The Paradox of Property and Business Formalisation in Tanzania.

This Working Paper seeks to explore the possibilities of Property and Business Formalisation Programme (MKURABITA) in Tanzania to empower the poor to find their pathways out of poverty.

The programme targets property and business owners in the informal sector whose entry into the formal market economy would enhance their opportunities by usingtheir assets to access capital and thus transform their productive activities and reduce individual poverty.

We found that while the programme may help the petty traders to access credits by virtue of operating formally, the same could not be said to smallholder farmers, who may lost their attached land once they fail to service their loans. Thus, MKURABITA appears to benefit petty traders more than smallholder farmers regardless of whether the operators are in rural areas or urban setting. This suggests a paradox.