Journal of
Geography and Regional Planning

  • Abbreviation: J. Geogr. Reg. Plann.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2070-1845
  • DOI: 10.5897/JGRP
  • Start Year: 2008
  • Published Articles: 394

Full Length Research Paper

The geography of informal sector operations (ISOs): A perspective of urban Zimbabwe

Innocent Chaise
Department of Rural and Urban Planning, University of Zimbabwe, PO Box MP167, Mt Pleasant, Harare, Zimbabwe.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 04 March 2009
  •  Published: 30 April 2009



Informal sector operations in the urban sphere of Zimbabwe, like in any other developing countries, continue to rise astronomically. The chief reason for the growth of this sector is nothing but the plummeting economy explained in terms high urban unemployment rates and consequential urban poverty. By way of a qualitative methodology, this paper gives a geographical description and explication of the ISO phenomena in the country. It is noted that geography of this emerging quintessential sector is analyzable in both spatial and non-spatial variables and parameters including location, operator composition, organisation and support engaged, returns realisable, services offered and value added. Different urban centre - whether urban proper or rural-based - shows different patterns of distribution of ISOs. Understanding the dynamics of ISO patterning and growth is critical for conceptual development, theorisation and policy direction. This is the thrust of this short paper. 


Key words: Poverty, institutionalization, growth, extra-legal, micro-entrepreneuralism, reforms.