Friday, February 20, 2009

killing the informal economy = killing the people

Kano, the leading city in Northern Nigeria, seems committed to wiping out informal businesses. The city brags that it has demolished 3,000 illegal stores and is planning to wipe out 7,000 more by the fall. The UN's exemplary IRIN News has details. Kano authorities say it's "more important to clean up Kano than keep some small business owners employed."

Lagos, too, has been following the same policy, demolishing longstanding markets and criminalizing street hawking.

Nigerian officials seem convinced that the dynamic urban commercial cacophony is an evil. They don't understand that they are destroying the most creative sector of the economy, and missing an opportunity for truly revolutionary urban planning.

(thanks to Mohamed for his eagle eye, and for sending the clip my way)

No comments: