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Knowledge sharing workshop: Facilitating formalization through simplified registration statutes for the self-employed

News | 23 June 2021
On 15 and 16 June 2021, the International Labour Organization (ILO) in collaboration with the International Training Centre of the ILO (ITC-ILO) organized a virtual workshop on simplified legal statutes for the self-employed. The key objective of the event, moderated by Ms Linda Deelen of the ITC-ILO, was to bring together stakeholders from Morocco and Côte d’Ivoire who are involved in the operationalisation of these legal statutes, to exchange good practices and discuss ways to incentivize formalization.

The workshop was kicked off with an introduction by Mr Frédéric Lapeyre, Director of the ILO Country Office for Côte d’Ivoire, Benin, Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger and Togo. Mr. Lapeyre emphasised the importance of a coherent formalization strategy for the African region and highlighted the relevance of extending social protection coverage to informal workers and the self-employed. His remarks were followed by a presentation from Ms Judith van Doorn, Enterprise Formalization Specialist of the ILO, providing a global overview of simplified registration statutes and illustrating effective incentives and lessons learned to formalize the self-employed from Benin and Brazil.

Mr Bamba Ngotiemoko from the Côte d’Ivoire SME Agency presented the objectives and implementation process of the statut d’entreprenenant in Côte d’Ivoire. He also shared insights on the structure of the statute, its advantages and the specific eligibility requirements for the self-employed. The Côte d’Ivoire SME Agency is actively exploring ways to make registration under the statute more attractive, among others by linking it to other services and creating incentives for the self-employed to register. An overview of the statut de l’auto-entrepreneur was then provided by M. Mohammed Eddahrir, from the Morocco SME Agency. Mr Eddahrir guided the audience through the economic benefits of the statute, its operationalisation, governance and partnership structure along with the various communication activities that have taken place to sensitize and inform independent workers on the advantages of registration under the statute.

During the ensuing discussion on good practices and lessons learned, Mr Herman Nicoué, Executive Secretary of the Fonds d'Appui aux Acteurs du Secteur Informel (FASI), provided a rich overview of the formalization support ecosystem in Côte d’Ivoire. He did so by describing how the FASI fund integrates financial services, formalization support and extension of social protection coverage for workers and enterprises in the informal economy and by demonstrating how effective synergies and partnerships between different institutions can speed up the economic recovery and formalization process.

The event revealed that there is a strong interest to continue a South-South knowledge exchange on simplified legal statutes and their contribution to formalization. The ILO remains committed to facilitate such discussions.