The Informal sector constitutes over 85% of the Ghanaian workforce yet the sector suffers numerous challenges including limited access to public space for business and harassment by authorities.
The informal workers also face over–taxation, poor sanitation in business spaces, lack of support for Cooperatives, and limited access to Social Protection Schemes, Social Dialogue, and Business opportunities.
The Executive Secretary of Inforum Ghana Mrs. Deborah Freeman made this known at the 2023 1st Quarter Informal Economy Stakeholders ‘Consultative Forum in Accra under the theme: Creating an enabling environment for the informal economy in Ghana to thrive –the role of stakeholders.”
According to her, the Informal Economy Workers’ Forum of Ghana (INFORUM) was aimed at bringing various Informal Workers’ Organizations and their members under one umbrella.
This she said, forum would help them to form a united front for social dialogue and for advancing the course of the informal economy workers towards their welfare and socio-economic development.
The INFORUM has since been a platform where Government officials, Metropolitan and District Assemblies, Ghana Revenue Authority, the Registrar General’s Department, and other State institutions have been committed to addressing informal workers on a quarterly basis on issues that have implications for their work, livelihood, and socio-economic development.
Mrs. Deborah Freeman noted that INFORUM Ghana has an estimated membership of Four Million, Nine Hundred and Twenty –One Thousand (4,921,000) workers drawn from various informal economy associations and occupational groups, and cooperatives in the informal economy.
The Director of the Development Planning Unit of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), Richard Mr. Kwame Oduro said the Assembly cannot do away with Informal workers; since they contribute significantly to the Ghanaian workforce.
According to him, the activities of some of the traders and their haphazard settlements were impeding the cleanliness and progress of the metropolis.
He, therefore, seized the opportunity to advise informal workers especially hawkers to adhere to by-laws in order to avoid harassment from authorities.
Accra Metro Director, Department of Cooperatives Gifty Sarpong also urged them to endevour to form recognized groups or cooperatives since the Assembly wants to collaborate with recognized groups or cooperatives.
Adding that forming recognized groups will also help them to get business opportunities from the Assembly.
The President of the Greater Accra Markets Association Mercy Naa Afrowa Needjan also frowned against trading at unauthorised locations and in an unsanitary conditions.
She, therefore, advised all and sundry to adopt personal hygiene in order to ward off diseases and also help keep the city clean.
However, she also bemoaned at the manner in which authorities destroy the goods of the mark folks in the name of decongesting the city.
Source: Isaac Kofi Dzokpo/newsghana.com.gh
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