The Zimbabwe Chamber of Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) is hosting a strategic conference next month.

The conference is expected to come up with strategies to grow the micro, small to medium enterprises sector seen as a source of innovation and productivity.

It is running under the theme “Accelerating the attainment of Vision 2030 through all stakeholders collaborative efforts for fast tracking the implementation of MSMEs Policy 2020-2024”.

The conference will be held from 8-10 April 2024 at Clevers Hotel, Chiredzi.

The informal sector in Zimbabwe is indeed a “pool” of entrepreneurial talent that can be harnessed to fuel economic growth, but according to market watchers in needs capacitation.

The COVID-19 pandemic has seen a rise in the informal sector as people have struggled to eke out a living.

It is time for governments to recognize and acknowledge the significance of the informal economy. It should begin by recognizing informal workers as ‘workers’ – as legitimate economic agents, said Annamarie Kiaga, Informal Economy Specialist at ILO Harare/ adding that there is a strong need to formalize the informal economy in Zimbabwe.

The ILO, together with other UN agencies, specifically the UNDP, is supporting the Government of Zimbabwe to develop a national formalization strategy.

This is after the Government requested the ILO for technical support to formulate a comprehensive National Strategy and Implementation Plan to Facilitate the Transition from Informal to the Formal Economy in Zimbabwe through a consultancy.

The strategy will be closely aligned to the ILO Recommendation 204 on the transition from the informal to the formal economy.

The formulation process is expected to be both inclusive and participatory, ensuring that all relevant stakeholders, including workers, informal economy associations, employers and government are being consulted.