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Africa's informal workers: Collective agency, alliances and transnational organizing in urban Africa
The Nordic Africa Institute, Urban Dynamics.
2010 (English)Collection (editor) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Part of the groundbreaking Africa Now series, Africa’s Informal Workers explores the deepening processes of informalization and casualization of work that are changing livelihood opportunities and conditions in Africa and beyond. In doing so, the book addresses the collectively organized responses to these changes, presenting them as an important dimension of the contemporary politics of informality in Africa. It goes beyond the usual focus on household ‘coping strategies’ and individual forms of agency, by addressing the growing number of collective organizations through which informal ‘workers’ make themselves visible and articulate their demands and interests. The emerging picture is that of a highly diverse landscape of organised actors, reflecting the great diversity of interests in the informal economy. This provides grounds for tensions but also opportunities for alliance. The book also explores the novel trend of transnational organizing by informal workers, gathering case studies from nine countries and cities across Sub-Saharan Africa, and from sectors ranging from urban informal vending and service delivery, to informal manufacturing, casual port work and cross-border trade.

Africa’s Informal Workers is a vigorous and timely examination of the changes in African livelihoods caused by deep and ongoing economic, political and social  transformations.

Abstract [en]

Introduction and two sample chapters from the book are attached below.

Introduction: the changing politics of informality – collective organizing, alliances and scales of engagement. By Ilda Lindell, pp 1-30

Part one: The political dynamics of collective organizings, pp 31-45

Part two: The politics of vulnerability: exit, voice and capture in three Nigerian informal manufacturing clusters. By Kate Meaghers, pp 46-64

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London ; Uppsala: Zed Books ; Nordiska Afrikainstitutet , 2010. , 238 p.
Series
Africa Now
Keyword [en]
Africa south of Sahara, Urban areas, Economic conditions, Social change, Informal sector, Social movements, Trade unionism, Hidden economy, Livelihood, Survival strategies, Case studies
National Category
Sociology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:nai:diva-971ISBN: 9781848134522 (print)ISBN: 9781848134515 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:nai-971DiVA: diva2:291569
Note

CONTENTS -- Introduction: the changing politics of informality – collective organizing, alliances and scales of engagement/Ilda Lindell -- PART ONE The political dynamics of collective organizing -- 1. Seen but not heard: urban voice and citizenship for street traders/Alison Brown and Michal Lyon -- 2. The politics of vulnerability: exit, voice and capture in three Nigerian informal manufacturing clusters/Kate Meagher -- 3. Women leaders and the sense of power: clientelism and citizenship at the Dantokpa market in Cotonou, Benin/Ebbe Prag -- PART TWO Constructing alliances: organizing across the formal–informal ‘divide' -- 4. Alliances across the formal–informal divide: South African debates and Nigerian experiences/Gunilla Andrae and Björn Beckman -- 5. Self-organized informal workers and trade union initiatives in Malawi: organizing the informal economy/Ignasio Malizani Jimu -- 6. Moments of resistance: the struggle against informalization in Cape Town/David Christoffer Jordhus-Lier -- 7. The possibilities for collective organization of informal port workers in Tema, Ghana/Suzanne Scheld -- 9. Passport, please: the cross-border traders association in Zambia/Wilma S. Nchito and Karen Tranberg Hansen -- 10. Informal workers in Kenya and transnational organizing: networking and leveraging resources/Winnie V. Mitullah

Available from: 2010-02-02 Created: 2010-01-27 Last updated: 2015-05-26Bibliographically approved

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