Graduate School
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Dr Almas Mazigo

Home country: Tanzania

PANGeA partner: University of Dar es Salaam

Year of enrolment: 2012

Graduation date: March 2015

Department:  Philosophy (Applied ethics)

Supervisor: Prof Johan Hattingh       

Dissertation title: Towards an alternative development ethic for the fishing sector of Ukerewe District, Tanzania


Abstract: This study was prompted by the increasing vulnerability and impoverishment of local fishing folk in Ukerewe District in Tanzania in the midst of the potential of the fishing sector to generate wealth and the many capable actors and stakeholders who can provide essential services and opportunities that can help the fishing folk to overcome their challenges and improve their lot in generating wealth. Taking the view that some forms of poverty have their roots in the moral system of the people, institutions and organisations involved, and considering the call made by Tanzania's Second National Strategy for Growth and Poverty Reduction to key actors and stakeholders to design and implement interventions that would improve the chances of poor actors to generate wealth, this study aimed to discover what would motivate capable actors and stakeholders in the fishing sector of Ukerewe District to do so. The study asked whether there are ethical values and principles that have the potential to inspire and guide capable actors and stakeholders to reconsider the fate of constrained local actors, and to make a responsible commitment to address their constraining conditions, as well as to determine how these ethical ideas, if any, can be explicated, formulated and implemented. Empirical research was undertaken in Ukerewe District from October 2012 to March 2013. It followed an applied ethics case study methodology, combined with focus groups, life narratives and in-depth individual interviews. Three hundred and ten local actors and stakeholders in the fishing sector of Ukerewe were engaged in progressive stages of critical self-reflection and dialogue within and between particular stakeholder groups. These 310 participants reflected and deliberated on what constituted the poverty of local actors, what it would take to overcome that poverty and what would motivate capable actors and stakeholders to combat that poverty. The collected evidence led to the establishment of the following: First, the fishing sector offers adequate opportunities to invest in and work to generate income and goods to improve socio-economic conditions. Second, local fishing folk fall into poverty because they are constrained from generating wealth. Third, the local fishing folk could improve their capacities to generate wealth and overcome their poverty through expanded opportunities to acquire and use the relevant competence, efficient productive forces and fisheries infrastructure, formal financial credit and insurance services. Fourth, fulfilling institutional and professional obligations, contributing to possible good consequences and preventing possible bad consequences in the life of the local fishing folk, the fishing sector, their own organisations and society, and showing care for, respect to and solidarity with local fishing folk would motivate most capable actors and stakeholders to undertake pro-poor actions in the fisheries sections. Based on what the respondents revealed to value and what they wanted to achieve in their fishing sector, an alternative development ethic, namely the Sufficient Capabilities and Wealth Ethic (SUCAWE), was constructed. The SUCAWE offers insightful and empowering moral resources for self-management and for the management of multiple actors and stakeholders in wealth creation and the combating of poverty.

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