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Street traders and the emerging spaces for urban voice and citizenship in African cities

Brown, Alison Margaret Braithwaite, Lyons, Michal and Dankoco, Ibrahima 2010. Street traders and the emerging spaces for urban voice and citizenship in African cities. Urban Studies 47 (3) , pp. 666-683. 10.1177/0042098009351187

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Abstract

As informal commerce has grown to become the lifeblood of African cities, street trade—among the largest sub-groups in the informal economy—has become a visible but contested domain. Yet the increase in street traders has not been accompanied by a corresponding improvement in their status as citizens or in their political influence. The paper first discusses the implications of theoretical debates on ‘citizenship’ and ‘voice’ for street traders and then explores characteristics of traders’ associations and influence in four case study countries: Senegal, Ghana, Tanzania and Lesotho. Drawing together the authors’ findings from research between 2001 and 2008, the paper identifies a fluidity of both formal and informal traders’ organisations which fail to achieve lasting impact. Finally, the paper discusses urban policy implications, arguing for a more flexible definition of urban citizenship based on rights and responsibilities, and an understanding of the complexity of grassroots associations of the marginalised poor.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Geography and Planning (GEOPL)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 0042-0980
Last Modified: 07 Nov 2019 09:07
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/10535

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