Urban (In)formality

Money in a slum: the logic of small gains

Money in a slum: the logic of small gains

Dagna Rams is a doctoral candidate at the Department of Social and Political Science at the University of Lausanne, researching urban management and the politics and economies at the heart of the slum communities/informal settlements of Old Fadama and Agbogbloshie (Ghana). On a research outing around one […]

Accra: Sensing the City Through Sound

Accra: Sensing the City Through Sound

In May, African Urbanism contributed to MIT’s Community Innovation Lab (CoLab Radio) “Listening to the City” series. The series includes sounds from cities such as a market in Mexico City, a struggling street market in Thessaloniki, Greece, and sounds of Los Angeles’ street economy. What do […]

Re-imagining Accra’s “public spaces”

Re-imagining Accra’s “public spaces”

What if we let go of the limiting idea of our public spaces as “city parks” and began exploring the entire range of social spaces that already exist in the city? This is the first in a series of posts.  Talented architects, designers and public […]

After the Kantamanto Market fire, an opportunity for participatory planning emerges

After the Kantamanto Market fire, an opportunity for participatory planning emerges

Two weeks ago, fire destroyed the immense Kantamanto Market, the huge open-air market linked to Makola in Old Accra, comprised of hundreds of stalls and kiosks where vendors traded secondhand and firsthand goods. The fire, which started in the early hours of Sunday morning, lasted several […]

A World Bank chief economist’s take on informality and employment in Africa

A World Bank chief economist’s take on informality and employment in Africa

“Most Africans, the ones in rural areas as well as people in the urban areas, are in the informal sector. And there is a reason for that: they cannot afford to be unemployed. Most of the unemployed in Africa are people with secondary school degrees, […]

Traders and mayor differ on approach to build a modern Kantamanto after fire

Traders and mayor differ on approach to build a modern Kantamanto after fire

“…the overall good that should come out of this is the need for us to take advantage of an unfortunate situation to bring about modernization,” said Accra City Mayor Alfred Vanderpuye, referring to the recent fire that destroyed the immense Kantamanto Market in the city […]

Kantamanto Market: In Accra, a premier destination for secondhand trade

Kantamanto Market: In Accra, a premier destination for secondhand trade

For more than 30 years now, the trading in Accra’s Kantamanto Market has contributed and linked in to the urban center’s economic productivity and vibrancy. Located near the Makola Market area, Kantamanto is its own market, separate and distinct from Makola. It’s home to more […]