||War on Want, The Workers' Education Association Zambia (WEAZ) & the Alliance for Zambia Informal Economy Associations (AZIEA). (2006) Forces for Change: Informal economy organisations in Africa. War on Want : 1-104.
||The report, entitiled Forces for Change: informal economy organisations
in Africa, focuses on the experiences of informal economy organisations
in Ghana, Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia, and is a joint research report
between War on Want and the Workers' Education Association Zambia (WEAZ) and the Alliance for Zambia Informal Economy Associations (AZIEA).
It shows the contribution of informal economy workers to the overall
economy and the need for wider recognition of the informal economy
within the International Labour Organisation (ILO), trade union
federations, local and central governments. This is achievable through
the formulation of specific policies addressing the needs of these
workers. They must also accept informal economy organisations as
stakeholders in policy formulation processes.
Structural adjustment policies in the late 1980s and early 1990s have
significantly contributed towards a rapid growth of the informal economy
in many African countries. These policies encouraged governments to
liberalise trade, to privatise state-owned enterprises and to reduce the
size of the public sector. This led to a sharp decrease in employment in
the formal sector and forced many to survive in highly precarious and
insecure conditions in the informal economy.
The report shows that in the past decades different organisations have
been established with the purpose of representing the views of street
traders, market vendors and other informal economy workers. National
alliances of different informal economy organisations have been formed
in e.g. Ghana and Zambia. Despite these developments, research has shown
that these organisations have not been sufficiently consulted by local
and central government.
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While the informal economy is estimated to contribute between 38 and 49
percent towards the GNP of the four countries included in this study,
workers in the informal economy have only gradually been acknowledged as
stakeholders in policy formulation processes. Although the informal
economy provides employment to between 70 and 90 percent of the labour
force in Africa, none of the informal economy organisations part of our
research project were involved in the consultation process leading up to
the formulation of Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSP).
Furthermore, governments have not adequately addressed the needs of
informal economy workers in local and central government policies.
For more information about the report, please contact:
International Programme Research Officer
War on Want
56-64 Leonard Street
London EC2A 4LT
Tel general: +44 (0)20 7549 0555
Fax: +44 (0)20 7549 0556
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