Cover Image
close this bookWomen in Informal Sector (Dar Es Salaam University Press, 1995, 46 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
close this folderINTRODUCTION
View the documentWhat is an Informal Sector?
View the documentThe Jua Kali Concept
View the documentSmall is Great
close this folderTHE STUDY OF THE INFORMAL SECTOR
View the documentThe Dualistic Approach
View the documentThe Place of the Informal Sector and Development
close this folderWOMEN IN THE INFORMAL SECTOR
View the documentA Historical Note
View the documentWhy Women Enter Into The Informal Sector?
close this folderWho Are the Women in the Informal Sector?
View the documentThe Class Connotation
View the documentAge
View the documentEducation
close this folderTHE SOCIAL DIMENSION
View the document(introduction...)
close this folderThe Limits
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentEducation and Time
View the documentMarkets
View the documentWork Burden
View the documentSecurity and Health
View the documentFirewood Collection
View the documentOpen Space Cooking
View the documentBeer Brewing
View the documentFeminization of Poverty
close this folderINTERNATIONALIZATION OF POVERTY
View the documentLords of Poverty
View the documentInappropriate Technology
View the documentCONCLUSION
View the documentSELECTED REFERENCES
View the documentBACK COVER

The Jua Kali Concept

In East Africa, especially in Kenya and Tanzania, the Kiswahili definitions show the nature of such groups of people and the economic activities they are engaged in. In Kenya the informal sector is called Jua Kali, literally meaning “intense or hot sun,” indicating that the people involved in this sector do their business in open spaces.

Writing on the need to rethink about the formal education and training as a way to get into “gainful employment” and into the formal sector, Dore (1976:74), characterized the jua kali people as:

...the roadside and empty lot mechanics who will weld on a Dourneville cocoa tin to mend the exhaust pipe of the civil servant’s Mercedes, the leather workers making hand-made bags for the tourist trade, the furniture-makers, the men who collect empty essolube cans from garages twice a day and have them processed into serviceable oil lamps by sunset.

This quotation shows the link between the classes and the interdependency that exists between the two sectors. People who have studied this sector know its importance to the macro-economy inspite of the fact that it has taken too long for many governments and development institutions to recognized and support it (Omari 1989).

The jua kali concept evokes some socially accepted images of the people who have been working in open spaces for a long time. The presumption behind such a concept is that people working in the informal sector have no sheds or shelters. Any place can become the operational site. If we take into consideration the kinds of activities undertaken in this manner, especially those which are done by women, this presumption may be misleading however. Furthermore, the term is related to the economic activities undertaken in urban areas dealing with non-agricultural products and activities only. But as we know, there are several agricultural activities which are carried out in the sun and belong to the informal sector. There are also non-agricultural activities belonging to this sector, which are carried out in the shades. So the jua kali concept has an inbuilt negative meaning and may not tell us the whole story about informal sector.