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RM (File photo)
More than seven million Mozambicans work in the informal sector across different sectors of activity, with emphasis on agriculture, and contribute more than 60 percent to the gross domestic product of Mozambique and more than 80 per cent to the employment rate in the country.
These figures were released in Maputo on Wednesday by the Executive Secretary of the Mozambican Youth Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Noémia Simão at a one-day conference in Maputo organised in partnership with Banco Comercial de Investimentos (BCI) to discuss the role of the sector in the country’s economic growth.
Simão says economic activities need formalising at the national level, but there are challenges to be overcome.
caption – Deputy Minister of Industry and Commerce, Ragendra de Sousa
The government, in the person of Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade, Ragendra de Sousa, acknowledged that its intervention in the informal sector was weak, in so far as it could be better leveraged and contribute to the improvement of the business environment in Mozambique.
Since mid-2016, the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MIC), through the Institute for the Promotion of Small and Medium Enterprises (IPEME), has been running a campaign called ‘Quero Ser Formal’ ( I Want to Be Formal), the main objective of which is to train informal traders in accounting, management techniques and marketing.
“We recognise that our intervention is still insufficient,” the deputy minister said, stressing the importance of IPEME’s support for the Youth Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCIJ).
Since 2015, IPEME and the CCIJ have been raising awareness and assistance in the tax area through simplified taxation and have been able to transition young people and women into the formal sector.
The deputy minister cautioned the informal sector to be well prepared for the bureaucracy they would encounter, but promised that the government “cares about the sector and is not prepared to let it be used to enrich the leaders”.
Ragendra said that “we will do everything we can to help lift the ‘mamanas’ (informal women vendors) out of poverty”, but that the informal sector must increase profitability, and not settle for selling around 50 meticais’ worth of product and making a profit of 10 meticais a day.Source: Rádio Moçambique / AIM Moçambique
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