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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Mobilizing for Change: A Case Study of Market Trader Activism in Ghana
Author:Awuah, Emmanuel
Periodical:Canadian Journal of African Studies
Geographic term:Ghana
Subjects:political conflicts
market vendors
Economics and Trade
Development and Technology
Labor and Employment
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/486193
Abstract:This article analyses the mobilization efforts and activism of market traders in the Kumasi Central Market, estimated to be the largest market structure not only in Ghana but in the West African subregion as well, within the context of State restructuring processes from 1983 to 1991. The article argues that State restructuring policies negatively affected market traders' capital accumulation, as well as limited their access to essential urban infrastructural resources. One of the contradictions of the State restructuring process was the redefinition of central and local government relationships. Local governments came to depend solely on taxes from residents of their communities. The Kumasi Metropolitan Authority's (KMA) revenue-generating strategies included higher rents, licensing fees, late payment fees and fees for stall expansion in the Central Market. These fees, however, did not translate into improved services. Traders adopted several strategies of activism vis--vis the KMA, including petitions, demonstrations, appeals to influential people, and using the mass media. The article shows that traders did not react directly to IMF-induced adjustment policies, but challenged their indirect effects on their survival in the marketplace. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in French.