The Unique Utility of Informal Institutions in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Study of Self-Employment Embedded in Culture and Context

Laura Galloway, Esinath Ndiweni, Rebecca Stirzaker

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

Abstract

This article explores the use of informal socio-cultural practices to mitigate formal institutional voids in a qualitative study of informal self-employment in Bulawayo in Zimbabwe. Informal socio-cultural values and practices such as ubuntu and indaba were observed to be making meaningful contribution to business and lives. Development of formal institutions as a consequence was not observed though. The article proposes that economic development efforts might best serve communities in sub-Saharan Africa by facilitating institutional development that converges with local socio-culturally informed practices rather than focus on attempts to absorb informal work into a homogenously understood formal institutional system.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationContextualising African Studies
Subtitle of host publicationChallenges and the Way Forward
EditorsChristian Harrison, Kinsley Obi Omeihe
PublisherEmerald Publishing Limited
Pages79-97
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9781804553381
ISBN (Print)9781804553398
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 12 Dec 2023

Keywords

  • Africa
  • Informal entrepreneurship
  • Institutions
  • Poverty
  • Socio-culture
  • Ubuntu

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)
  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)

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