Re-reading the narrative of the informal economy in the context of economic development in sub-Saharan Africa

Abdoulie Sallah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose The purpose of this paper is to evaluate critically the narrative that the informal economy in Africa has no place within the framework of economic development. Considered as a sign of “backwardness”, “traditionalism” and “underdevelopment”, the informal economy in Africa has persistently grown notwithstanding Africa’s economic destabilisation through the adoption of neo-liberal economic interventions and free-market policies. This paper argues that the informal economy cannot be marginalised at the fringes of economic development, in the construction of a holistic development pathway. Design/methodology/approach The methodological basis is discourse analysis. Findings The outcome is a call to re-think and open up the feasibility, and possibilities for, alternative economic futures beyond free-market capitalism. Originality/value This paper makes a critical consideration on one of the multiple narratives that continue to inform economic policy making in Africa, by contesting and deconstructing its basis in order to encourage a pluralistic approach and understanding
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1063 - 1078
JournalInternational Journal of Social Economics
Volume43
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Bibliographical note

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Keywords

  • Africa
  • Development
  • Capitalism
  • Industrialization
  • Free market
  • Informal economy

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