Kotokoraba Market, Cape Coast, Ghana

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The Central region of Ghana is known as the tourism hub of Ghana. The capital of the region - Cape Coast, is known for many reasons including its UN World Heritage Site - Cape Coast Castle and its Senior High Schools. One other reason why Cape Coast is also popular is because of its market. The Kotokoraba market is the economic hub of the region, with all major trading stores located around it. Part of the market has a big transport yard from where various buses and cars transport traders and their wares as well as individuals to different parts of the country.

The market is bordered to the north-west by Mfantsipim School and the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation hill. On the east is Tantri, a busy transport yard and the major departure point for travellers moving out of the city.

History[edit]

The market has existed for years, and was a major trading site during pre-independence era which continued to grow to its present size. It served as a major point for all trade in the region. Its position made it a hotspot for economic activity, as major activities in the city went on in and around the area. This led to the area quickly filling up with building for stores. Various trading houses brought their businesses close as it brought them closer to buyers. The name of the market, which could mean 'crab village', is believed to derive from early settlers who made their living from the abundance of crabs in the bay.[1]

Fires[edit]

Like many big markets in Ghana, most destruction to the Kotokoraba market has been through fires.Two major fires have razed parts of the market since 2000. In 2002[2] fire gutted the market, destroying goods worth thousands of cedis. About 104 stalls and goods including textiles, provisions, toiletries and foodstuffs were completely destroyed. It took a combined team of personnel of the Ghana National Fire Service drawn from Cape Coast, Mankessim, Apam and Takoradi more than two hours to bring the fire under control. The fire started at about 7 pm. On 24 April 2010[3] fire destroyed several shops and a number of temporary structures at the Kotokoraba Market.

In both case the central government had to put in funds to rebuild the market, and in some cases paid some moneys as disaster relief to traders who had lost their wares.

Calls for expansion[edit]

On 8 January 2009 a cross–section of residents in the Cape Coast Township expressed their desire for the establishment of a new market to ease the congestion at the Kotokoraba market. The call for a new market was mainly made by traders and market women who complained that the Kotokoraba market was overcrowded with people and vehicles, each struggling for space, while traders who are unable to get stalls within the market are can only display their wares in the streets, causing traffic jams.[4] Though the concerns raised are true, lack of space around the market does not permit its expansion; a bigger market could only be set up elsewhere.

Sanitation[edit]

As in many big markets in Ghana, waste and its management is a major preoccupation of the authorities in charge. Normally, cleaners start work at dawn when the market is the least busy, sweeping and gathering the previous day's refuse. They also clean the gutters every three months, more often in the rainy season, to prevent them from getting blocked.

References[edit]