Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Challenges of a Shrinking Formal Sector in Africa

A number of African countries that have embraced economic reforms have experienced a shrinking formal sector. This has been due to privatisation of parastatal companies and state-owned companies. Zambia is one of the African countries that has experienced a shrinking formal sector. This has led to the growth of the informal sector. A number of people in the informal sector lack adequate business and technical skills.

The Technical Education, Vocational and Entrepreneurship Training (TEVET) sector has been reformed to make it responsive to the changing scenario in the economy. Entrepreneurship training for the formal and informal sector has been introduced in TEVET institutions. A number of organisations have been formed to provide training in skills required in the informal sector. The TEVET Policy aims to improve technical education and vocational training and link it to the requirements of the employment sector. The TEVET policy recognises the following categories of people in our society as the most likely to benefit the country from this training: school leavers (i.e. Grade 7, Grade 9 and Grade 12); employees in the formal sector; entrepreneurs, both in formal and informal sector; the unemployed and underemployed – including employees in the informal sector; women; and retrenches

A number of institutions are offering entrepreneurship training. Is this meeting the needs of both the formal and informal sectors? Are trainees becoming employers and starting their own enterprises or most still expect employment?

Objectives of the Paper:
  • To contribute to the development of strategic interventions that promote sustainable development in Zambia;
  • To assess how the TEVET Policy has addressed entrepreneurship training in Zambia;
  • To identify what the country hopes to achieve through strengthened entrepreneurship
  • training;

Key words: Entrepreneurship; Entrepreneurship training; Formal Sector; Informal Sector; Sustainable Development.

(This paper was presented by Gabriel Konayuma at the Commonwealth Association of Polytechnics in Africa in Livingstone in December 2006)

The full paper can be downloaded at: http://bit.ly/sobM0h

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