Dear Friends, Colleagues, and Partners,

I am thrilled to address you today to share groundbreaking news that holds immense promise for the global informal economy community. It is with great pride and anticipation that I announce the upcoming Informal Economy Global Summit scheduled for 10 to 14 June 2024, at the Sandton Convention Centre, South Africa.

This conference stands as a testament to our unwavering commitment to addressing the multifaceted challenges and opportunities presented by the informal economy. It is a testament to the dedication and resilience of countless individuals whose livelihoods are intricately woven into this often uncharted territory of economic activity.

The informal economy, a realm of innovation, entrepreneurship, and untapped potential, has long operated in the shadows of formal systems. It encompasses the street vendors who color our urban landscapes, the artisans who craft intricate treasures, and the unsung heroes who ensure the vitality of our cities and townships. Their stories, their contributions, and their aspirations are too often left uncelebrated and unheard.

The Informal Economy Global Summit is our response to this imperative need. It is a beacon of knowledge sharing, an incubator of transformative policies, and a crucible for forging lasting connections among stakeholders from across the world. This is not merely a conference; it is an embodiment of our shared vision.

Through knowledge sharing, we will illuminate the intricate tapestry of the informal economy, fostering a deeper understanding of its vital role in our global and local economies. Through policy development, we will catalyze change, creating frameworks that empower and protect the millions who are part of this dynamic sector. Through networking, we will build bridges, connecting stakeholders, researchers, policymakers, and practitioners to jointly navigate the challenges and opportunities that the informal economy presents.

In the heart of the Informal Economy Global Summit lies the power to elevate change and forge strong alliances. It is an acknowledgment that change is not a distant vision but an actionable path. It is a call to action, a declaration that the informal economy deserves not just recognition, but support, empowerment, and a shared commitment to positive transformation.

As we stand on the cusp of this groundbreaking event, I invite you all to join us on this journey. Let us come together to elevate change, to celebrate the heroes of the informal economy, and forge alliances that will shape a brighter, more inclusive, and equitable future for all.

I look forward to your participation, your insights, and your dedication to this global cause. Together, we will create a South Africa where the informal economy leads economic growth, and where its unsung heroes become champions of change.

With warm regards,

Mr Mabutho Khumalo

IEDF South Africa President,