Building vibrant and tolerant democracies
The formal economies of many countries in the SADC region have developed only a small segment of the population, leaving the majority to subsist in the informal economy. Predictions that the informal economy would disappear once sufficient levels of growth are reached have proven to be false. The informal sector is a permanent feature of the region’s economies; its continued growth is aided by Structural Adjustment Programmes (SAPS), Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSP), the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility, NEPAD and GEAR (in the case of South Africa).
Recent figures from the African Development Bank and the World Bank show that an estimated 80% of the population in some member states, such as Mozambique and Zambia, live in extreme poverty. Despite the fact that the informal economy enables many people – particularly women – to provide better quality lives for their families, the importance of this sector remains unrecognised by SADC as a result of the lack of research on this sector and the disunity between informal trade leaders, that results in their absence from policy and democratic processes.
To address this, this project aims to support research on the informal economies in the SADC region, aid solidarity campaigns and increase the organisational and advocacy capacity of informal sector leaders within the region. These objectives are all to support the overall goal to develop a policy environment that recognises the informal economy in southern Africa.ShareThis