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The street is only a stepping stone: street vendors’ account of goals, strategies and obstacles

Nana Yaa G. Boakye, University of Ghana

The economic hardships experienced by many young people in Africa and in Ghana have resulted in the creation of several strategies in search of better livelihoods. In Ghana as in many other places, many people move from rural areas to urban areas end up on the streets as street vendors (Kwankye, Anarfi, Tagoe, & Castaldo, 2007; W. Mitullah, 2003; W. V. Mitullah, 2005). Using qualitative methods, this study seeks to explore vendors’ reason for (migrating and) vending. In doing so, the study gives an account of survival and goal strategies of vendors and the obstacles they face. The results show that, most people on the street see vending as a way to acquire money quickly. It also revealed that the strategies that migrants adopt often end up becoming obstacles in the achievement of their goals. Keywords: street vendors, hawking, migration, goals, Ghana

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Presented in Poster Session 3