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ECOWAS member states to help regulate informal trade

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) will hold a workshop in Dakar, Senegal, 15-17 Nov. to develop a harmonised programme on regulating informal trade among member states.

The meeting is being organised by the Commission on Trade, Customs, Industry, Mines, Free Movement and Tourism of ECOWAS, against the recognition that informal trade has become pivotal.

For ECOWAS, informal trade occurs when production units are deprived of administrative registration number, when the accounts are informally kept and managed by non-registered companies which are neither subject to tax nor known by official statistics.

However, the informal trade, which includes a number of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), employs such a large number of women that ECOWAS believes it can have a positive impact on reducing poverty and promoting equality between men and women

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