Tag Archives: informal sector

Decolonizing Africa’s Informal Economy

By | August 25, 2019

I’ve been reviewing the seminal literature on decolonization as it relates to my professional practice, all in various books from the library – Dr Elizabeth (Dori) Tunstall’s Decolonizing Design Innovation; Professor Linda Tuhiwai Smith’s Decolonizing Methodology; Kagendo Mutua and BB Swadener’s Decolonizing Research in Cross-Cultural Contexts; specific articles such as Dr. Pranee Liamputtong’s Cross-Cultural Research… Read More »

Mobile Money and the Informal Economy: A Paradigm Change

By | July 9, 2019

One of the most powerful pieces of data analysis I have come across recently has been the Banque de France’s working paper on the role of financial innovation in the informal economy. In my opinion, the importance of their conclusions are no less than the famous “price of fish” paper of a decade ago –… Read More »

Zambia’s inclusive approach to various sectors in the informal economy is worth noting

By | February 8, 2018

The Zambian government most recently announced that they would provide certificates to illegal (artisanal) miners in order to recognize and formalize their activities. In addition, they were being encouraged to form cooperatives – a legally recognized organizational structure – that would permit further benefits to this informal sector. Compared to the challenges Ghana is facing… Read More »

Deconstructing “Formalization” as Panacea for the Informal Economy

By | July 22, 2017

IGO definitions of the informal economy are crafted from a top down perspective (Global North*) of the operating environment prevalent in the economies of the developing world (Global South*). Further, they do not distinguish between the operating environment of the shadow economies of OECD nations, and those which encompass the unorganized sectors of trade and… Read More »

Launching Our Digital Documentation Project: Ibadan’s Tailors, Traders, and Textiles by Nigerian/British artist Folake Shoga

By | April 14, 2017

After months of hard work, I am very honoured and proud to announced our new digital documentation project by my friend Folake Shoga, a Nigerian/British multidisciplinary artist with more than three decades of experience. She went on a journey of discovery through the twists and turns of the informal value web that holds together West… Read More »

African Youth find Opportunities in Informal Sector Biashara

By | September 4, 2016

Biashara in Africa’s emerging economies – Nigeria, Kenya, Zimbabwe- are at loggerheads with the state.  An ever bulging young demographic  and a failure to absorb them into the formal economy has resulted in increased biashara.  The informal sector’s low barrier to entry, appeals to the young Africans’ aspirations, like Simon Danda from Zimbabwe. Rather than… Read More »

Uber’s app lowers barriers to formalization for unorganized taxi industry in Kenya

By | March 7, 2016

This interesting article in the Kenyan news made me think about the role that an app like Uber could play in markets where there’s a high proportion of informal & unregulated business activity. As with much technological advancement, resistance comes with change. Mpesa and the internet were once thought to be passing fads and have… Read More »

Mobile Money’s next challenge: Enabling the development of a cashless ecosystem

By | March 1, 2016

The latest GSMA State of the Industry report on Mobile Money is out this month and the numbers look great in the developing world. The report frames the industry’s next challenge as the need to grow the platform beyond the basics of airtime purchase and person to person transfer. Here are my concerns, starting with… Read More »

The formal sector and economic development: A lesson from marketing

By | January 4, 2016

Pursuing the thoughts introduced in the previous post further, I looked up the original reference on “formalization of the informal sector”1. Alan Gelb, et al. 2009. “To Formalize or Not to Formalize? Comparisons of Microenterprise Data from Southern and East Africa.” CGD Working Paper 175 “…in East Africa, weak enforcement of tax payment and no… Read More »