THE impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has forced Dar es Salaam City authorities to reduce payment of loans given to entrepreneurs, it has been disclosed.
Dar es Salaam City Deputy Mayor Said Kimji said as leaders they formulated a strategy to reduce the amount that small businesspersons were paying in order to make their businesses sustainable.
“We failed to force them to repay the loans but we set a strategy to enable them pay at least half of the amount they were paying before the outbreak of Covid-19,” he said.
He said if a person was repaying 1m/ - per month, he or she was told to pay at least 500,000/- or 300,000/- a month. “After doing so there has been positive response from the traders,” he said.
According to Kimji, the Dar es Salaam City allocates between 800m/- to 1bn / - as annual loans (10 per cent of the income) to entrepreneurs.
Kimji revealed this at a virtual meeting organised by the Eastern and Southern Africa Small-scale Farmers’ Forum (ESAFF) which involved entrepreneurs, public institutions and media stakeholders to exchange ideas on the impact of Covid-19 on the political economy of African food systems.
Lucy Lugome, a trader at Kisukuru Ward, said Covid-19 had a telling impact on her business capital as she failed to send her children to school.
She, however, said groups of entrepreneurs have started to recover from the devastating consequences of Covid-19.
The virtual meeting participants discussed a research sponsored by the International Research Development Center (IDRC) focusing on Covid-19 and its impact on food production, transportation and exports