gvA Update

Street-Hawking as an Economic Indicator Street Hawkers, some people call them street executives. Well, you see them literally everywhere in Africa. They are now an integral part of urban economies around the world, and particularly in subsaharan Africa. Indeed, street hawking as an occupation has existed for hundreds of years and is considered a cornerstone for the historical and cultural heritage of many cities. As peddlers or shall we call them distributors of affordable goods and services, they provide consumers with convenient and accessible retail options and have become a vital part of the social and economic life of our cities. Sometimes as a very visible segment of the urban informal economy, it is indisputable that there are thousands of street hawkers in most big cities of the developing world. For example, street vendors account for about 16.4 per cent of total employment in Bamako, Mali; and as much as 20 percent in Lomé, Togo. As a share of total informal employment, street traders generally account for 15-25 per cent in African cities, 10-15 per cent in Asian cities, and 5-10 per cent in Latin American cities. Now, how is street hawking an economic indicator? How does it reflect economic performance? Here is it. When the number of street hawkers increases, it implies that the economy is doing well and therefore that more people can afford the merchandise being sold. However, the quality of the economy is not good enough to create better jobs for these individuals who now must turn to very low paying street hawking. Therefore where the countries macroeconomy is good, but people are flooding the hawking industry it implies that income inequality is growing and inclusive growth is eluding us. Our hidden economics for you.


Posted: Nov 23rd, 2015 @ 09:51:40 AM