Commodity-Based Trading Associations at the Agbogbloshie Market in Accra, Ghana

  • Esther Yeboah Danso-Wiredu Department of Geography Education, University of Education, Winneba, Ghana
  • Enoch Frederick Sam Department of Geography Education, University of Education, Winneba, Ghana


The decentralisation policy in Ghana ensures urban governance is controlled at the local levels. Rules set by state institutions in many cases lack the ability to penetrate into the locality for lack of trust and proper enforcement measures. It is common to find non-state organisations teaming up with the state or independently governing their localities. Such governance extends to market places. The uniqueness of what pertains at the market is the pronounced role women play in it. Agbogbloshie market is one of the largest markets in Ghana. Commodity-trading associations at the market act as governors at the market. The market associations function effectively because they have political power from the state to operate at the local level. The research is based on a qualitative research involving interviews, observation and participant’s observation. The paper discusses the role non-state organisations play at the local level in ensuring sustainable governance, focusing on Agbogbloshie. It stresses on how women possess power in the informal governance systems in Ghanaian markets. It argues that governance system is more effective and well understood at the local level than the state instituted system, and thus concludes on the need for collaboration between the two systems.


Journal Identifiers

print ISSN: 0855-9414