The Institute of Policy Analysis and Research (IPAR) welcomes plans by Kigali City Council to build permanent trading areas for all hawkers.
Providing permanent premises to hawkers will definitely reduce chaos and traffic jam in the City. IPAR’s research showed that hawkers need to get premises located in areas where customers will easily access them.
These trading areas should also be guarded and covered to prevent damage of goods and secured to prevent theft. Opening hours should be flexible to meet the needs of customers.
Are hawkers going to be charged for the space that is going be provided? Hawkers barely make enough to live on. If taxes and charges are imposed, many hawkers will be driven out of business. Others will continue to try and work on the streets.
IPAR welcomes the proposals to provide work sites for hawkers in Kigali but what is going to happen to hawkers in other towns? They need support as well.
Key challenges facing hawkers are limited access to finance, poor business skills and lack of innovation.
IPAR research recommends that Kigali City Council develops a coordinated strategy to raise the productivity of hawkers and remove some of the constraints facing them.
Lack of coordination partly explains why few hawkers succeed in growing into larger businesses when many have the potential to do so. Thank you Kigali City Council and the line Ministry for this productive initiative.