This week was exciting because I got the opportunity to work on my own feature story that was aired on TV last weekend. I got to choose my topic, write my script, do the voice over, conduct the interviews, and film. I chose to write my story on the informal sector of the economy in Ghana, meaning street vendors, hawkers, and taxi drivers just to name a few. When my coworker first suggested this issue to me it sounded so boring. Like why the hell would I want to do a story on the informal sector of the economy? But as I started researching the issues surrounding informal sector workers, for example many governmental policies such as: problems with access to water, sanitation, subsidized education, and lack of protection for the workers, I became very interested in the topic because it gave me an entirely different perspective on the country and the people who rely on this sector of jobs for a livelihood. I learned that the informal sector accounts for more than 88% of the nation’s GDP per capita, which is huge considering the developing status that Ghana holds.
The Informal Sector contributes significantly to the country’s development in the form of taxes and providing formal sector workers with easy access to goods and services. All of the positives seem to outweigh the negatives, which are traffic and city space issues, but governmental policies are not always in favor of the workers’ needs. All they are asking for is cleaner facilities, access to clean water, and help with education, but the government has not recognized these requests. It was an interesting experience for me because before this assignment, I just viewed street vendors and hawkers as annoying salesmen and women who are just trying to jip everyone of their money. I have now been able to humanize these workers and understand their contribution to the economy and the hard work they put in to support their families.
In a later post I will include a link to my story so everyone who wants to watch is able to.