Urban Forum

, Volume 28, Issue 3, pp 251–269 | Cite as

The Regulation of Street Foods: Experiences of Front-Line Regulators in Ghana

  • John Boulard Forkuor
  • Helle Samuelsen
  • Eric Henry Yeboah
  • Thilde Rheinländer
  • Kofi Osei Akuoko


There has been a lot of research on the relationship between regulators and street vendors, often portraying regulators as bullies of vulnerable vendors. However, there is little documentation on urban regulators and their challenges as they implement their mandates. This paper investigates the challenges and negotiating strategies of regulators of street-vended foods in Ghana and analyses the implication for their relationship with street food vendors. The paper reveals that regulators operate in a context of limited resources, leading to a general feeling of neglect. In coping, regulators adopt strategies that encourage harassment of vendors and increase tensions between vendors and regulators. Thus, this study establishes relations between the challenges and negotiating strategies of regulators and the poor relations that exist between regulators and vendors. This paper argues that motivating and addressing the needs of regulators can serve as an important basis for eliminating harassment and for improving the relationships between regulators and street vendors.


Regulation Street foods Coping strategies Harassment 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Sociology and Social Work, Faculty of Social SciencesKwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST)KumasiGhana
  2. 2.Department of Anthropology, Faculty of Social SciencesUniversity of CopenhagenCopenhagenDenmark
  3. 3.Department of Public Health, Global Health SectionUniversity of Copenhagen, CSSCopenhagenDenmark

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