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Growth in the Shadows: Sub-Saharan Africa’s Informal Economy

June 28, 2017

Makeshift bicycle repair shop in Quelimane, Mozambique. The informal economy is a key component of most economies in sub-Saharan Africa (photo: Ulrich Doering imageBroker/Newscom).

By 2035 sub-Saharan Africa will have more working-age people than the rest of the world’s regions combined. This growing workforce bulge will have to be met with jobs, but the region remains one of the toughest places to do business. Meanwhile, small-unregistered household businesses provide up to 90 percent of jobs outside of agriculture. The IMF’s latest Regional Economic Outlook for sub-Saharan Africa devotes an entire chapter on the informal economy, and in this podcast we speak with economist Ali Mansoor, coauthor of the study.

Ali Mansoor, IMF Division Chief for West Africa, and coauthor of the report.