Ghana has a population of close to 21 million persons, 43% of those being urban dwellers. The economy is growing at approximately 5% and the country has many natural resources, which means that it has a higher per capita income than neighbouring countries. However it has suffered from high inflation and about 60% of the work force works in the agriculture sector. The urban poor are estimated at 1.5 million persons. The government of Ghana is keen to make improve living conditions for its citizens and new housing and municipal finance policies are under preparation. The banking sector in Ghana seems keen to experiment with ways to enable capital to reach the urban poor.
Kojokrom is located on the main Takoradi-Cape Coast road and about three kilometres North of Sekondi. The town has an approximate population of 8,409, an average house hold size of 5.5 with a room occupancy rate of 5.9.
The Kojokrom market development project was initiated as a result of intense lobbying and pressure from the Kojokrom Market Women Association (KMWA). Thus the Kojokrom Market complex development is a joint initiative of the KMWA and Sekondi - Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly (STMA). The Local Finance Facility called the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly Citywide Settlement Upgrading Fund (STMA-CSUF) decided to support the market project because the market sheds were very vital for the livelihood of the community since as much as 62.7% of the population were engaged in the service sector mostly buying and selling at the market. It was the view of the market women that completing the sheds will help improve their working conditions thereby increasing their income and eventually increase savings for housing upgrading.
The plan is to support the KMWA to construct 6 market shed (in phases) under a build-operate and transfer (BOT) arrangement with STMA. Both the partitioned and un partitioned market sheds were designed to accommodate 40 market vendors with 240 vendors benefitting directly when all the six sheds are completed. The project also involves the construction of a storm water drain to ease the flooding situation at the market. The cost of the drain will however be borne by STMA. It is anticipated that if the women are provided with a descent place of business, their income levels will improve which will also improve their savings toward housing improving in future. The first phase will be run as a pilot for 40 women in one shed.
Expected results include tried and tested mechanisms for providing capital financing for slum upgrading in Kojokrom, including the provision of market stalls and infrastructure improvement; improved quality of life in participating communities, and; and leveraged private bank participation in slum upgrading projects.
Improved living conditions for the low-income community of Kojokrom.