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Can the state perpetuate the marginalisation of the poor? The socio-economic effects of the state's ban on minibus 'callboys' in Malawi

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Malawi is a southern African country that has a huge informal sector due to high levels of unemployment. One of the ways people earned income in this sector was minibus-calling. This considerably reduced the vulnerability of many who would otherwise have been excluded economically. However, the state has recently declared such acts illegal and anyone found minibus-calling is now arrested. This paper critically investigates the socio-economic impacts of this ban on the former beneficiaries' livelihoods. A survey and interviews conducted in Zomba Municipality and Blantyre City (supplemented by various newspaper articles) show that the ban has adversely affected the socio-economic status of these marginalised Malawians.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Political and Administrative Studies, University of Malawi, Zomba

Publication date: June 1, 2008

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