By Ilda Lindell

A part of the groundbreaking Africa Now sequence, Africa's casual employees explores the deepening techniques of informalization and casualization of labor which are altering livelihood possibilities and stipulations in Africa and past. In doing so, the ebook addresses the jointly prepared responses to those adjustments, proposing them as an incredible measurement of the modern politics of casualness in Africa. It is going past the standard specialize in family 'coping innovations' and person different types of company, by way of addressing the turning out to be variety of collective enterprises during which casual 'workers' make themselves seen and articulate their calls for and pursuits. The rising photograph is that of a hugely assorted panorama of organised actors, reflecting the good range of pursuits within the casual economic climate. this gives grounds for tensions but in addition possibilities for alliance. The e-book additionally explores the radical pattern of transnational organizing by way of casual employees, accumulating case stories from 9 international locations and towns throughout Sub-Saharan Africa, and from sectors starting from city casual merchandising and repair supply, to casual production, informal port paintings and cross-border trade.Africa's casual employees is a energetic and well timed exam of the adjustments in African livelihoods as a result of deep and ongoing monetary, political and social adjustments.

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Extra info for Africa's Informal Workers: Collective Agency, Alliances and Transnational Organizing (Africa Now)

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At the same time, associations have become more dependent on the state and on NGOs for resources as well as vulnerable to political manipulation and co-option by political elites, something that effectively silences producers. The emerging trend, it is argued, is one towards political capture or exclusion rather than strengthening of political voice. The contribution by Ebbe Prag provides a different perspective from the above two in that it attributes key political roles and political capabilities to the studied informal workers, in this case organized traders.

The author addresses the various organized responses to the ‘Chinese challenge’. The picture is one of a contest and power struggle between different organized actors – consumer and trader associations as well as a Chinese business association – articulating opposing views on the Chinese issue. These opposing views have found expression in diverging discourses, where trader associations tend to resort to Othering, while the consumer associ­ations accuse the former of xenophobia and advocate racial inclusion.

Many of them suffer variously from serious material constraints, poor access to Internet technologies and limited opportunities to travel abroad. Women may face additional constraints, not to speak of children and the elderly, many of whom earn a living in the informal economy. Cumbers et al. (2008: 189) have discussed how the majority of grassroots activists in the global South are unable to participate directly in transnational movements and are dependent upon ‘imagineers’, actors who are critical in furthering connectivity, in channelling information and in ‘translating’ the vision of the network to the grass roots.

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