The spartial regularisation of informal Sector activities in Kisumu town
The economic structure of African countries is basically characterized by subsistence economy, narrow production base, environmental degradation, urban biased public policies, dependence on external resources and neglect of the informal sector. In the recent years, many countries have come to realize the importance of the informal sector in promoting income and employment opportunities. For instance available data in Kenya shows that outside agriculture and the public sector, employment opportunities in the informal sector outweighs those in the formal sector. The adverse view on the sector as a manifestation of massive underemployment or disguised unemployment, and of the excessive growth of unsophisticated tertiary occupations in the cities still persists. At worst the sector is considered as the ," .' parasite and a potential criminal, lumped together with beggars, prostitutes and thieves in the "lumpenproletariat" or simply viewed as a total irrelevant occupation. At best the sector's worker is viewed as an enterprising victim of the shortage of "productive" employment opportunities in the town, adopting a coping response in the face of urbanization process, which combines considerable rural urban migration, rapid urban population growth, slow growth in industrial employment, and the application of imported capital intensive technologies to labour surplus situations. In the context of a dualistic model of urban labour markets, using formal-informal sector terminology, it is useful to examine the three sub-sectors of the informal sector as a means of testing the nature and significance of informality in the total economic system.