Dakar will host the 57-nation Organization of Islamic Conference summit early next year, bringing in thousands of well-heeled visitors. The big losers will be Dakar’s infamous street hawkers.
According to Agence France Press:
Dakar's central business district streets which are normally choking with makeshift stalls displaying all kinds of wares, were empty on Friday.
Cars and pedestrians moved with ease, a day after the operation was launched by police.
The operation "will be permanently enforced throught Dakar and its suburbs," Dakar governor Amadou Sy vowed this week.
The operation, which comes four months ahead of an Organisation of the Islamic Conferene (OIC) summit, has angered vendors and beggars alike.
"This action drives us out of business. We do not have jobs, yet it's (President) Abdoulaye Wade who had promised employment for the youths," said Saliou Sy, a shoe shiner, who complained at the lack of alternative jobs.
Wade on Monday called for an end to the hawking anarchy reigning in Dakar, which he said had cost the country some 125 million euros due to traffic jams.
Update: In related news, a state government in Nigeria demolished informal business stands before the opening ceremony of a conference organized by GTZ, the German development agency and the Nigerian Chamber of Commerce. The governor of the Minna Niger State said he didn’t want to separate people from economic access, but stressed that business owners must follow proper zoning codes.
"We cannot turn every house into a business shop. There must be a specialized place for business. There should be a difference between a home and a business shop and that is why we have to build corner shops in all the wards", he told the Daily Trust.