By Chikondi Masuso
THE Malawi Union for the Informal Sector (Mufis) has said informal workers are not recognised despite being the source of livelihood of close to a third of the country.
Mufis General Secretary Mwanda Chiwambala said the Employment Act also needs to reflect the professional interests of the informal sector workers. He said the informal sector is wrongly perceived as a threat to security and the general good of the country despite offering a base of livelihood for a lot of Malawians who cannot be absorbed into the formal employment sector.
"You look at how innocent men and women plying their trade in the streets are treated. These have spent a lot of money as start up capital and yet the authorities confiscate their merchandise mercilessly and yet most of them do not have access to formal financing through the banks.
"If truth be told there appears to be neglect on the part of policy makers which has also led to not there being enough information about ·contribution of the sector to the economy through indicators such as the gross domestic product(GDP). This has in tum undermined the role of the informal sector in the country," he said.
According to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) decent Work Country Programme 4, the informal economy has experienced rapid growth but suffers worse working conditions both in form of less income, social protection, safety and representation.
In its 20l0 report, the organisation stated that 90 percent of Malawians work outside the formal sector. According to the African Development Bank, the informal sector contributes about 55 per cent of Sub-Saharan Africa's GDP and 80 per cent of the labour force. Nine in 10 rural and urban workers have informal jobs in Africa and most employees are women and youths.
Source: Published in the National News
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StreetNet Newsletter 31 [pdf]
INDIA. DP is irreparable, scrap it, say activists. Times of India (10 April 2015).
TANZANIA. College plans to identify trade opportunities for hawkers. Daily News (10 April 2015) by Ludovick Kazoka.
INDIA. No street vendors, cycle rickshaws in Lajpat Nagar market: NGT. Zee News (8 April 2015) by PTI. New Delhi:
BOTSWANA. EDD is the way to go. Mmegi Online (8 April 2015).
USA. Five Courses: Hawkers' street food flair & more. Creative Loafing Tampa Bay (8 April 2015) by Meaghan Habuda.
INDIA. Hawkers may be allowed near Rishi Kapoor, Anil Ambani's Pali Hill residences. DNA India (8 April 2015) by Amrita Nayak Dutta.
ABU-DHABI. Abu Dhabi Municipality raid scares away street hawkers. Gulf News (7 April 2015).
SINGAPORE. Hawker centres to be spruced up with murals and art installations. Channel News Asia (5 April 2015) by Vimita Mohandas.
MALAYSIA. 'Development will be inclusive'. The Star Online (3 April 2015).
INDIA. 'Street vendors denied right to livelihood'. The Hindu (1 April 2015) by K.N. Umesh.
StreetNet International is an alliance of street vendors. It was launched in Durban, South Africa, in November 2002.
Membership-based organizations (unions, co-operatives or associations) directly organizing street vendors, market vendors and/or hawkers among their members, are entitled to affiliate to StreetNet International.
The aim of StreetNet is to promote the exchange of information and ideas on critical issues facing street vendors, market vendors and hawkers (i.e. mobile vendors) and on practical organizing and advocacy strategies