H.R.H. Princess Abze Djigma organised an event about empowering the informal sector during the The Third International Conference on Financing for Development (FfD3) in July 2015 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The Third International Conference on Financing for Development (FfD3)  gathered thousands high-level political representatives, including over 50 Heads of State and Government, and more than 100 Ministers of Finance, Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation, as well as all relevant institutional stakeholders, non-governmental organizations and business sector entities.

The Conference resulted in the intergovernmental negotiated and agreed “Outcome document of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development: Addis Ababa Action Agenda” which constitutes an important contribution to and support the implementation of the post-2015 development agenda.

H.R.H. Princess Abze Djigma in cooperation with UNDP and the International Chamber of Commerce organized during the FfD3  a side event about Empowering the Informal Sector in Africa.

In African countries despite its economic growth over the past years, most of the population still relies on the informal economy to survive.  “In fact, the informal sector contributes about 55 per cent of Sub-Saharan Africa’s GDP and 80 per cent of the labor force. Nine in 10 rural and urban workers have informal jobs in Africa and most employees are women and youth” (AfdB).

People who lack access to finance and decent jobs or to improved facilities for economy growth live in the developing regions of sub-Saharan Africa and Asia, and they live in poverty. But providing finance is not enough by itself to lift people from poverty: Equally important is going beyond basic financial needs to ensure the empowerment of the poor, particularly women and youth, to use legal framework in ways that benefit them and their communities.

Modernizing and upgrading the Informal Sector means providing access to adapted and flexible infrastructure to grow their micro-business, beyond meeting basic services, to empower the poor to generate equitable employment and additional income; to enable better access to education and health care; and to satisfy lifestyle needs and improve living standards.

H.E. Mr Akwasi Opong-Fosu, Minister of State at the Presidency. Republic of Ghana Office of the President Flagstaff House Ghana chairing the Side Event “Empowering the informal Sector in Africa” during the FfD3 in Addis Ababa

The multi-stakeholder panel session discussed how Empowering Informal Sector initiatives are best designed to combine finance services with interventions and activities helping to generate livelihoods, employment and bring key development benefits. Panelists elaborated on challenges and the way forward to ensuring sustainability and expansion of Development programs like the “Initiative MAMA-LIGHT® for Sustainable Energy”.

The side event addresses the importance and challenges of the informal sector and provides ideas, examples and concrete best practices to scale up and be able to bring the informal sector to the formal sector in ways that benefit both local communities and government.

Dr Roberto Ridolfi PhD, Director Sustainable Growth and Development. European Commission speaking during the Side Event “Empowering the informal Sector in Africa” during the FfD3 in Addis Ababa


For the full discussion see the video of the side event.