Despite the massive criticisms and discrimination associated with Kayayei business, head portering popularly called Kayayei has continued to flourish in many parts of Ghana. More so, child-kayayei usage is now widely accepted, despite Ghana’s regulations against child exploitation and head porterage.
According to reports, more women have been attracted to the business following the abolishment of the kayayei levy. On March 3, 2017, the Ghanaian government announced the abolishment of some taxes, said to have been imposed by the former National Democratic Congress (NDC) government. Among the slashed taxes is the one imposed on head porters (Kayayei), spare parts importers, and more. [See Full List]
The recent tax cut on Kayeyei business has now led to more people especially women joining the business. Before the abolishment of tax, local Assemblies and certain municipalities used to charge them between 50 pesewas and GHC1.00 as levy. But knowing there’s no more tax to be paid, more people have thronged the business.
Some of the excited head porters who interacted with the media revealed that business has been fairly good for the past few days. This is because they no longer pay the fifty pesewas demanded by the assembly on daily basis through the issuance of tickets, before the commencement of their business.
There are some, however who have complained of being shortpaid by customers, as a result of the tax cuts. These are people who take advantage of the tax removal, to pay below the normal service rate.
Kayayei Business in Ghana
Over 50,000 head porters mainly from northern regions are scattered in various market centers across the country. Kayayei business is widely practiced in low-income areas, among women as well as children under the ages of 18. These porters carry the wares of buyers in the market, from one point to the other and are paid little sums for the work done.
The prevalence of kayayei business in Ghana, can be said to be one of the numerous results of the massive rate of unemployment in the country. The initial taxes, as well as the dangers attached to the business, had caused Gender Minister, Otiko Afisa Djaba to reveal her plans of shutting down the business.
The initial taxes, as well as the dangers attached to the business; had caused Gender Minister, Otiko Afisa Djaba to reveal her plans of shutting down the business, earlier in March 2017. According to the Gender Minister, the existence of the business is a huge hindrance to Nana Addo’s objective of alleviating poverty in the country.
The Minister who spoke on Adom TV, revealed that plans are in place for the government to train women involved in Kayayei business in other skills. This is because it will take more than just banning the practice of head poterage, to take these women out of the streets.
On what can be used to replace the Kayeyei business, Madam Djaba talked about a German company which is helping to develop a truck-like vehicle for carting goods at market centres. This will allow for less patronage of the business in markets.
But as it appears, a huge number of head porters are obviously enjoying the business, more especially now that the taxes have been abolished by the Ghanaian government.