Analysis of the Spatial and Temporal Dynamics of Street Hawking: A Case Study of the Accra Metropolitan Area

Alex Barimah Owusu, Stephen Abrokwah, Stephen Frimpong


To the street hawker, it is a means of making a living but to the managers of the metropolis, street hawking is a menace. These differences in perception have led to a game plan tied to spatio-temporal diurnal traffic regimes. While the city authorities plan may be to evict the street hawkers, the plan of the hawkers is to outwit the city authorities through make-shift hawking patterns in order to make a living. The difference in the two positions can be characterized by the city manager’s need for clean and less congested city streets, and the hawker’s desire to sell wares at locations that maximize income. The factors contributing to street hawking include traffic congestion, profitability, the lack of employable skills and minimal-capital entry requirement into the hawking trade. While the city needs proper spatial planning in the long run, in the short term, city managers and hawkers must develop a relationship that considers public perceptions and the use of public space to make the Accra metropolitan area livable. This calls for new approaches that address the aesthetic and open space needs while at the same time meeting the socio-economic and survival needs of city dwellers and new immigrants.

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Journal of Geography and Geology   ISSN 1916-9779 (Print)   ISSN 1916-9787 (Online)

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