General News of Wednesday, 8 March 2017
Gender Minister, Otiko Afisa Djaba has said that she is aiming at bringing to an end the head portering business, otherwise known as ‘Kayayei’ in the country.
Over 50,000 head porters mainly from the three northern regions are scattered in various market centres across the country.
These persons, mostly women and children under the ages of 18 carry the wares of shoppers from one point to the other and are paid meagre sums for the work done.
The lack of employment opportunities in the three northern regions which has led to acute poverty and impoverishment of the inhabitants of these regions, has been said to be the main driving force behind the movement of the women and children to the middle and southern belts of the country to carry items.
In recent times, local Assemblies and certain municipalities were charging them between 50 pesewas and GHC 1.00 as tolls.
Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta announced during the presentation of the 2017 budget that the government intends to abolish this toll.
This move, which has received widespread commendation and celebration by head porters in particular, Ms Otiko Afisa Djaba said on Adom TV’s Bedwam forms part of efforts by the Nana Akufo-Addo led to help alleviate poverty in the country.
The biggest, she said would be the total abolition of the Kayayei phenomenon. She revealed that plans are in place for the government to train women involved in Kayayei business to equip them with other skills.
“We have contacted this German company which is helping to develop a truck-like vehicle for carting goods at the market centres instead of people carrying it on their heads, so the Kayayei phenomenon would be abolished soon…,” she said.