Press Release

Informal Economy Coalition led by Zimbabwe Chamber of Informal Economy Associations (ZCIEA) in partnership with Bulawayo Vendors and Traders Association (BVTA), Vendors Initiative for Social and Economic Transformation (VISET), Women Alliance of Business Association in Zimbabwe (WABAZ), Zimbabwe Cross Border Traders Association (ZCBTA) demands a realistic formalisation for the informal economy. This demand came at a time when ZCIEA and the coalition members, with the support from the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE), launched a series of Road Shows, Community Radio discussions and TownHall meetings on raising awareness on the realistic formalisation of the Informal Economy #InformalEconomyMatters using 7 key themes: (1) recognition and respect for the informal economy, (2) development of linkages between the informal economy and formal businesses, (3) market access and infrastructure (4) formalisation, (5) financial inclusion, (6) social protection and (7) devolution. This was done from the 16th of February 2022 to the 25th of February 2022 in Gweru, Bulawayo, Masvingo and Mutare.

The above-mentioned activities raised awareness on the #InformalEconomyMatters; Informal Economy Bill, the importance of the informal economy contribution towards GDP, realistic formalisation of the Informal Economy and the roles and responsibilities of Informal Economy in development and decision-making processes.

During the roadshows, the 7 themes on formalisation were unpacked. Gweru covered an audience of about 700, Bulawayo with an audience of 900, Mutare with an audience of 600 and Masvingo with an audience of 1100.

Recognition and respect for informal workers and traders is the first step towards the realistic formalisation of the informal economy. ZCIEA Secretary-General Wisborn Malaya said that if Informal Economy workers and traders are recognised by the mainstream economy this will add value to improve the work they do to benefit their personal life, families and the economy of Zimbabwe. This is a key pathway towards achieving decent living standards and recognisable employment opportunities for Zimbabwean citizens.

ZCIEA National President emphasised the need for the government to provide universal social protection. “Universal social protection is a critical component of a realistic and meaningful formalisation of the informal economy,” said President Sibanda. President Sibanda Sibanda shared aspects of universal social protection as follows: (1) universal healthcare – quality and affordable healthcare systems which adequately cater for all citizens regardless of their social and economic status. This includes quality maternity healthcare which gives access to safe, affordable and satisfactory prenatal and postnatal healthcare, (2) access to both contributory and non-contributory schemes for the unemployed, elderly, orphans and people with disabilities among other vulnerable groups.

A Realistic Formalisation of the Informal Economy in Zimbabwe is needed to promote the growth of businesses and improve the livelihoods of workers and traders in the Informal Economy.