Chapter 5: Facing informal economy practices and institutions: the challenge of formalisation policies in Africa
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A series of recent research papers commissioned by the ILO provides some key findings on the various challenges of any intervention that aims to transition from the informal to the formal economy, along with the necessary conditions for collective regulation to ensure the effectiveness and legitimacy of public policies in that matter. Indeed, public policies that aim to facilitate the transition to the formal economy must incorporate genuine replacement solutions for the livelihood security of grassroots actors; this is a crucial test for the legitimacy of the project. Faced with exclusion, social fragmentation and anomie, the State’s responsibility is to make “cohabitation” within the formal economy bearable, possible and thinkable. The results of studies carried out among “ordinary people” reveal that household livelihood security is one of people’s main concerns. In this regard, this should form the central plank of any integrated formalisation strategy and a component of a democratic “new deal” between the people and the State. The “deal” includes consolidating local associative movements and creating an inclusive state that guarantees collective freedoms, social justice and the construction of territories where “sustainable good life” is possible.

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