WEAVING A CLIMATE-RESILIENT FUTURE: THE POWER OF AFRICA’S INFORMAL SECTOR

Richard Munang
3 min readMar 1, 2023

The African continent is like a vast and vibrant tapestry woven from the threads of its many cultures, traditions, and people.

And like any tapestry, the strength of Africa lies in the interweaving of its many threads, each adding its own unique color and texture to the whole.

One of the most important threads in this tapestry is the informal sector, which has the potential to become the economic and climate solution turbocharger for Africa.

The informal sector in Africa is vast, employing millions of people and contributing significantly to the continent’s economy. It is made up of small businesses, street vendors, and micro-entrepreneurs who provide essential goods and services to communities across the continent. These businesses are often run by #women, #youth, and marginalized #communities, who are often excluded from the formal economy.

Despite its importance, the informal sector is often overlooked and underserved, lacking access to the resources and support it needs to thrive. This is particularly true in the face of the growing challenge of #climatechange, which is already affecting communities across #Africa. #Drought, #flooding, and #extreme weather are destroying crops, eroding soil, and making it harder for #informalsector businesses to survive.

To make the informal sector the #economic and #climateaction solution #turbocharger for Africa, there are several practical steps that need to be taken.

Firstly, it is essential to recognize the vital role that the informal sector plays in Africa’s economy and to support it with the resources it needs to grow and thrive. This includes access to finance, training and support, and access to markets.

ebafosa Uganda

Secondly, we need to invest in the development of climate-resilient technologies and practices that can help informal sector businesses adapt to the impacts of climate change. This can include the the promotion of renewable energy and energy-efficient technologies.

@ebafosa Uganda

To make the informal sector the economic and climate solution turbocharger for Africa, it is essential to put in place the right policy incentives and to engage all sectors of society in supporting its growth and development. Governments, development partners, the private sector, and individuals all have a role to play in supporting the informal sector and creating an enabling environment for growth and innovation.

One practical example of this is the work being done by young people in the informal sector, who are leveraging the spirit of #InnovativeVolunteerism to retool their skills and drive simple climate action solutions. For example, they are using #Solardryers fabricated by #youth to help communities reduce post-harvest losses, turning agricultural waste into #biofertilizer and #briquettes, which are now replacing charcoal in households and reducing indoor pollution that kills over 700,000 Africans yearly. Finally, it is important to engage and empower the #youth, who are the future of Africa’s informal sector. By providing them with the #skills, training, and support they need to succeed, we can help to build a more resilient and sustainable future for Africa. #innovativevolunteerism

@ebafosa Uganda

The informal sector in Africa is like a hidden gem, shining with the potential to transform the continent’s economy and help build a more climate-resilient future. By supporting this vital thread in Africa’s tapestry, we can help to weave a brighter and more prosperous future for all.

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Richard Munang

Expert environmental policy, climate change and sustainable development. An accomplished public speaker. Founded the Innovative Volunteerism mentorship program