Informal head porter workers Percent Boatemaq (left) and Lusaka Fuseina (right) carrying goods on their heads at Agbogbloshie market in Accra, Ghana.
Photo by Jonathan Torgovnik/Getty Images
Influential international actors like the World Bank and the IMF should focus on expanding social protection rather than focusing on eliminating the informal economy.
Bag sellers at Kumasi market in Ghana. Over 80% of workers on the continent work in the informal sector.
Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images
While inequality is a global problem, its growth is most pronounced and the political, social and economic challenges it poses are most complex and pronounced in the global South.
Students at the University of Cape Town in South Africa. Joblessness has hit even those with degrees.
Photo by © Louise Gubb/CORBIS SABA/Corbis via Getty Images
Promoting entrepreneurship will help reduce unemployment in South Africa. But the government has to step up its game.
International tourism dropped considerably to Thailand Buddhist temples as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Anusak Laowilas/NurPhoto via Getty Images
Thailand’s Buddhist temples, important centers of culture and commerce, rely on donations from international visitors. Because of a steep drop in tourism, these temples have been hit hard.
Unemployed Liberian young men seeking daily jobs at the industrial district of Bushrod Island, Monrovia, Liberia.
Since 1999, extreme poverty has declined while rates of young people in education and employment have risen. Without investment though, the impact of the pandemic could see this progress imperilled,
A tightly packed and busy urban slum in Ajegunle, Lagos, Nigeria.
Urban governance must include community groups, non-state and informal actors in the battle against COVID-19 in Africa.
A policeman stands guard during a protest by minibus taxi operators against a new bus service for Johannnesburg.
Alexander Joe/AFP via Getty Images
It is vital that the latest move by government towards restructuring succeeds in making the industry safe, reliable and viable, contributing to the country’s economy.
Residents of Kibera slum carry jerrycans to fill them with water from a bowser.
Gordwin Odhiambo/AFP via Getty Images
Despite high prices, poor quality and inconvenience, Kenya’s urban poor continued to buy water from private vendors because it’s still their best option.
Street vending at Eastern Market, Washington, D.C.
John Rennie Short
After trying to remove street vendors from its cities for years, China is supporting them to help jump-start its economy. An urban scholar explains why other cities should do the same.
Stokvel members prefer to manage their affairs through non-state means.
Millions of South Africans exchange billions of rands annually but disputes involving these transactions hardly ever appear before the country’s courts.
Lockdowns to curb the coronavirus have shut down Africa’s dominant informal economy, destroying livelihoods.
The loss of livelihoods flowing from the efforts to combat the pandemic highlights the dearth of social protection measures on the continent.
Hawkers’ stalls in Harare, Zimbabwe, lie deserted following lockdown in a bid to slow down the spread of the coronavirus.
The current lockdown in Zimbabwe is going to provide a stern test for its informal economy, which is the country’s dominant economy and employs 90% of people.
While small businesses will be partially cushioned by government support measures, there’s no support for the most vulnerable workers.
Vendors in a market.
Many informal workers will not be able to take the precautions that health authorities suggest.
Informal food trade represents a critical source of employment and food security for the urban poor.
By better understanding the politics and governance of African cities and variations across cities, we can identify feasible opportunities to improve informal traders’ livelihoods.
The infamous Makoko slum in Lagos, Nigeria.
Stefan Magdalinski/Wikimedia Commons
In our urban world, turning the makeshift and the informal into the livable and sustainable is our greatest challenge.
This screenshot from a commercial ad was part of a campaign to improve communication and information about domestic workers’ labour conditions in Argentina.
Domestic workers in Argentina are essentially women employed in the informal economy which can enable forms of mistreatment. Today they’re fighting to formalise their status.
A street vendor in Hanoi, Vietnam. Rather than being “helpless and hopeless”, many informal workers are self-reliant and ambitious.
The informal economy is often perceived negatively, yet recent research from developing and emerging countries indicate that the preconceptions that surround it are myths.
Tanzania’s capital, Dar es Salaam. The country is known for its budgetary problems.
Building a fiscally capable state won’t bring benefits in the short term but can build taxpayers confidence.
While street vendors work in plain sight, they are “off the map” in the eyes of city officials and planners.
Street vendors are the most visible of the people who work in the informal sector – up to half the urban workforce in cities like Manila – but whose needs and rights receive no official recognition.