United Street Sellers Republic

An adventurous trip into the growing sphere of informal economies.

Illegal employment instead of billions in development aid? A black market economy as a means of fighting poverty? The American author Robert Neuwirth is standing up for black markets. His thesis is that for many developing countries this form of economic activity makes real sense. Neuwirth has been studying poverty and economics for years. He spent four years living in the slums of developing countries and found that often the black markets there made possible a half way functioning infrastructure and provided an income for the poor. Without taxes and duties, without requirements and conditions that most people would not be able to fulfill anyway. With ingenuity and cleverness, many are building up their own business sector.

The African continent, the "Lion", is waking up, just as the 'Tiger states' of Southeast Asia did a few years ago. The continent has skipped the Industrial Revolution and is now ushering in the digital one instead - and triggering an African boom over the next ten years, with new sales markets for hundreds of millions of African customers and entrepreneurs. And it's all happening right now - in the colourful black markets of Africa.

Also available: 58' French and 90' German version