Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Happy Birthday!!! Tanzania Consumer Advocacy Society

Happy Birthday!!!!!!! Tanzania Consumer Advocacy Society

Tanzania Consumer Advocacy Society today 11th.July.2008 is turning one year, what are TCAS's achievements all along this year?

Tanzania Consumer Advocacy Society (TCAS) was founded in 11th.July.2007 as a non profit, non governmental, independent consumers’ association which had been established with interest to promote, protect, disseminate, and advocate for consumers’ rights in Tanzania.

TCAS had been established after a substantial accumulation of knowledge and skills from the grand consultancy work carried out by its founders on the fields of consumer development, empowerment and consumers’ rights promotion and protection in Tanzania.
Above survey findings (your can link the report) challenged the members to come up with a body of seven Tanzania citizens who have a wide range of accumulated experiences and expertise which can be translated into practical consumers’ development interventions.

Since 11th.July.2007; days have passed making twelve months of Tanzania Consumer Advocacy Society existance; today 11th.July.2008 TCAS is one year old, Today I would like to share with you what had been achieved since day one to date.

During TCAS’s campaigns we would like to address a number of barriers including:
-Limited knowledge of consumers on the their rights and obligations;
-Poor citizens’ involvement in policy making and policy implementation
-Lack of capacity among individual consumers in developing and evaluating public policies;
-Lack of organizational capacities among key consumer related stakeholders
-Lack of reliable and sustainable markets information for consumers on goods and services.
-Inequalities caused by globalization economy

To eliminate the above, TCAS has four main strategic objectives
Objective 1; Raising Awareness
Working toward raising Tanzania consumers’ awareness on their rights and obligations.

Objective 2; Right to be heard
Working on providing a platform to Tanzania consumers to make their voices to be heard.

Objective 3; Capacity to claim Rights
Working effectively on building the capacity of Tanzania consumers to claim for their consumers Rights.

Objective 4; Make markets accountable and responsive
Working toward making markets accountable and responsive to consumers’ needs and interests.

Through the following campaigns:
-Consumer Education,
-Food Safety
-Drug Promotion,
-Consumer Protection,
-Corporate Social Responsibility
-Watch dog on Quality of Public Utilities,
-Watch dog on Standards,
-Sustainable Consumption and ethical consumer

TCAS Achievements since its establishment are;-
1-TCAS had successful carried an important step in preparing for consumer advocacy campaign,out of our April.2007 Consumer Survey. TCAS has careful identified the causes and consequences of consumer problems prevailing in Tanzania market and the survey recommended for possible solutions in solving the problems.
2-Able to have wider consumer membership from 56 in July.2007 to 582 members to date to form Voluntary Observers in Interest on Consumers’ Empowerment’’ (VOICE) in Tanzania.
3-TCAS was capable of doing plenty of Advocacy activities through media since July.2007, for instance we have done 17 press conferences.
4-TCAS advocacy campaign had appeared almost thirty five times in Swahili and English newspapers since July.2007 to date.
5-TV or Radio talks; There have been four television programs and five radio talk shows about TCAS advocacy campaigns.
6-TCAS had represented consumers’ opinions in TBS, EWURA, SUMATRA stakeholders’ meetings.
7-We are using drama and comedian shows to send the message to the beneficiaries
8-Demonstrations; On 15th.March.2007 we organized a street rally from Uhuru Primary School to Mnazi Mmoja grounds where we held consumer meeting; a greater emphasis was on consumer’s rights and unethical marketing of junk food to children. Tanzania's Consumer Advocacy Society had celebrated World Consumer Rights Day (WCRD) for the first time in Tanzania history (the event was started to be celebrated since 1982).
9-On 13th.April.2008, we protested against substandard goods from China during Olympic torch relay in Tanzania. We acquired National and international media coverage on this advocacy.
10-Letter Writing; we wrote advocacy letter to the president, prime minister, ten different government ministries, the speaker of Tanzania parliament and chairpersons of parliamentarians committees, we wrote to all sectoral regulator authorises, we wrote to seven different embassies, we wrote to 24 news editors of different media houses being radio, TV and newspapers.
11-We have done consultative meetings with DGs of TBS, TFDA, FCC, chairman of NCAC, ED of Confederation of Tanzania Industry and key government officials.
12-So far we have represented 42 consumers in solving their consumer problems amicably with retailers.
13-Website; we have been able to establish our own websites (two) and blogspot
14-We have printed about 870 brochures, posters and leaflets on consumers’ rights and distributed them to consumers free of charge.
15-TCAS has been working closely with youth in order to build a generation of well informed and aware consumers who can easily solve their common consumer problems. About 785 youth of all carders had been involved into this.
16-TCAS had attended Arusha Sullivan summit from 2nd. To 6th.June.2008; TCAS was fully participated in several forums one being ‘’US Government role in Enhancing Business, trade and Investment in Africa’’

17-These are just some few

All the above happened by the use of very limited resources from members' contributions, TCAS deserves a word of Congratulation!!!! and a HAPPY birthday !!!!.

Bernard Kihiyo
Executive Director
Tanzania Consumer Advocacy Society

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