The Zimbabwe Chamber of Informal Economy Associations (ZCIEA) stands united with the world in commemorating International Vendors Day. Each year on November 14th, we come together to honor and recognize the invaluable contributions made by street vendors, who are an integral part of the informal economy. This year, we celebrate under the theme of “Loosen up, Lighten up Day.”
Street vendors play a vital role as intermediaries, connecting producers and manufacturers with customers in the value chain. Despite their relentless efforts towards economic development, these brave and hardworking vendors continue to face numerous challenges. They endure violence, harassment, and the confiscation of their goods by law enforcement agents and local authorities and at most times resulting in unwanted corrupt practices.
We appreciate the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare and Ministry of Women’s Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development for recognising and appreciating the efforts of the informal economy towards economic development.
As we celebrate the resilience of these vendors, the ZCIEA earnestly urges local authorities and the government to prioritize the following 3 key areas:
(1) Creation of a safer and more conducive working environment for all workers and traders in the informal economy. It is imperative that we protect their rights and ensure their security so that they can continue to thrive and contribute to the nation’s prosperity.
(2) We call upon the authorities to promote simplified and affordable formalization processes for the informal economy through the National Formalisation Strategy which is waiting for the Presidential Assent. By doing so, we can empower vendors and other workers in the informal sector, granting them access to social protection, financial services, and opportunities for growth and development.
(3) We urge the government to domesticate ILO Recommendation 204 of 2015 and ILO Convention 190 OF 2019.
Together, let us embrace this day of celebration to recognize the resilience, honesty, and unwavering spirit of our vendors. May it also serve as a reminder and a call to action for the authorities to create an enabling environment that fosters the success of the informal economy and uplifts the lives of all workers and traders involved.
Happy International Vendors Day!