Markets get busy for Xmas

December 25, 2016
Source: Benson AFFUL/thebftonline.com/Ghana
Markets get busy for Xmas

It was around 7:45pm on Friday December 23, 2016, when I was returning from class at the Central University, Mataheko. Business activities at the Kaneshie Market at the time were unusually ongoing as though it were day time.

Traders were busily attending to customers while passersby were also busily looking out to get something home.

Meanwhile, traders for some years now, have been complaining about the slow pace of business during Christmas periods; a situation they have attributed to the economic situation in the country.

The Kaneshie Market arguably, is one of the biggest markets in the Greater Accra Region. The market has a lot of shops, stalls, and a lorry station that makes it a preferable market for most people in Accra, as they can easily transport themselves to their homes after shopping or selling.          

Among the goods in high demand at the Kaneshie market were food items such as rice, oil and confectioneries. Also in high demand were clothes, especially children's wear, and shoes.

The Accra Central Business Market commonly known as the Makola Market, where I visited on Thursday morning was not different, as people had come to the market to shop ahead of the Christmas season.

Philomena Nyarko, a clothes seller, told me business is quite better compared to last year. Asked what must have caused the change this time, she believes it may be the excitement people have after the outcome of the general elections held on the 7-last month, guessing: “the country is still enjoying the peace after the election result were declared.”

The ever-busy Kwame Nkrumah Circle is another area where trading of goods and services are very paramount. It is known for goods such as the sale of mobile phones, second-hand clothing, shoes and food stuff, among other things.

The construction of the interchange however was meant to change the unstructured nature area but traders, especially hawkers are not bothered as they have ignored the AMA taskforce and still go about doing their business.

As traders and patrons are seen going about their activities, Farouk, a shoe seller told the B&FT that business has gone up for the past weeks and they hope it continues till the new year.

He said that initially when the interchange was under construction, it slowed their business and in a way affected their income.

Naa, also a second-hand ladies’ clothes seller said the market has become quite busy, saying “many people are in town now and I can say they are not just passing by, some buy some stuff.”

The Kwame Nkrumah Circle Interchange was commissioned in last month to ensure the easy flow of vehicular movement but the area which has also become a business hub still makes it difficult for vehicles to move easily.

When I visited the place, I realized the lane that move to Lapaz and Achimota from the old Circle overhead is still crowded and hawkers were seen busily selling and which slowed the movement of vehicles.

The Osu Oxford Street, a popular street in the Osu town cannot be left out whenever business centres are mentioned in the Greater Accra Region. The place is known for its big shops such as supermarkets, banks, restaurants, malls, casinos and other entertaining centres.

Petty traders are also lined up in the stalls on both sides of the street. One will notice traders selling under umbrellas and on top of tables. There are people who sell made-in-Ghana products like beads, African print and these attract a lot of expatriates on the street.

I found out during my tour on the Oxford Street that some shop owners have stocked their shops with a lot of goods. A place like Koala was very busy as usual as people moved in and out of the shop. The sale of fireworks on the street have also gone up and a lot of traders were seen selling these products.

Many traders were into the sale of charismas items. In front of Koala, there are about three traders who have mounted huge stands displayed with lot of these items.

A trader said during Christmas it is just wise that one moves away from his usual business and sell things that have high demand during the Christmas season.

He said when the festive season is over he then moves to his core business. He said the sale of the fireworks have gone up, he does good business every day.

This year’s ‘December’came along with two-key seasons for Ghanaians as the country went to the polls early this month successfully and also awaits the celebration of the Christmas festivity.

Before the elections, anxiety among many Ghanaians after the outcome of the results were expected to slow business and sale of goods, but the reverse is the case as major markets are very busy and business can be said to be booming for traders.

Samuel Sam reports from Tamale that business activities have started gearing up in the Central Business District of the Tamale Metropolis as the market becomes busy with traders and buyers.

He the area saw traders displaying their wares, while shops opened to enable people to buy to celebrate the Christmas festival.

Those who are cashing in on the occasion, he said are traders in vegetables, foodstuffs, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages and livestock dealers.

A visit to most of the financial institutions also saw customers transacting business with the various ATMs section business with costumers withdrawing money for their personal reasons.

Some traders and shop owners who spoke to this reporter said they were expecting an increase in sales due to the high demands.

The price of livestock in the Northern Region has been stable with guinea fowl going for GH?25 to GH?30 depending on the size while goats go for between GH?200 and GH?300. A bowl of tomato went for GH?7.00, rice for GH?10.00.