president reiterated the need for petty traders and the public at large to continue protecting themselves from the Covid-19 infection threat by adhering to acknowledged preventive measures, and seeking Covid-19 vaccines to further strengthen body immunity.

Steven Lusinde, the petty traders’ national vice chairman said that markets where hawkers have been relocated have poor infrastructures, which needs immediate measures addressing the challenge.

He urged the government to continue constructing more markets so as to accommodate all petty traders who have missed places to conduct their businesses.

He praised the move by President Samia of issuing funds to improve infrastructures in various areas especially in the education sector where children are now studying in a more conducive environment.

Appealing to the government to engage petty traders during construction of markets, he said that hawkers need to be supported and provided with incentives. This is in order to grow and qualify as middle level business people, he added.