The Operational Guidelines will serve as a blueprint to implement the Code of Conduct for the Namibian Informal Economy: Breaking New Grounds. The Guidelines were crafted through a consultative process of social dialogue. They reflect the convergence of the interests of social partners operating in the informal economy. The Guidelines seek to harmonise the relationship between the informal sector and government authorities and to play a catalyst role in Namibia's transition to formality.
The Operational Guidelines are anchored on five pillars:
* Recognition of the informal sector’s contribution to the economy
* Consultation and participation with all stakeholders operating in the informal economy space
* Education and training of informal economy operators
* Establishing simplified administrative procedures when dealing with the informal economy operators
* The institutionalisation of alternative dispute resolution mechanisms to ensure that justice is made more accessible to informal economy operators (for instance speedier, cheaper and more flexible).
The Guidelines advocate for the establishment of new institutions. For instance, confiscation tribunals could ensure that the impoundment and confiscation of goods are done under the dictates of administrative justice. Wrongful or unjustly confiscated goods could be restituted and compensated through these tribunals. The Guidelines also call for an Informal Economy Ombudsman- and to estabish Informal Economy Forums at the national, regional, and local authority levels to spearhead transitioning of the informal economy at the respective jurisdictions. These forums will ensure that women, youth, and people with disabilities are fairly represented.
The booklet was officially launched by the Minister of Industrialisation and Trade, Hon. Lucia Iipumbu. The minister reiterated her ministry’s commitment to improving the working conditions of the informal economy. She stated that informal trading remains a critical part of Namibia’s economic activities, yet it is one of the most vulnerable sectors due to operational instability and unstable support. She said, “This sector is a major source of employment and livelihood for many Namibians, most of whom are women. Furthermore, it is important to identify the gaps with the aim of facilitating the transition of the informal sector into the mainstream economy.”