The informal economy is the part of an economy that is not taxed, monitored by any form of government, or included in any gross national product (GNP). In Ghana, about 88 % of the workforce is employed in the informal sector and therefore earns less money, has irregular income and does not have access to basic protections and services of the state. Informal businesses also lack the potential for growth, trapping employees in menial jobs indefinitely. On the other hand the informal sector can allow a large proportion of the population to escape extreme poverty and earn an income that is satisfactory for survival. According to that, most people sometimes do not see the advantages of formalising their businesses or look for a job in the formal sector.
Women tend to make up the greatest portion of the informal sector and become therefore most vulnerable.
FES Ghana and the Ghana Trades Union Congress are exploring ways of helping the workers in the informal sector to express their needs and fears, to organise themselves and to better their livelihood. On April 18, 2013, GTUC and FES Ghana helped to found the Council of Informal Workers Associations which represents nine Informal Workers Association in Ghana. The Council will be set up by the end of 2013. After the strategic and organizational planning, the Council will operate as a body to support informal workers to advocate for their rights. The ultimate goal will be to found the first Informal Workers Union in Sub-Saharan Africa.