Making Africa’s informal sector a new normal 

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Africa’s labour pool is uniquely made up of various sections, the most dominant one being the informal sector—encompassing the most human capital, catering for most young-population livelihoods and it is highly un-attended—in terms of proper management and regulations by governments across the region and there is substantial evidence to back this claim.  According to a 2018 publication by the World Bank Understanding the informal economy in African cities: Recent evidence from Greater Kampala, the informal sector accounts for huge employment in African cities, marking 86 per cent of total employment in sub-Saharan Africa according to the International Labor Organization estimates (ILO).  “With a pervasive informal sector, city governments have been struggling with how best to respond. On the one hand, a large informal sector often adds to city congestion, through informal vending and transport services, and does not contribute to city revenue,” the publication argued.  Despite this grim-reality—still, there are plenty of hawkers, traders and vendors populating cities in East Africa—for instance. These hard-working individuals pin their efforts to low productivity, low wages and non-exportable goods and services.  Regardless of these issues, there are hordes of young sellers plying their wares on streets and street corners around Dar es Salaam and Nairobi and most active commercial cities in East Africa. This means they serve a certain purpose

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Padili Mikomangwa is an environmentalist based in Tanzania. . He is passionate about helping communities be aware of critical issues cutting across, environmental economics and natural resources management. He holds a bachelors degree in Geography and Environmental Studies from University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

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