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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Confronting Leaders at the Apex of the State: The Growth of the Unofficial Economy in Congo
Author:Emizet, Kisangani N.F.
Year:1998
Periodical:African Studies Review
Volume:41
Issue:1
Period:April
Pages:99-137
Language:English
Geographic term:Congo (Democratic Republic of)
Subjects:ethnicity
informal sector
economic development
women
Politics and Government
Economics and Trade
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/524683
Abstract:This essay examines the unofficial economy, i.e. all those economic activities generating factor incomes, including smuggling, that are neither reported to the authorities nor detected by conventional official statistics, in Congo (former Zaire). The essay first presents the historical and political contexts for the emergence of the unofficial economy in the Congo Basin since the Conference of Berlin (1884-1885), emphasizing the growth of ethnic associations in the mid-1970s, as the economy began deteriorating. The next section shows how ethnic ties have created trust among people involved in unofficial economic transactions even in large cities. The author compares the extent of the informal economy and smuggling, and the different levels of income in both the official and unofficial economies in Kinshasa and Butembo, where he conducted research in the period 1991-1992 and in 1997. One of the conclusions is that even though female participation in the unofficial economy is relatively higher than male participation the institutional arrangements that are created within the unofficial economy usually discriminate against women. Women dominate low-value and low-profit sectors in the unofficial economy. App., bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in English and French.
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