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The urban informal sector in sub-Saharan Africa: from bad to good (and back again?)

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  • Deborah Potts
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    Conceptualisations of the informal sector in terms of economic dualism have a long history, as have effective challenges to those conceptualisations. These are discussed in this paper, which then examines shifts in attitudes towards the role of the urban informal sector in sub-Saharan Africa over recent decades, with reference to these theoretical conceptualisations and other approaches. The paper then discusses the dynamics of the sector and the changing role of the African state in promoting or discouraging it and identifies an increasingly negative trend in this respect. Finally, the paper offers a comparative perspective, from north of the Limpopo, on current debates and policy pronouncements about the 'second economy' in South Africa.

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    Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Development Southern Africa.

    Volume (Year): 25 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 2 ()
    Pages: 151-167

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    Handle: RePEc:taf:deveza:v:25:y:2008:i:2:p:151-167
    DOI: 10.1080/03768350802090527
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