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Articles on informal economy

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A deserted Lagos road during the pandemic lockdown in April 2020. Adekunle Ajayi/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Nigeria’s pandemic lockdown measures were hard on informal workers

Lockdown and stay-at-home orders may not benefit societies dominated by informal economies.
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

The World Bank and IMF are using flawed logic in their quest to do away with the informal sector

Influential international actors like the World Bank and the IMF should focus on expanding social protection rather than focusing on eliminating the informal economy.
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

Millions of young South Africans are without jobs: what are the answers?

Promoting entrepreneurship will help reduce unemployment in South Africa. But the government has to step up its game.
Unemployed Liberian young men seeking daily jobs at the industrial district of Bushrod Island, Monrovia, Liberia. EFE-EPA/Ahmed Jallanzo

How COVID-19 is likely to slow down a decade of youth development in Africa

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. shutterstock

Why African cities should have engaged non-state actors in the fight against COVID-19

Urban governance must include community groups, non-state and informal actors in the battle against COVID-19 in Africa.
Informal food trade represents a critical source of employment and food security for the urban poor. Nic Bothma/EPA

Informal traders in African cities are being used as political pawns

By better understanding the politics and governance of African cities and variations across cities, we can identify feasible opportunities to improve informal traders’ livelihoods.
This screenshot from a commercial ad was part of a campaign to improve communication and information about domestic workers’ labour conditions in Argentina. Afip Cocina

‘There’s always someone else’: Argentina’s struggle to improve domestic workers’ labour conditions

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.

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