Understanding the motivation and circumstances of kayayei in the Ghanaian economy: The kayayei experience

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Kayayei is an occupation in Ghana that involves carrying items in the market from one place to another for a fee. Kayayei is not a crime neither is it an immoral act, but the social, economic and health issues associated with the work makes it dangerous. A lot of interventions have been created in the north but the kayayei phenomenon is increasing. This research sought to understand the motivations and circumstances that influence women from the north to migrate to the southern part of Ghana to work as kayayei rather than engage in the various interventions that have been established for them. Using a qualitative approach, data was collected from people from Sherigu, Sumbrugum and Zaare, all in the Upper East region through interviews and questionnaires. The convenience sampling method was used and the sample size for the questionnaires was 50, and 15 out of them were interviewed. From the data collected, some of the circumstance to migrate include crop failures, few opportunities, rural poverty, inability to save, low wages as well as inadequate jobs. Also, some of the motivation to migrate include, the promise of greener pastures, job opportunities, ability to save and peaceful environment. Most importantly, some of the challenges with the interventions included lack of proper planning, lack of constant supply of raw materials, bias/corruption, low wages and inadequate jobs. It was recommended that the various initiatives should be evaluated before they are set up. Also, the minimum wage in Ghana should be enforced by the government in the various interventions.
Undergraduate thesis submitted to the Department of Business Administration, Ashesi University, in partial fulfillment of Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, April 2018
kayayei, migration, livelihoods, women, Ghana