In most African cities, the informal sector is the main economy. This is because of rapid urban population growth, slow economic and industrial growth and high employment. Unregulated economic activities provide work and livelihoods for most households. The informal sector is growing and becoming more important for urban survival. At the same time, governments, regional blocs and international development organisations are becoming more interested in the idea of sustainable urban development. This refers to processes that boost economic development, improve the quality of urban life for everyone, and protect the physical environment. In Zimbabwe, the cost of formal training is beyond the reach of most households. The informal sector provides a way for people to acquire skills. It enrols everyone who wants to work and learn, regardless of their educational or socioeconomic background. A study encountered numerous skilled and experienced builders, carpenters, fashion designers and tile ﬁtters, for example. These workers said they learnt their skills through participating in the informal sector.
SOURCE: THE CONVERSATION