n Africa Insight - Africa’s Informal Workers - Collective Agency, Alliances and Transnational Organising in Urban Africa, Ilda Lindell - book review

Volume 48 Number 1
  • ISSN : 0256-2804


The book under review is the third volume resulting from a conference held in Uppsala, Sweden in 2007. The theme of the conference was ‘Informalizing economies and new organizing strategies in Africa’. Ilda Lindell, the editor, states that the premise of the book is to depart from prevailing analyses, which seldom regard informal workers as political actors with the capacity to engage in collective organisation and mobilisation. The authors of the volume examine various collective organising initiatives in sub-Saharan Africa. To refocus the conversation about the informal economy and workers, they seek to understand the political and economic conditions in which collective organisation occur. The book is part of a growing body of literature that attempts to tackle the erasure of African voices in this field within academia and policy circles, throughout the world, as also noted by Babaci-Wilhite. In essence, the authors reflect on the perils and possibilities of African agency among and within those pushed beyond the boundaries of the periphery.

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