Eastern Africa News Network

Arusha Tops the Number of Internet Connected Businesses in Tanzania

Over 78 percent of business entities operating from Arusha, are connected to the Internet, a recently conducted study has discovered.

Arusha seems to lead in the country in having the highest percentage of the number enterprises currently linked to the worldwide web.

In other regions, it is only 59 percent of local businesses that were found to be connected to the Internet.

That is according to the ‘Building Bridges,’ project survey executed through Trias Tanzania, a Brussels-based, Belgium Non-Government Organization, whose East African offices are located in Arusha.

The study discovered that other technological applications, such as digital record keeping and computer usage among local businesses stagnated at 26 percent in Arusha and 29 percent in other regions.

A total of 3,296 businesses were cross-examined in ten regions of Tanzania, mainland, including Mara, Mbeya, Mwanza, Songwe, Arusha, Kigoma, Mtwara, Dodoma, Shinyanga and Dar-es-salaam.

Trias – Building Bridges
The main Uhuru Street in Arusha, also known as Sokoine Road
An old physical copy of The Arusha Times back in 2004, the Paper went online as early as 1996

Not surprising, because Arusha was also the first City in the country, to be linked to the Worldwide Web in 1995 via the Node Marie (Habari Portal). The Arusha Times was also the first newspaper in the entire East African Region to go online in 1996.

In Arusha, 321 local enterprises were interviewed during the research, according to the Trias Representative, Rita Tarimo, who explained that the focus was mostly on small scale businesses.

“The study is meant to build bridges, linking small entrepreneurs with the government and other trade related state organs, such as the revenue authority, licensing agencies as well as City Halls, Municipal and District Councils,” added Ms Tarimo.

At least 70 percent of all businesses were found to be operating from rented premises.

Business ownership was mostly on sole proprietorship, with the study report indicating 71 percent of single owned enterprises in Arusha with the number being higher in other regions, averaging at 72 percent.

At least 17 percent of local businesses are family owned, as per the Building Bridges study.

Many businesses, in fact 62 percent of them were found to suffer from inadequate capital.

At least 14 percent of those established reported to be badly hit by taxes while 18 percent out cried the taxation system and related cumbersome processes.

Businesses operating in Arusha Region were found to depend on imported goods by 26 percent, while their own products exports stood at just 8 percent.

When it comes to employment of workforces, some 4 percent of entrepreneurs lamented the lack of skilled labor.

A single business in Arusha would employ between 14 and 18 workers, while in other regions, the number drops to between 5 and 8.

Trias is an international development organization headquartered in Brussels working to support local entrepreneurship endeavors across the world. The country office is located in Arusha.

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