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Markets and women's trade: exploring their role in district development in Ghana

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The economic importance of periodic and daily markets as well as the crucial role played by women in these markets has been well noted in the development literature on West Africa. While markets in Ghana have been examined in various aspects, not enough work has been done on their potential role within the context of the current decentralized district development process. This article makes the case for market development with the study of markets in two district capitals in the Central Region of Ghana. In both districts, with little industry and a weak tax base, levies on markets serve as a major source of internally generated revenue to local government, namely District Assemblies. The study also indicated that, for many people, the markets in the district capitals serve as the main avenue for interacting with the 'centre' (urban), thereby promoting rural-urban interactions. However, these markets are underdeveloped. This article emphasizes the need to upgrade the infrastructure in these markets in order to generate more revenue for district development, improve agriculture and income, and reduce poverty, especially among women, and generally provide an alternative means to district development.

Keywords: decentralization; periodic and daily markets; women's trade

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00291950410002313

Publication date: September 1, 2004

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