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Conceptualising marketplaces in Anglophone West Africa: a sexpartite framework

Asante, Lewis Abedi, Helbrecht, Ilse
GeoJournal 2020 v.85 no.1 pp. 221-236
extinction, globalization, governance, risk, supermarkets, Western Africa
Marketplaces in Anglophone West Africa have a long history. However, previous studies have failed to conceptualise the characteristics of these marketplaces in an organised manner. This article demonstrates that the Anglophone West African marketplace is a multidimensional concept characterised by six interrelated features, namely physical, social, economic, cultural, governance, and contestation attributes. With increasing globalisation and penetration of global and regional supermarket chains in Africa, the multifunctional space of the Anglophone West African marketplace, as experienced in Euro-American contexts, risks extinction. More broadly, the article shows that the attributes identified in this framework have relevance beyond Anglophone West Africa, suggesting that the marketplace in other parts of Africa and the Global South face similar threats. The framework lends itself to further research in several disciplines and has applied relevance for Anglophone West African policymakers and municipal authorities as well as the international community.