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


Thursday, July 22, 2021, 10:00am


Virtual Event - Details Below
  • Michael Ndiweni, Executive Director, Bulawayo Venders and Traders Association
  • Charles Dhewa, CEO, Knowledge Transfer Africa
  • Favourate Y. Sebele-Mpofu, Lecturer, National University of Science and Technology (NUST), Zimbabwe

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 deindustrialisation have forced workers out of formal employment. It is estimated that between 80 to 90 percent 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 percent 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.

At this event, speakers will 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. They will also reflect on priorities for cultivating more inclusive economic policy-making systems in pursuit of sustained economic recovery.

ORGANIZER: Chatham House