CCS Events
CCS Libraries
About CCS
CCS Projects
CCS Highlights

Publication Details

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.

Read more about recent developments around street vending in Malawi
Read more about War on Want's informal economy programme
Make a difference - join us

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:

Wendy Willems
International Programme Research Officer

War on Want
Development House
56-64 Leonard Street
London EC2A 4LT
Tel general: +44 (0)20 7549 0555
Fax: +44 (0)20 7549 0556

Read Publication 
 cast your net a little wider...
 Radical Philosophy 
 African Studies Association (USA)  
 New Dawn Engineering 
 Indymedia Radio 
 Southern Africa Report online 
 Online Anti Apartheid Periodicals, 1960 - 1994 
 Autonomy & Solidarity 
 New Formulation 
 We Write 
 International Journal of Socialist Renewal 
 Journal of African Philosophy 
 British Library for Development Studies 
 The Nordic Africa Institute Online Library 
 Political Economy Research Institute Bulletin (PERI) 
 Feminist Africa 
 Jacques Depelchin's Tribute to Harold Wolpe 
 African Studies Quarterly 
 The Industrial Workers of the World 
 Anarchist Archives 
 Wholewheat Radio 
 Transformation: Critical Perspectives on Southern Africa  
 Zanon Workers 
 Public Citizen  
 Open Directory Project 
 Big noise films 
 London Review of Books  
 New York Review of Books 
 Monthly Review 
 New Left Review 
 Bureau of Public Secrets  
 Zed Books 
 Pluto Press 
 Duke University Press  
 Abe Books 
 The Electric Book Company 
 Project Guttenberg 
 Newspeak Dictionary 
 Feral Script Kiddies 
 Go Open Source 
 Source Forge 
 Ubuntu Linux Home Page 
 Software for Apple Computers 

|  Contact Information  |  Terms of Use  |  Privacy