The role of ICT in the provision of business information to women traders in the informal sector in Kenya-
Dyoya, Nashon S
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This study aimed at investigating the role of Information and Communication Technology (lCT) in the provision of business information to women traders at the Westlands Maasai Market in Nairobi; guided by two theories: Diffusion of Innovation and Technology Acceptance Model. ICTs are viewed as sources of information that can improve trade in the informal sector by increasing profitability and speed of operation, yet they have not been fully used by many women traders in the informal sector in Kenya. This sector has more women than men and thus the choice of women for this study; women have also been marginalized on issues concerning ICT which necessitated a study limited to them. The study focused on the radio, television, mobile telephone and the internet as the major ICTs available to the women traders. The objectives of the study were: to determine the demographic characteristics and business information needs of women traders in the informal sector; to find out the different ICTs used for providing business information to women traders in the informal sector in Kenya; and to investigate the challenges faced by women traders in accessing business information provided by the available ICTs. The research adopted a case study of the Westlands Maasai Market which was solely established for women traders, but has since seen the influx of men. Stratified and simple random sampling techniques facilitated the choice of 100 women traders from whom data was collected using self-administered and researcher administered questionnaires. Data was analyzed and presented using descriptive statistics, cross tabulations, graphs and pie charts, by the use of Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 12. The study found out that most of the women traders were between the ages of 18-40 years and had completed secondary school education. Amongst the most sought after business information needs by women traders are: customer needs, mobile telephone money transfer, market, raw materials and ticord keeping. Radio and mobile telephone were the most used ICTs among the women traders. Inability to identify specific lCTs for business information, cost, difficult language in lCTs and limited amount of time are some of the challenges identified by the women traders. The study concluded that it is necessary to relate the identified business information needs to the appropriate ICTs and further sensitize the women traders on the importance of lCTs like the internet.
CitationMasters of arts in communication studies
SponsorhipUniversity of Nairobi
School of journalism and mass communication