COVID-19, an eye-opener to absolute need for improving the economic and social welfare of informal and casual workers in Rwanda

By Jordi-Michel MUSONI


The informal sector and casual workers constitute the majority of labor force in Rwanda, and estimated slightly over 80% of off-farm employment as a result of shortfalls in job creation since the majority of jobs created lie in Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and small holder agricultural occupations with low earnings and employment vulnerabilities 1. COVID-19 has exposed the vulnerability of informal workers who suffered immediately after the lockdown and other confinement measures began. Agriculture activities continued2 as other essential services ; farmers and foodstuffs producers estimated to 53.1%3 of no registered jobs continued activities. According to DFID4, the lockdown was expected to reduce the earnings/consumption for the most heavily impacted groups by almost 100%. Those are 60% of the population, relying on casual wage labour and household enterprises for large portion of their income.

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