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Recent history of the tradeunion in Africa highlights the fact that they are progressively interested inorganising the informal sector for various reasons. But the congenitalcharacteristics of the informal economy can appear as challenges to overcome.The purpose of this paper is then to analyze the relationship between tradeunion and the informal sector in Africa, focusing on Cameroon but also incountries where data and studies are available. In order to do this,statistical figures and analytical development are used to proceed in two steps.The first analyzes trade union and informality to check how unions can avoidthe forgetting trap as far as informality is concerned. The idea is to discussabout the modalities of the organisation of the informal economy and to assesshow the challenges of women and child labour organisations are considered bytraditional trade unions. The second step is then to present how informalsector tries to take care of itself and to analyze the trade-off betweenconventional trade union behaviours and what can be considered as -informalunionisation- in terms of competition versus complementarity. Indeed one maysuspect some tension between trade unions and the will of informal employersand informal employees to organise themselves.


Trade Union, Informal Sector, Informal Unionisation, Negotiations

Cite this paper

Nanfosso, R. 2016 Trade Union and the Informal Sector in Africa: Cameroon. Modern Economy, 7, 1135-1152. doi: 10.4236-me.2016.711113.

Autor: Roger Tsafack Nanfosso



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