by Gertrude Dzifa Torvikey and Sylvia Ohene Marfo
Capital, through neoliberal development, is finding spaces in the informal economy, which was traditionally unattractive for capital investment. Recently, Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) in Ghana have surged given the increasing sovereign debt and economic crisis. Drawing on qualitative methods, and framed within a feminist political economy perspective, this paper examines the impacts of PPPs in a local market in Ghana and the ramifications for the women, the space, and the future of the market. We use the construction of some market structures in a market in Ghana built on a Build OperateTransfer PPP model to illustrate how local government’s top-down decision-making processes exclude women, foist on them decisions that adversely impact their economic autonomy and social relations, and deepen the class structure among them. We detail the contradicting ways the market leadership and their followers differed in their responses to the project and how this difference led to tensions among the traders. By examining the local Assembly’s political strategy to weaken the women’s resistance to policies in the market through the allocation of sheds to commodity leaders, we also hint at the uncertainty of sustained collective mobilisation in the market which is open to many more neoliberal experiments.
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