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Yes, Africa's informal sector has problems, but the answer isn't to marginalise it

By Gideon Abagna Azunre, PhD student, Concordia University
Festival Godwin Boateng, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Centre for Sustainable Urban Development, The Earth Institute, Columbia University
Owusu Amponsah, Senior Lecturer, Department of planning, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST)
Stephen Appiah Takyi, Senior Lecturer, Department of Planning, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST)
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African leaders are increasingly aspiring to “modernise” their cities. That is to make them “globally competitive” and “smart”. The hope is to strategically position cities in Africa to drive the continent’s much-needed socio-economic transformation.

But these aspirations tend to marginalise and antagonise the informal sector. The sector encompasses the suite of economic activities by workers and economic units that are – in law or in practice – not covered (or insufficiently covered) by formal…The Conversation


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