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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - Insight on Africa
Title The Role of the Informal Sector in African Regional Integration: Scope and Limits
Volume 6
Issue 2
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2014
Page numbers 131-144
URL https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Innocent_Chirisa/publication/269600479_The_Role_of_the_Informal​_Sector_in_African_Regional_Integration_Scope_and_Limits/links/55118f140cf270fd7e301c40.pdf
The major questions of concern in this article are: Whose responsibility is it to provide services to the international informal sector practitioners in given municipalities? What scope is there for taxing the informal sector players to manage ‘free riding’ effectively? Can regional integration ensure policy coherence, charting a sustainable path for development? In light of these questions, this article aims at exploring and defining the roles of the informal sector in Africa’s regional integration agenda highlighting pitfalls and antics. The article is conceptual and based on literature review of scholarly, some official and media articles on the nexus between informal sector, women entrepreneurship and regional integration. Despite this analytical and practical divergence, critical for policy dialogue is the determination of the character of this loose, albeit important nexus. In Africa, the urban informal sector is marked by conspicuous ubiquity. Yet, this phenomenon is no longer a single country subject; it transcends country boundaries. Evidence includes the pervasive practice of cross-border trading and the provision of essential services and infrastructure to the migrants engaging in the informal sector as a survival coping strategy. Reality on the ground may fast-change than the debates present here. Latent in the present debate is the notion of ‘powerless places and placeless powers’ that affect informal sector, women entrepreneurship and regional integration.

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