The informal African city and the development of Jua Kali associations: whither way?
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This paper analyses the concept of Informality using the case of the Third World City or what has been referred to in the paper as the "African City" so as to bring this concept closer to home by using local examples wherever possible. The paper attempts to discuss the "informal city" with the hope of coming up with a new analytical framework of the African city and its many social, political and economic structures and processes. The various informal structures in the "African city" are discussed with more emphasis being given to the informal economy, or Jua Kali as it has come to be commonly known in Kenya. The recent rise of Jua Kali Associations in Kenyan towns is analyzed with the view of understanding whether the formal introduction of these Associations, both local and national is promoting or killing the spirit of entrepreneurship that has been the engine behind the success of the Jua Kali sector in the country. The paper argues that the Jua Kali operators had all through been organising themselves informally in the informal city or town that they operate from and do not need the formalized Associations which to date are seen by the Jua Kali operators as an extension of the newly-found government's interest in the sector through the Ministry of Research, Technical Training and Technology.