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

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“…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 center on Sunday morning. The market is a center for the trade of secondhand imports from North America, Asia and Europe.

“And the time has come; it’s far long overdue for us to put our market into the modern status that it needs to be, and that I can say that the Accra Metropolitan Assembly is taking full responsibility to bring modernization around these two disaster activities”

On Sunday, May 5, the immense secondhand trading center known as Kantamanto Market was destroyed by a fire that raged for hours. Two days later on Tuesday evening, there was a large, but limited fire at Tudu Market. The two markets, located in Old Accra, draw immense human and economic traffic. Thousands of traders lost investments and wealth in the fires. In the case of Kantamanto, the Accra Metropolitan Assembly says it plans to “modernize” the market to improve its conditions for the traders. The traders, however, hope to rebuild the market themselves.