Petty Traders Cash In On Ghana ‘08
Traders in the nation's capital, Accra, and other regional capitals, are cashing in on the promotional materials associated with the Africa Nations Cup, which is billed to kick off on Sunday.
Various paraphernalia branded in red, gold and green, which are the country's national colours, seemed to be the moving business in town over the past three weeks.
This clearly brings Ghanaian ingenuity to the fore.
Along the major roads of Accra and in the central business district, it is common to see many of such paraphernalia being displayed in shops or by hawkers.
The items being sold are a variety of flags, T-shirts, bracelets, headscarves, baseball cups, slippers (what is called in the local parlance Charlie wote), chains, stickers, pens, belts, socks, cups and many others.
Interestingly, traders who dealt in various goods have switched from the selling of their wares to the selling of Ghana 2008 souvenirs.
The high demand for these items is reminiscent of a similar situation during the Black Stars' maiden appearance in the World Cup in 2006.
The performance of the national team in that tournament brought high levels of national patriotism unprecedented in the country with many items and even buildings being decorated in the national colours.
Before the Africa Cup of Nations kicks off on Sunday, traders are optimistic of higher sales, a situation which has led to the gradual upward price adjustments.
According to Ms Felicia Sakyi, a trader at Kaneshie, she had invested about GH¢1,000 (¢10 million) in the business. Until three weeks ago, she dealt in men's apparel, but had now switched to selling the paraphernalia.
She said although the demand for the items had been slow, she was banking her hopes on the Black Stars winning their first match, a situation, she said would trigger greater demand.
Ms Sakyi stated that she makes an average of about Gh¢30 daily from the sales of the paraphernalia and was optimistic that sales would peak by Saturday as it was normal for shoppers to always wait and do last minute shopping.
Another trader, Adwoa Nyarkowaah, said the business was gradually picking up as the event drew nearer. She said currently, she made daily sales of about GH¢50 from the various items.
Ms Nyarkowaah was also optimistic that should the Black Stars progress in the tournament, it was likely that the various stocks of paraphernalia would run out.
“I am praying to God for the Black Stars to go to the finals”, she said, adding that “this will boost our business”.
A hawker on the Graphic Road, who gave his name as Yaw Ofori, said, he had switched from selling dog chains to selling the mini Ghana flags.
He said it was natural in business to take advantage of products that were patronised by drivers and passengers and sell them along the road.
Master Ofori said he also made GH¢20 daily sales which was much better than what he made previously and prayed that the Black Stars would go far in the competition to enhance his sales.
“Aside being a Ghanaian, which presupposes that I have to be patriotic, the second thing is that I need to survive and the Black Stars' performance would greatly ensure my survival in this scorching sun”, Ofori stated.
Story by Boahene Asamoah