Challenges and Opportunities of Village Community Networks Within the Neoliberal Context: A Case Study of Women's Networks in Africa
Given the fact that neoliberalism continues to affect the way people view today's world and it will continue to do so for sometimes, women and their networks need to make use of some of the opportunities presented by neoliberalism. In particular, the government of Tanzania has created an atmosphere to allow grassroots networks and NGOs to directly implement development interventions in Tanzania. The NGOs have implemented welfare interventions benefiting the entire communities as well as providing financial services to a limited number of people. As the role of welfare NGOs declines, there has been an unplanned surge of grassroots networks including VICOBA Women Networks following a government's call for community's ownership of the development process. Although VICOBA Networks are an unplanned change, they possess a potential which can be used to improve microfinance projects. Besides, the government of Tanzania has created a framework to recognize the role played by such networks in provision of social services to the public. This is a key opportunity that needs be utilized. Other key opportunities have been discussed in the article. The knowledge presented in this paper will benefit several fields including African studies, human geography, gender studies and community development both in the field and academia.