Title: Toward a Solidarity Economy: The Case of Informal Traders in Southern Africa
Author: Thembela Njenga, Ecumenical Service for Socio-Economic Transformation (ESSET)
Voices from the South E-Newsletter: September 2012
According to recent reports of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, informal trading is the main source of job creation in Africa, providing between 20 to 75 percent of total employment in a majority of African countries. These numbers are even higher in the Southern African Development Community (SADC). Despite its importance in the continent, however, the informal economy and informal traders remain immensely marginalized. The strategies and policies developed by governments often deal with sector through diplacement and/or repression.
Ms. Thembela Njenga, executive director of Karibu partner Ecumenical Service for Socio-Economic Transformation (ESSET), reflects on the challenges facing the sector, the distructive capabilities of a profit-dominated capitalist system, and the call of Christians to work for transformative socio-economic justice for the poor and marginalized everywhere.