Working Paper
Informality, Growth, and Development in Africa

The informal sector makes up an overwhelming share of both gross domestic product and total employment in Africa. In this paper, we lay out some of the basic characteristics of the informal sector in sub-Saharan Africa, relevant institutions, and development issues. Proposed policy approaches recognize both that the great capacity of the informal sector is not easily harnessed into formal systems, and that development is problematic when the bulk of economic activity operates outside of the formal regulatory regime.