In most countries of Sub-Saharan Africa, few reliable data are available relating to employment, unemployment and the conditions in which occupations are practised. This is in spite of the fact that societies base their economies on work and that reduction of poverty remains the main objective of economic policies. The existing information in any case results from different concepts and methods of analysis peculiar to each national statistics institute, which prevents comparison at the scale of these countries as a whole.
In order to fill this gap, surveys on employment and the informal sector (2) were conducted from September 2001, at the request of the Committee of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA). The surveys were performed by the national statistics institutes in conjunction with AFRISTAT and the IRD (1). Two series of enquiries were conducted, the first on employment and the second on the businesses in the informal sector. They investigated the labour market characteristics in the economic capitals of seven countries of the UEMOA zone (Benin, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo).
For the first time, a common analytical method– the 1-2-3 survey (3) developed by the IRD researchers- was used simultaneously in these different countries, with the aim of utilizing and comparing the data obtained on the regional scale. The results of the first two phases of enquiries, now available, bring new, detailed and homogeneous figures on employment, the labour market, and the informal sector in West Africa.
Marie Guillaume | alfa
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