For decades, academics and urban planners have viewed Africa’s informal economy as an inferior sector. However, Mary Njeri Kinyanjui contends that artisans and traders behind these informal networks exhibit a brand of solidarity entrepreneurialism that enables market growth as well as community development.
Nonetheless, business exchanges in these informal urban markets are an integral part of social and economic development in Africa. These markets have retained and continue to retain traditional African norms and values of community and individual agency, which date back to African indigenous market concepts. More importantly, traders and artisans in these informal urban markets exhibit a distinct entrepreneurial behavior that is referred to as “solidarity entrepreneurialism.”
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The African Angle, an initiative of The Africa-America Institute, Fireside Research, and World Policy Journal, seeks to amplify the voices of contemporary African thought leaders speaking on issues of global concern. The views and opinions expressed in the blogs are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of The Africa-America Institute.