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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Lebanese Traders in Cotonou: A Socio-Cultural Analysis of Economic Mobility and Capital Accumulation
Author:Beuving, J. JoostISNI
Periodical:Africa: Journal of the International African Institute
Geographic term:Benin
Urbanization and Migration
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Ethnic and Race Relations
Economics and Trade
History and Exploration
External links:https://www.jstor.org/stable/40022740
Abstract:Passenger cars and other small vehicles have for a long time been the backbone of transport in West Africa. The cars are usually second-hand, and they are sourced on overseas car markets, mostly in western Europe. During the 1990s the port town of Cotonou, Benin, became one of the most prominent hubs in this car trade: car markets mushroomed, attracting large numbers and a wide variety of traders - including a prominent contingent of Lebanese. This article discusses the role of these Lebanese traders in the car trade through a reconstruction of their careers. It reveals that Lebanese business, which can go through a rapid succession of different economic activities, starts as kin-based enterprise, but gradually incorporates peers and friends. Close analysis of this practice suggests that Lebanese immigrant traders are to a large extent driven by the ideal of enjoying life by adopting an expatriate lifestyle. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in English and French. [Journal abstract]