How Can Businesses in Tanzania Adapt to Coronavirus Effects

Written by Shukuru Amos

I am the founder of Tanzlite Digital, Creator, Author of Mbele Ya Muda, and the most followed Tanzanian marketer on LinkedIn.

Posted March 18, 2020

The Coronavirus has inevitably entered Tanzania and the government is already taking necessary measures to stop its spread.

Coronavirus —a respiratory illness with flu-like symptoms; fever, headache, dry cough, fatigue and shortness of breath is now a public health emergency of global concern that has killed more than 147,376 people and infected more than 2 million worldwide, record as of April 17, 2020.

According to WHO, the virus spreads like the flu. Whenever someone with the virus coughs or exhales, they release droplets of infected fluid that can land on nearby surfaces like desks and can infect another person who comes into contact.

As you know, the society and economy is in an unprecedented state of confusion, uncertainty and disorder. The government has already closed down schools for 30 days.

This health crisis is impacting everyone and everything in our daily activities including businesses. Events and workshops are now being canceled or postponed.

COVID-19 is impacting small businesses as they lack enough incentive to navigate during this time of uncertainty.

With that in mind, how will businesses continue to run smoothly in these challenging times? With everyone advised to self quarantine, your shop at Kariakoo is obviously going to receive fewer customers than usual and you are probably not going to able to import goods from highly affected countries.

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If you are mamantilie selling maandazi at a school gate, your business is going to stop for 30 days. 

With all these happening —what reasonably safe place can you go for shopping while not giving chances to contact COVID-19? Or if you have a business selling products and services, can you still sell (online and offer delivery?) without risking both your life and your customers’ lives coming at your shop?

It is time to work, buy and sell online (if possible) 

Most Tanzanians are not big fans of buying online. They would rather go to an overcrowded Kariakoo or Karume marketplace looking for things to buy. But that is too risky especially now that we have confirmed cases of Coronavirus in the country.

During this social distancing time, it is important for businesses to leverage online platforms that offer selling and buying services.

For schools, now is a crucial moment to start thinking of going digital. Event planners and organizers should forget about venues for a moment and shift to podcasts and webinars. 

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For managers in companies, now is the time to create remote work infrastructure and learn how to collaborate with your workers online. By using online collaboration tools like Trello, you can still work together even when you are quarantined. 

Remember to use exact change when doing payments. If possible, always use mobile money payment.

It is time to embrace e-commerce and online platforms as a way to avoid crowds in Tanzania’s marketplaces. This will help you maintain minimal contacts with the crowd and stand a good chance of not being infected by the virus. 

If you never thought about taking your business online, COVID-19 should change your mind.

Remember, the basic protective measures against coronavirus include washing your hands frequently, maintain social distancing, avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth, and practice respiratory hygiene.

All in all, safety and family comes first.

Coronavirus is real. Stay at home and don’t forget to put on your mask when you’re in mwendokasi or any crowded area. Avoid rumors and seek information from trusted sources only. Stay safe 🙏🏽. 


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