Decongesting the Streets of Accra: The Problems and Prospects


The tension in the city of Accra concerning the desired modernization of the city space and the existence of the perceived outmoded activity of street hawking is replicated in many cities in developing countries. By encroaching public spaces not authorized for trading, street hawkers offer various products for sale in order to eke out a living. By this act, the activity of street hawking finds itself at the wrong side of the laws governing city-space. In response, several attempts have been made by city authorities in an apparent need to uphold the laws by evicting hawkers operating at unauthorized locations, at times with the use of force. Yet street hawkers, as numerous studies have revealed, defy all oppositions and return to the streets to hawk.

This study hence set out to understand the motivation for the return of street hawkers in the Metropolitan Area of Accra amidst the bans and subsequent forceful eviction by city taskforce personnel. To achieve this, 180 street hawkers, a representative of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), formal store owners and members of the general public were interviewed.

Findings of the study established that majority of the hawkers hailed from the southern regions of Ghana and resided in low income neighborhoods. It turned out that the main factors pushing people into the activity of street hawking included: the lack of jobs vacancies in the formal sector and low levels of training/educational attainments of hawkers. The analysis ultimately showed that the resistance of hawkers to eviction is motivated by the need to survive. Findings also showed that other factors fuelling the proliferation of hawkers despite the challenges surrounding the enterprise are: persistent traffic jams, the lack of effective policing of hawking spots,


the minimal entry capital required to start hawking and the potential of obtaining substantial turnover.

The study recommends the reassessment and enforcement of the land use regulations as well as the efficient management of traffic flows in the city as part of the antidote to the hawking phenomenon. Suggestions are also made as regard the reconciliation of data on street hawkers and their contributions to the national economy, in order to appreciate the demographic characteristics of city dwellers as well as their need to survive even as we strive to maintain modern cities and towns.

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Abrokwah, S (2021). Decongesting the Streets of Accra: The Problems and Prospects. Afribary. Retrieved from

MLA 8th

Abrokwah, Stephen "Decongesting the Streets of Accra: The Problems and Prospects" Afribary. Afribary, 14 Apr. 2021, Accessed 19 May. 2024.


Abrokwah, Stephen . "Decongesting the Streets of Accra: The Problems and Prospects". Afribary, Afribary, 14 Apr. 2021. Web. 19 May. 2024. < >.


Abrokwah, Stephen . "Decongesting the Streets of Accra: The Problems and Prospects" Afribary (2021). Accessed May 19, 2024.

Document Details
Stephen Abrokwah Field: Philosophy Type: Thesis 148 PAGES (37723 WORDS) (pdf)