Zimbabwe’s informal economy has been an important source of resilience over the past decades, as successive financial crises, the collapse of commercial agriculture, and de-industrialization have forced workers out of formal employment.
It is estimated between 80-90 per cent of Zimbabweans are engaged in informal economic activities, and that the sector, which is also linked into supply chains and the formal economy, accounts for 40 per cent of Zimbabwe’s GDP.
However, informality is also a factor of vulnerability, with many people at high risk of food insecurity, with fewer employment rights or jobs protection, and a weak social contract between workers and the government.
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted this vulnerability. Designing policies to harness innovations and knowledge from the informal sector, while bridging gaps in social security protections, working standards and wages, can help to propel growth.
Speakers will also reflect on priorities for cultivating more inclusive economic policymaking systems in pursuit of sustained economic recovery.
This event will be broadcast live on the Africa Programme Facebook page.
Hopolang Phororo, Country Director for Zimbabwe, International Labour Organization
Dr Favourate Sebele-Mpofu, Lecturer, National University of Science and Technology (NUST), Zimbabwe
Michael Ndiweni, Executive Director, Bulawayo Venders and Traders Association
Charles Dhewa, CEO, Knowledge Transfer Africa
Chair: Christopher Vandome, Research Fellow, Africa Programme, Chatham House