International Development Planning Review

Men and women in trades: changing trends of home-based enterprises in Ga-Mashie, Accra, Ghana

International Development Planning Review (2017), 39, (4), 423–441.

Abstract

This paper examines changes in home-based enterprises in Ga-Mashie, a coastal community in Accra, Ghana, in response to changes in government and economic policies. With the arrival of the Europeans and the creation of the Accra port in the community, there were modifications in home-based enterprises from predominantly fish processing and farming activities to food vending and trading, mainly in the sale of European goods. Under post-independence policies, including Structural Adjustment Programmes, some of these activities have been maintained, whilst others have undergone diversification, in order to address the challenging socio-economic needs of people. Policymakers must therefore take cognisance of the fact that these home-based enterprises have become important livelihood strategies in response to changes in government and economic policies, the rapid urbanisation process and the lack of formal job opportunities. There is the need, therefore, to consider incorporating them into the overall development agenda.

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Acheampong, R. A. (2016) ‘The family housing sector in urban Ghana: exploring the dynamics of tenure arrangements and the nature of family support networks’, International Development Planning Review, 38(3), 297–316. The family housing sector in urban Ghana: exploring the dynamics of tenure arrangements and the nature of family support networks International Development Planning Review 38 297 316 Google Scholar

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Baden, S. (1993) ‘Gender and adjustment in sub-Saharan Africa’ (report commissioned by the Commission for European Communities, Institute of Development Studies, Sussex, UK). Gender and adjustment in sub-Saharan Africa Google Scholar

Chen, M. A. (2012) ‘The informal economy: definitions, theories and policies. Women in informal employment globalizing and organizing (WIEGO)’ (Working Paper No. 1), www.wiego.org/sites/default/files/publications/files/Chen_WIEGO_WP1.pdf (accessed 10 August 2016). Google Scholar

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Debrah, Y. A. (2007) ‘Promoting the informal sector as a source of gainful employment in developing countries: insights from Ghana’, International Journal of Human Resource Management, 18(6), 1063–84, doi:10.1080/09585190701321716. Promoting the informal sector as a source of gainful employment in developing countries: insights from Ghana International Journal of Human Resource Management 18 1063 84 Google Scholar

Dickson, K. B. and Benneh, G. (1988) The new geography of Ghana (revised edn), Harlow, Longman Group UK Limited. The new geography of Ghana Google Scholar

Ghana Statistical Service (2012) Housing and population census report, Government of Ghana, Accra, Ghana. Housing and population census report Google Scholar

Gough, K.V. (2010) ‘Continuity and adaptability of home-based enterprises: a longitudinal study from Accra, Ghana’, International Development Planning Review, 32(1), 45–71. Continuity and adaptability of home-based enterprises: a longitudinal study from Accra, Ghana International Development Planning Review 32 45 71 Google Scholar

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Hart, K. (1973) ‘Informal income opportunities and urban employment in Ghana’, Journal of Modern African Studies, 2(1), 61–89. Informal income opportunities and urban employment in Ghana Journal of Modern African Studies 2 61 89 Google Scholar

Hodge, P. (1964) ‘The Ghana Workers Brigade: a project for unemployed youth’, British Journal of Sociology, 15(22), 113–28. The Ghana Workers Brigade: a project for unemployed youth British Journal of Sociology 15 113 28 Google Scholar

Kellett, P. and Tipple, A. G. (2000) ‘The home as workplace: a study of income-generating activities within the domestic setting’, Environment and Urbanization, 12(1), 203–13. The home as workplace: a study of income-generating activities within the domestic setting Environment and Urbanization 12 203 13 Google Scholar

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Muraya, P. W. K. (2006) ‘Urban planning and small-scale enterprises in Nairobi, Kenya’, Habitat International, 30, 127–43. Urban planning and small-scale enterprises in Nairobi, Kenya Habitat International 30 127 43 Google Scholar

Odotei, I. K. (2002) The artisanal marine fishing industry: a historical overview, Institute of African Studies, University of Ghana, Legon-Accra, Ghana. The artisanal marine fishing industry: a historical overview Google Scholar

Oosterbaan, C., Arku, G. and Asiedu, A. B. (2012) ‘Conversion of residential units to commercial spaces in Accra, Ghana: a policy dilemma’, International Planning Studies, 17(1), 45–66. Conversion of residential units to commercial spaces in Accra, Ghana: a policy dilemma International Planning Studies 17 45 66 Google Scholar

Owusu, G. Yankson, P. W. K. and Osei, D. R. (2016). Youth entrepreneurship in Ghana: current trends and policies’, in K. V. Gough and T. Langevang (eds), Youth entrepreneurs in Sub-Saharan Africa, London and New York, Routledge, 32–47. Youth entrepreneurship in Ghana: current trends and policies Youth entrepreneurs in Sub-Saharan Africa 32 47 Google Scholar

Overa, R. (2007) ‘When men do women’s work: structural adjustment, unemployment and the changing gender relations in the informal economy of Accra, Ghana’, Journal of Modern African Studies, 45, 539–63. When men do women’s work: structural adjustment, unemployment and the changing gender relations in the informal economy of Accra, Ghana Journal of Modern African Studies 45 539 63 Google Scholar

Parker, J. (2000) Making the town: Ga state and society in early colonial Accra, Portsmouth, Oxford and Cape Town: Heinemann, James Currey and David Philip. Making the town: Ga state and society in early colonial Accra Google Scholar

Robertson, C. (1983) ‘The death of Makola and other tragedies’, Canadian Journal of African Studies, 17(3), 469–95. The death of Makola and other tragedies Canadian Journal of African Studies 17 469 95 Google Scholar

Robertson, C. (1984) Sharing the same bowl: a socio-economic history of women and class in Accra, Ghana, Bloomington, Indiana University Press. Sharing the same bowl: a socio-economic history of women and class in Accra, Ghana Google Scholar

Settles, J. D. (1996) ‘The impact of colonialism on African economic development’, University of Tennessee Honors Thesis Projects, http://trace.tennessee.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1182&context=utk_chanhonoproj (accessed 10 August 2016). Google Scholar

Songsore, J. (2002) Towards a better understanding of urban change: urbanization, national development and inequality in Ghana, Accra, Ghana Universities Press. Towards a better understanding of urban change: urbanization, national development and inequality in Ghana Google Scholar

Strassmann, P. (1986) ‘Types of neighbourhood and home-based enterprise: evidence from Lima, Peru’, Urban Studies, 23(2), 121–44. Types of neighbourhood and home-based enterprise: evidence from Lima, Peru Urban Studies 23 121 44 Google Scholar

Tipple, A. G. (2005) ‘The place of home-based enterprises in the informal sector: evidence from Cochabamba, New Delhi, Surahay and Pretoria’, Urban Studies, 42, 611–32. The place of home-based enterprises in the informal sector: evidence from Cochabamba, New Delhi, Surahay and Pretoria Urban Studies 42 611 32 Google Scholar

Verrest, H. (2007) Home-based economic activities and Caribbean urban livelihoods: vulnerability, ambition and impacts in Paramaribo and Port of Spain, Amsterdam, Amsterdam University Press. Home-based economic activities and Caribbean urban livelihoods: vulnerability, ambition and impacts in Paramaribo and Port of Spain Google Scholar

Yankson, P. W. K. (2000a) ‘Accommodating informal economic units in the urban built environment: petty commodity enterprises in the Accra Metropolitan Area, Ghana’, Third World Planning Review, 22, 313–34. Accommodating informal economic units in the urban built environment: petty commodity enterprises in the Accra Metropolitan Area, Ghana Third World Planning Review 22 313 34 Google Scholar

Yankson, P. W. K. (2000b) ‘Houses and residential neighbourhoods as work places in urban areas: the case of selected low income residential areas in Greater Accra Metropolitan Area (GAMA), Ghana’, Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography, 21, 200–14. Houses and residential neighbourhoods as work places in urban areas: the case of selected low income residential areas in Greater Accra Metropolitan Area (GAMA), Ghana Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography 21 200 14 Google Scholar

Yankson, P. and Owusu, G. (2015) ‘Youth entrepreneurship in auto spare parts sales and repair service in Accra, Ghana’, Developing Country Studies, 5(4), 84–97. Youth entrepreneurship in auto spare parts sales and repair service in Accra, Ghana Developing Country Studies 5 84 97 Google Scholar

Acheampong, R. A. (2016) ‘The family housing sector in urban Ghana: exploring the dynamics of tenure arrangements and the nature of family support networks’, International Development Planning Review, 38(3), 297–316. The family housing sector in urban Ghana: exploring the dynamics of tenure arrangements and the nature of family support networks International Development Planning Review 38 297 316 Google Scholar

Afrane, S. (2003) ‘The place of home-based enterprises in the household economies of the low-income families in Kumasi: analysis of contributions and linkages’, Journal of Science and Technology, 23(1), 34–42. The place of home-based enterprises in the household economies of the low-income families in Kumasi: analysis of contributions and linkages Journal of Science and Technology 23 34 42 Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

Agyei-Mensah, S. and Wrigley-Asante, C. (2014) ‘Gender, politics and development in Accra, Ghana’, in C. Brun, P. Blaikie and M. Jones (eds), Unravelling marginalization, voicing change: alternative visions and paths of development, Farnham, Ashgate, 117–33. Gender, politics and development in Accra, Ghana Unravelling marginalization, voicing change: alternative visions and paths of development 117 33 Google Scholar

Apau, N. (2008) Revive the Workers Brigade, www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/features/Revive-the-Workers-Brigade-144287 (accessed 25 May 2015). Google Scholar

Aryeetey, E., Harrigan, J., and Nissanke, M. (2000) Economic reforms in Ghana: the miracle and the mirage, Oxford, James Currey. Economic reforms in Ghana: the miracle and the mirage Google Scholar

Aryeetey Borte-Doku, E., Doh, E and Andoh, P. (2013) ‘Choosing an apprenticeship: skills preference amongst the youth’, International Development Planning Review, 35(2), 135–53, doi: 10.3828/idpr.2013.10. Choosing an apprenticeship: skills preference amongst the youth International Development Planning Review 35 135 153 Google Scholar

Asenso-Okyere, W., Asante, F. A. and Oware Gyekye, L. (1992) ‘Case studies on rural poverty alleviation in the Commonwealth: Ghana’ (Food Production and Rural Development Division, Commonwealth Secretariat, UK, February 1992). Case studies on rural poverty alleviation in the Commonwealth: Ghana Google Scholar

Baden, S. (1993) ‘Gender and adjustment in sub-Saharan Africa’ (report commissioned by the Commission for European Communities, Institute of Development Studies, Sussex, UK). Gender and adjustment in sub-Saharan Africa Google Scholar

Chen, M. A. (2012) ‘The informal economy: definitions, theories and policies. Women in informal employment globalizing and organizing (WIEGO)’ (Working Paper No. 1), www.wiego.org/sites/default/files/publications/files/Chen_WIEGO_WP1.pdf (accessed 10 August 2016). Google Scholar

Clark, G. (1994) Onions are my husband: survival and accumulation by West African market women, Chicago, IL and London, University of Chicago Press. Onions are my husband: survival and accumulation by West African market women Google Scholar

Debrah, Y. A. (2007) ‘Promoting the informal sector as a source of gainful employment in developing countries: insights from Ghana’, International Journal of Human Resource Management, 18(6), 1063–84, doi:10.1080/09585190701321716. Promoting the informal sector as a source of gainful employment in developing countries: insights from Ghana International Journal of Human Resource Management 18 1063 84 Google Scholar

Dickson, K. B. and Benneh, G. (1988) The new geography of Ghana (revised edn), Harlow, Longman Group UK Limited. The new geography of Ghana Google Scholar

Ghana Statistical Service (2012) Housing and population census report, Government of Ghana, Accra, Ghana. Housing and population census report Google Scholar

Gough, K.V. (2010) ‘Continuity and adaptability of home-based enterprises: a longitudinal study from Accra, Ghana’, International Development Planning Review, 32(1), 45–71. Continuity and adaptability of home-based enterprises: a longitudinal study from Accra, Ghana International Development Planning Review 32 45 71 Google Scholar

Gough, K. V., Tipple, A. G. and Napier, M. (2003) ‘Making a living in African cities: the role of home-based enterprises in Accra and Pretoria’, International Planning Studies, 8(4), 253–77. Making a living in African cities: the role of home-based enterprises in Accra and Pretoria International Planning Studies 8 253 77 Google Scholar

Government of Ghana (2003) ‘Ghana poverty reduction strategy 2003–2005: an agenda for growth and prosperity’ (February 2003), https://s3.amazonaws.com/ndpc-static/pubication/GPRS+2003-2005_February2003.pdf (accessed 20 July 2016). Google Scholar

Grant, R. (2009) Globalizing city: the urban and economic transformation of Accra Ghana, Syracuse, NY, Syracuse University Press. Globalizing city: the urban and economic transformation of Accra Ghana Google Scholar

Hart, K. (1973) ‘Informal income opportunities and urban employment in Ghana’, Journal of Modern African Studies, 2(1), 61–89. Informal income opportunities and urban employment in Ghana Journal of Modern African Studies 2 61 89 Google Scholar

Hodge, P. (1964) ‘The Ghana Workers Brigade: a project for unemployed youth’, British Journal of Sociology, 15(22), 113–28. The Ghana Workers Brigade: a project for unemployed youth British Journal of Sociology 15 113 28 Google Scholar

Kellett, P. and Tipple, A. G. (2000) ‘The home as workplace: a study of income-generating activities within the domestic setting’, Environment and Urbanization, 12(1), 203–13. The home as workplace: a study of income-generating activities within the domestic setting Environment and Urbanization 12 203 13 Google Scholar

Kigochie, P. W. (2001) ‘Squatter rehabilitation projects that support home-based enterprise create jobs and housing: the case of Mathare 4A, Nairobi’, Cities, 18(4), 223–33. Squatter rehabilitation projects that support home-based enterprise create jobs and housing: the case of Mathare 4A, Nairobi Cities 18 223 33 Google Scholar

Langevang, T. and Gough K. V. (2012) ‘Diverging pathways: young female employment and entrepreneurship in sub-Saharan Africa’, Geographical Journal, 178(3), 242–52, doi: 10.1111/j.1475-4959.2011.00457.x. Diverging pathways: young female employment and entrepreneurship in sub-Saharan Africa Geographical Journal 178 242 52 Google Scholar

Mahama, S. A., Acheampong A. T., Peprah, B. O. and Boafo A. Y. (2011) ‘Preliminary report for Ga Mashie Urban Design Lab’ (Millennium Cities Initiative and the Earth Institute, Columbia University), mci.ei.columbia.edu/files/2013/03/MCIGa-Mashie-report-UDL.pdf (accessed 24 May 2015). Google Scholar

Meagher, K. (2002) ‘Crisis, informalization and the urban informal sector in sub-Saharan Africa’, Development and Change, 26(2), 259–84. Crisis, informalization and the urban informal sector in sub-Saharan Africa Development and Change 26 259 84 Google Scholar

Muraya, P. W. K. (2006) ‘Urban planning and small-scale enterprises in Nairobi, Kenya’, Habitat International, 30, 127–43. Urban planning and small-scale enterprises in Nairobi, Kenya Habitat International 30 127 43 Google Scholar

Odotei, I. K. (2002) The artisanal marine fishing industry: a historical overview, Institute of African Studies, University of Ghana, Legon-Accra, Ghana. The artisanal marine fishing industry: a historical overview Google Scholar

Oosterbaan, C., Arku, G. and Asiedu, A. B. (2012) ‘Conversion of residential units to commercial spaces in Accra, Ghana: a policy dilemma’, International Planning Studies, 17(1), 45–66. Conversion of residential units to commercial spaces in Accra, Ghana: a policy dilemma International Planning Studies 17 45 66 Google Scholar

Owusu, G. Yankson, P. W. K. and Osei, D. R. (2016). Youth entrepreneurship in Ghana: current trends and policies’, in K. V. Gough and T. Langevang (eds), Youth entrepreneurs in Sub-Saharan Africa, London and New York, Routledge, 32–47. Youth entrepreneurship in Ghana: current trends and policies Youth entrepreneurs in Sub-Saharan Africa 32 47 Google Scholar

Overa, R. (2007) ‘When men do women’s work: structural adjustment, unemployment and the changing gender relations in the informal economy of Accra, Ghana’, Journal of Modern African Studies, 45, 539–63. When men do women’s work: structural adjustment, unemployment and the changing gender relations in the informal economy of Accra, Ghana Journal of Modern African Studies 45 539 63 Google Scholar

Parker, J. (2000) Making the town: Ga state and society in early colonial Accra, Portsmouth, Oxford and Cape Town: Heinemann, James Currey and David Philip. Making the town: Ga state and society in early colonial Accra Google Scholar

Robertson, C. (1983) ‘The death of Makola and other tragedies’, Canadian Journal of African Studies, 17(3), 469–95. The death of Makola and other tragedies Canadian Journal of African Studies 17 469 95 Google Scholar

Robertson, C. (1984) Sharing the same bowl: a socio-economic history of women and class in Accra, Ghana, Bloomington, Indiana University Press. Sharing the same bowl: a socio-economic history of women and class in Accra, Ghana Google Scholar

Settles, J. D. (1996) ‘The impact of colonialism on African economic development’, University of Tennessee Honors Thesis Projects, http://trace.tennessee.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1182&context=utk_chanhonoproj (accessed 10 August 2016). Google Scholar

Songsore, J. (2002) Towards a better understanding of urban change: urbanization, national development and inequality in Ghana, Accra, Ghana Universities Press. Towards a better understanding of urban change: urbanization, national development and inequality in Ghana Google Scholar

Strassmann, P. (1986) ‘Types of neighbourhood and home-based enterprise: evidence from Lima, Peru’, Urban Studies, 23(2), 121–44. Types of neighbourhood and home-based enterprise: evidence from Lima, Peru Urban Studies 23 121 44 Google Scholar

Tipple, A. G. (2005) ‘The place of home-based enterprises in the informal sector: evidence from Cochabamba, New Delhi, Surahay and Pretoria’, Urban Studies, 42, 611–32. The place of home-based enterprises in the informal sector: evidence from Cochabamba, New Delhi, Surahay and Pretoria Urban Studies 42 611 32 Google Scholar

Verrest, H. (2007) Home-based economic activities and Caribbean urban livelihoods: vulnerability, ambition and impacts in Paramaribo and Port of Spain, Amsterdam, Amsterdam University Press. Home-based economic activities and Caribbean urban livelihoods: vulnerability, ambition and impacts in Paramaribo and Port of Spain Google Scholar

Yankson, P. W. K. (2000a) ‘Accommodating informal economic units in the urban built environment: petty commodity enterprises in the Accra Metropolitan Area, Ghana’, Third World Planning Review, 22, 313–34. Accommodating informal economic units in the urban built environment: petty commodity enterprises in the Accra Metropolitan Area, Ghana Third World Planning Review 22 313 34 Google Scholar

Yankson, P. W. K. (2000b) ‘Houses and residential neighbourhoods as work places in urban areas: the case of selected low income residential areas in Greater Accra Metropolitan Area (GAMA), Ghana’, Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography, 21, 200–14. Houses and residential neighbourhoods as work places in urban areas: the case of selected low income residential areas in Greater Accra Metropolitan Area (GAMA), Ghana Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography 21 200 14 Google Scholar

Yankson, P. and Owusu, G. (2015) ‘Youth entrepreneurship in auto spare parts sales and repair service in Accra, Ghana’, Developing Country Studies, 5(4), 84–97. Youth entrepreneurship in auto spare parts sales and repair service in Accra, Ghana Developing Country Studies 5 84 97 Google Scholar

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Author details

Wrigley-Asante, Charlotte

Mensah, Peter