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Dolan, Catherine and Rajak, Dinah (2016) 'Remaking Africa's Informal Economies: Youth, Entrepreneurship and the Promise of Inclusion at the Bottom of the Pyramid.' Journal of Development Studies, 52 (4). pp. 514-529.

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In recent years, the quest for ‘inclusive markets’ that incorporate Africa’s youth has become a key focus of national and international development efforts, with so-called bottom of the pyramid (BoP) initiatives increasingly seen as a way to draw the continent’s poor into new networks of global capitalism. SSA has become a fertile frontier for such systems, as capital sets its sights on the continents’ vast ‘under-served’ informal economies, harnessing the entrepreneurial mettle of youth to create new markets for a range of products, from solar lanterns and shampoo to cook stoves and sanitary pads. Drawing on ethnographic research with youth entrepreneurs, we trace the processes of individual and collective ‘transformation’ that the mission of (self-) empowerment through entrepreneurship seeks to bring about. We argue that, while such systems are meant to bring those below the poverty line above it, the ‘line’ is reified and reinforced through a range of discursive and strategic practices that actively construct and embed distinctions between the past and the future, valuable and valueless, and the idle and productive in Africa’s informal economies.

Item Type: Journal Article
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > Department of Anthropology & Sociology
Legacy Departments > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Department of Anthropology and Sociology
ISSN: 00220388
Copyright Statement: © 2016 Taylor & Francis. This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journal of Development Studies on 22 Mar 2016, available online:
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 23 Jan 2015 11:48

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