Informal economy

Mozambique joins Portuguese-speaking countries to address transition to formal economy

Mozambique is hosting a seminar on “Transition from Informality to Formality" with representatives from Cabo Verde and Sao Tome and Principe, from 21-24 March 2016 in Maputo.

Media advisory | 20 March 2016
MAPUTO (ILO News) – The “Transition from Informality to Formality” seminar, supported by the International Labour Organization (ILO), brings together representatives of government, workers’ and employers' organisations to share experience and good practices around Recommendation 204, the first ever legal instrument specifically aimed at tackling the informal economy.

The Maputo event is held after the adoption of a new international labour standard expected to help hundreds of millions of workers and economic units to move out of informality and into the formal economy.

In an interview with UN Radio in Maputo, Igor Felice, ILO’s Chief Technical Adviser in Mozambique, explained the relevance of this legal provision to cases of countries represented.

“Participants will have a discussion on various aspects of the ILO Recommendation 204. They will also have two study tours, one at the National Institute of Social Security (NISS) and another one in a city market to see the challenges that NISS has been facing”, Felice highlighted.

In Mozambique the informal economy has a very high rate of over 90%. Therefore, the ILO Recommendation 204 facilitates this powerful transition from an informal to a more formal situation“, the ILO official underscored.

In most African countries, the percentage of the informal economy ranges between 45% and 90%. Mozambique is among the countries with the highest rate of people working in the informal economy, with nine out of 10 workers.

The informal economy is seen as an obstacle to the advancement of sustainable enterprises. It limits the application of labour rights and accentuates the lack of sufficient employment opportunities and social protection.

The ILO’s recommendation provides strategies and practical guidance on policies and measures that can facilitate the transition from the informal to the formal economy.

Social protection should take the needs of workers in the informal sector into account and their benefits should include, inter alia, social security, maternity protection, decent working conditions and minimum wage.

The seminar is expected to raise awareness and understanding on ILO Recommendation 204 as well as encourage governments and social partners to implement measures that make the transition from informality to formality, a reality.