The informal economy plays a critical role in the lives of thousands of individuals in both urban and rural set up across Zambia. It provides livelihoods, employment and entrepreneurship opportunities to the population. However, despite its importance, those in the informal economy sit uncomfortably within national policy and legal framework and have historically been excluded from social security coverage. It is only in the recent past that the National Pensions Scheme Authority (NAPSA) has extended its coverage social security schemes to informal economy workers.
The Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Zambia, FES Zambia, Southern African Social Protection Experts Network, SASPEN, the Civil Society for Poverty Reduction, CSPR Zambia and Zambia Congress of Trade Unions, ZCTU had the pleasure to convene the Social Policy Forum: Informal Economy and Social Security Packages in Zambia.
The presentation from the representative of Alliance for Zambia Informal Economy Association (AZIEA), Mr. Lameck Kashiwa, who was the key presenter,made a clear call to the state authoritiees of the structured system present in the informal economy as well as the strong desire for the economy to be part of the entire process concerning the establishment and implementation of social security packages/ schemes that will cover and tailor to the needs of the informal sector in Zambia.
Purpose of the meeting was to firstly, discuss the state of informal economy and social security packages in Zambia and its opportunities and challenges in an effort to safeguard vulnerability of informal economy workers and as a social justice and poverty reduction mechanism and finally to create an information sharing and networking platform in the implementation of social and economic development in Zambia.