Information Needs and Information seeking Behaviour of Female traders in Zambia.

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Mwale, Munsanje Velenasi
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Although it is said that there is a lot of information around that people can use to make decisions, there are still categories of people in society that still face challenges in accessing it. One such group is the female traders in Zambia. This research was conducted to establish the information needs and information seeking behaviour of traders in Zambia. The study went further to establish the problems faced by female traders when seeking information. Traders themselves were asked to suggest solutions to the problems they faced when seeking information. Using structured questionnaires, quantitative and qualitative data were collected from 400 female traders who were randomly selected from five different trading areas in Lusaka City. The Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) was used to analyze quantitative data and the open-ended questions were inductively analyzed and interpreted. The findings of this research revealed that the major information needs of traders in Lusaka City included information relating to the sourcing of goods, suppliers, customers, pricing and funds. The most commonly consulted sources included the television, the radio, newspapers, and traders’ associations. When seeking information, traders faced various challenges such as lack of time, unwillingness by fellow traders to share trading information, not knowing where to access information, corruption, language barrier and lack of skills. This study recommended that information providers must utilize the commonly used media such as televisions and radios to convey the relevant information needed by traders. Market managers and masters who are in charge of monitoring the day-to-day running of the markets must be empowered with all the relevant trading information they need to help traders in their trading information needs.
Information services(traders)--Zambia , Information services and retrieval systems--small business--female traders--Zambia , Women in Business--information services zambia