WHILE much emphasis has been placed on the role of markets in encouraging the growth of the informal economy, very little has been said about those who operate small informal businesses outside its gates.
Mobile traders and peddlers are seen by most governments as problems rather than solutions, a notion based on the difficulties authorities have in controlling how they conduct their activities.
In addition, many mobile traders sell counterfeit products which pose competition to formal enterprises. Aspiring entrepreneurs who conduct informal business within the vicinity of their homes are not so much of a problem as it is easy to identify them and hold them accountable.
Building a physical market is a good strategy, not only to promote the growth of the informal economy but also to control the problems of an open and uncontrolled environment.
For instance, a lot of vendors, especially women, complain of loss of revenue and insecurity when they conduct business outside the ambit of a formal market.