Food for Thought: Urban Market Planning and Entangled Governance in Accra, Ghana

Paul Austin Stacey*, Richard Grant, Martin Oteng-Ababio

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review


The Konkomba Yam Market in Accra, Ghana, is one of West Africa's largest agricultural markets. This article undertakes a multi-dimensional analysis focusing on contests between unsuccessful government efforts to relocate the market, and local efforts to remain in place, culminating in indeterminacy. Publicly, the relocation debate pivots around competing rationales: those of government driven ‘market’ and ‘formal’ logics versus locally-based ‘rights’ and ‘informal’ urban governance. Conceptually, the article highlights how the imbroglio around the failed relocation is driven and perpetuated by both antagonistic and productive relationships between different formal and informal actors and institutions. Empirically, the case draws attention to how urban policy omissions of contextual socio-political and economic interests and power relations result in the informalisation of urban governance.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102400
JournalHabitat International
Issue number115
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Urban
  • Marketplace
  • Uncertainty
  • Ghana
  • Governance
  • Institutions
  • Informality

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