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Zimbabwe’s Informal Workers Call for Formal Recognition

The informal workforce, which comprises 85% of the total workforce, is struggling to recover from lockdown measures after local authorities cleared informal traders from the streets for three weeks from March to April. Working hours continue to be limited by a curfew, while street vendors have been squeezed by dwindling disposable incomes in the country. Despite contributing 40% of GDP before the pandemic hit, its leaders are locked out of government decision-making, while workers are often treated like criminals by local authorities. Since the collapse of industry due to the hyperinflation crisis of the 2000s, the informal sector has formed the backbone of the economy. Almost 5.2 million trade in the informal economy, 65% of whom are women.