Innovation and inclusion: Policy priorities for Zimbabwe’s informal economy

At this event, speakers discuss the informal economy in Zimbabwe, including the impact of COVID-19 on the sector and how to improve exchanges between formal and informal sectors

Research event, Panel
22 July 2021 — 3:00PM TO 4:30PM

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.

Read a meeting summary

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

Support us

Donate today to help secure our future as the home of independent thinking, or join our international network as a member.

Find out more Auto insert on research events