In many developing countries, the informal sector presents an enigma of sorts to governments. It is the most dynamic part of the economy providing most jobs and livelihoods.
At the same time, it contributes very little to the formal economy by way of taxes. The question is whether it should be actively dismantled with a strong regulatory regime along with the consequent disruption and less support from the majority of participants. The alternative is to let it tick along in its inefficient but effective and parasitic manner.
These are some of the critical issues which come to mind on reading Nana Owusu Afari’s widely researched book.
The author looks at the informal sector in Ghana mainly but also examines the sector in Kenya, Zimbabwe and India.
The broad approach allows the issues to stand out succinctly and aids comparison.
The many policy suggestions made in the book make it important that policy makers be familiar with this book.
For students and practitioners of development economics, it is a welcome addition to the literature and should be found in every library. —
Tony Oteng-Gyasi, C.E.O, Tropical Cable and Conductor Ltd, and Past President, Association of Ghana Industries (AGI).