Founded in 2000 | Thousand Currents Partner since 2021

Malawian Union for the Informal Sector

Organizing for the right to trade freely

The Malawi Union for Informal Sector (MUFIS) was formed in 2000 to organize, promote, protect and negotiate on issues related to the rights of informal economy workers and to visibilize how the economy of the poor in Malawi was deteriorating rapidly. MUFIS has a membership of 15,850 informal traders covering the northern, central and southern regions of Malawi. MUFIS organizes street vendors, hawkers, marketers, artisans, small veranda (khondes) businesses, informal cross-border traders and smallholder tea farmers.

MUFIS assists its members to fight for their right to trade freely in Malawi, which includes the right not to be evicted, the right not to be harassed by police and the right to better working conditions—including designated trading space with access to basic services. In response to the urgent economic needs of its members, MUFIS has built an analysis of the gaps in skills and resources for workers in the informal sector and begun to construct programmes and positions to address these gaps. MUFIS’ membership structure is organized into 87 branches representing 27 of Malawi’s 28 districts. MUFIS is the national representative of StreetNet International in Malawi, and a member of the national labor center of Malawi Congress of Trade Unions and Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing.