Some marked features of the colonial economy of the Gold Coast were increased migration and urbanization. While internally, the people of the Gold Coast migrated from one location to the other, international migrants from other West African countries as well as European and Asian countries were also present. Such movements were largely labor migrations. Male labor was particularly important in the colonial economy and streams of men moved into port towns, administrative centers, mining areas and places noted for cash crop production. However, employment was not readily available for all people. Devising survival strategies to cope with the situation resulted in the creation of new economies, or expansion of the informal economy by the unemployed. In this case, necessity created a need that was filled by economic activities which were either innovations of existing ones or new ones introduced by migrants. These diversified the country’s economy. This paper examines the intricacies involved under the mixed group of labor migrants and seeks to answer the following questions: What was the nature of patterns of migration in the Gold Coast under colonial rule?, What were some of the “new” jobs or the innovations made out of existing ones in the Gold Coast colonial economy, and how have these contributed to the development of the informal sector in the country?


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pp. 68-83
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