A STUDY ON STREET HAWKING IN ACCRA: AN EVALUATION OF ITS POLICIES
“A hawker is a person who offers goods for sale to the public without making a permanent built-up structure from which to sell” (Aseidu, et al 2008). For a very long time the activities of street hawkers have become a major phenomenon in developing countries and this seems to be very much acute in African countries from which the capital of Ghana is no exception. It has been realized that, most of the populace who engage in this activity of hawking are poor migrants from the rural part of the country. Thus, the incidence of street hawking is underlined by the high level of poverty in the country especially its rural sector. Continuous increase in the number of school drop-outs and the high rate of unemployment cause these youth to migrate from their rural abode into the city in search of means of better livelihood. These youth, when they get to the city, realize however that it’s not as “milky” as they thought and as a result they end up on the streets. Although, these migrants engage in hawking to make a better livelihood their activities have more negative effects on themselves and the nation. Thus, these vendors are exposed to the risk of potential accidents, loss of lives, abuse, crime and prostitution. Nationally, their activities retard the economic growth of the country. Thus, these hawkers most of which are not taxed in order to provide revenue for the government. Also, their activities results in both human and vehicular traffic which in a way tend to cause a reduction in the countries productivity. Thus, these traffics may lead to a reduction in the working hours of most production centers in the country. The intense deliberation on this issue on most of the country’s news media has led to some interventions by the government, the policy makers like the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA). These intervention programmes which includes the establishment of the Micro-finance and Small Loans Center (MASLOC) during President Kuffour’s administration (2000-2008), the Hawkers Empowerment Program and the recently passed hawkers by-law, thus, the 2011 Accra Metropolitan Assembly Street Hawking by-law (GMSF, 2003) were to ensure that this issue of hawking on the streets of the country’s capital is solved. With these initiatives in place however, the streets of Accra are still occupied by young people selling all kinds of things ranging from food items to electronics. This then gives rise to some questions pertaining to the effectiveness initiatives that have been put in place. PROBLEM STATEMENT
Street hawking is considered one of the most risky kinds of trading activity in the world. Over the years, the streets of Accra have witnessed several fruitless encounters between the city authorities and these hawkers. Although several policies like the Hawkers Empowerment Program, MASLOC and the recently passed by-law, thus, the 2011 Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) Street Hawking by-law have been designed to provide a solution to this problem, it still holds. Thus, the hawkers are seen on the streets again as soon as the police and city authorities stop pressuring them to stay away. Regardless of the fact that, the activities of these hawkers have breed and exacerbated environmental problems such as traffic and health hazards, their interests and rights should also be taken into consideration when finding a way to control its rate on the streets of the capital. This project therefore seeks to examine the effectiveness of the various street hawking policies that have been enforced over the years, suggesting ideas to help bring street hawking under control for the betterment of both the hawkers and the country. RESEARCH QUESTIONS
To solve this problem, this research seeks to answer the following questions: 1. Why do these hawkers still exist on our streets?
2. What is the success rate of these intervention programs? 3. How have...