A Letter for Posterity Part 4


Street Hawkers: Entrepreneurs Or Mere Survivors?

The fear to unveil what is beneath the real issue surrounding the phenomena of street hawking in Ghana has led to a weird, ignorant and wrongful description of street hawkers as entrepreneurs by a society that has abandoned their future.

Are these street hawkers? real entrepreneurs or people struggling to survive? This is irresponsibility on the part of social actors ignoring their social roles bringing about the negative resultant vector of an eye soar of social spectacle. These hawkers cannot be considered as entrepreneurs in the real sense of the word. The quality of these struggling to survive everyday Ghanaian youth, tagged as entrepreneurs leaves much to questions.

Ghana has sacrificed and keeps on offering her future up for offers not worth taking with the left hand. Precious talents of immeasurable quantity and quality are exposed to the hard hitting and unfriendly climate of survival for the fittest. Suffice to say that, many of the sporting greats of this country most of them have come from the streets, especially football and boxing. Talents abound in Ghanaian streets and?actually going waste.

What beat human comprehension is the belief of many well and successful industrialist in Ghana claiming these young men and women are self-employed individuals.Can the definition and description bandit around about these hawkers be accepted as a Ghanaian understanding of who an entrepreneur is? My apprehension is seriously battered?and I?bleed in my heart, anytime a successful industrialist in Ghana refers to these hawkers as self-employed fellows. These well to do businessmen and women most often make reference to how they were either shoe shine boys (ssb) or hawking a dog chain to graduate to where they find themselves today. But every society needs to undergo regular transformation and transition. The 1960s and 70s as well as early 80s and 90s are not same with the 20s. Considering what prevailed in the years?mentioned above?you will agree as well as realize things have drastically changed. After years of perhaps raising entrepreneurs from the harsh conditions in the streets, should we still allow this to continue? Some are run over by cars while others are maimed for life. How can the streets be considered the factory reputed to be producing entrepreneurs? Entrepreneur?s of what repute, standards and ethics?

Society should be bold to accept that, the future of this great nation of ours has been failed. Because, the current position is quiet cold a spectacle to behold, a folk of tomorrow?s generation of gold doled like a pole in the streets to learn. Entrepreneurs indeed, chasing cars to sell their wares, the future will tell. If the description of these hawkers holds true, then why has the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) try unsuccessfully to rid them of the streets, or the AMA Chief Executive cannot categorise them as entrepreneurs?

The Authorities of this country should be aware that elevation and?nobility calls?for greater responsibility. Ghana needs to awake to face the raw bear truth staring us in the face about this risk accidental business. City Authorities are regularly fighting running battles with these so called ?Entrepreneurs?Let?s get real. So are these youth hawkers qualified to be termed as Entrepreneurs or it is the failure of society that is hiding behind this faint description? Let us consider this to be true for a moment. Why have the AMA Task Force been pursuing these ?Entrepreneur hawkers? via the ?Abaayie? cry?It is time for Ghanaian Authorities to open and own up that, the so-called entrepreneur?s are not those struggling with cars on our streets.

Despite, the failure of social actors to play their social roles to prevent this catastrophe, Government has another chance to win back the trust of many Ghanaians who look in that direction.

The Ministry of Employment and Social Welfare should collaborate with institutions such as the Non-Formal Education Division (NFED). The NFED is in the best position to help these street hawkers to attain the desire managerial as well as entrepreneurial skills to give true meaning to what entrepreneur is.

As the situation stands now, these street hawkers are but people struggling to survive and not entrepreneurs as we are made to believe.


Patrick Twumasi

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