The ABCs of West African Roadsides

In West Africa, commerce thrives on the side of the road.  For 4 weeks now I have spent many hours driving along hundreds of miles of these roads in all their various states of repair and disarray, and I can safely say that almost everywhere there is a road, there is a market.

Africa - Roadsides-4

In West Africa, you can buy just about anything you want or need on the side of the road.

Thanks to the markets, hundreds of people are coming and going by bus, car, taxi, moped, or donkey-drawn cart at all hours of the day.

To entertain myself on these long drives along the Africa coasts, I made an incomplete list of some of the goodies for sale.

Enjoy the virtual shopping trip…

A:

Avocados

Air conditioner fans

B:

Blankets

Briefcases

Barrels

Beer

Belts

Bras

Bureaus

Beads

Baskets

Brooms

Bread

Buckets

Blenders

Bed frames

Students walking home on the Sierra Leone roadside as piles of trash smolder on the riverbank behind them.

Students walk home on the Sierra Leone roadside as piles of trash smolder on the riverbank behind them.

C:

Chairs (wooden, plastic, metal, children’s & full size)

Coffee tables

Cinder blocks

Car seat covers

Computers

Coconuts

Carpets

Cellphones

Cement

Clay pots

Cisterns

Curtains

Caskets

Coca Cola

Market woman in Ghana

Woman in a market in Ghana

D:

Dishes

Donuts

Drums

Doors (both house and garage)

E:

Electrical Wire

Eggs

F:

Floor fans

Flip-flops

Fly swatters

Floor tiles

Fabric

Fake flowers

Fridges

Africa - Roadsides 5

Apparently God is in control of the refrigeration business…

G:

Gravel

Goats

Gasoline

Gates

H:

Hubcaps

High heels

Hoses

Hair cuts

I:

Irons

J:

Jeans

Africa - Roadsides-1

Most clothes for sale in West Africa are second hand. No doubt donations from the first world.

K:

Kettles

Kilns

Koliko (fried yams in Togo)

Kitchen sinks

L:

Limes

Lattice

Linoleum

M:

Mirrors

Mattresses

Music

Meat

N:

Nuts

Nets (fishing and mosquito)

Nescafe

O:

Original art

Opinions

Africa - Roadsides-6

Not sure what is being sold out of this store front in Ghana.

P:

Propane

Paint brushes

Phone calls

Pillows

Pork

PVC pipe

Pineapple

Plucked chickens

Q:

Quilts

Quik (as in Nestle)

R:

Religion

Rebar

Roof panels (corrugated metal, woven, thatch)

S:

Shovels

Seafood

Sex

Sodas

Scooters

Solar panels

Sofas

Sugar cane

Shoes

Africa - Roadsides-3

Sampling of the brilliant fabrics and clothes for sale.

T:

Tank Tops

Toilets

Turines

Tires (scooter, bicycle, car)

Tricycles

Televisions (flat screen and not)

U:

Unprocessed wooden logs

V:

Veggies

Africa - Roadsides-2

Woman selling cabbage, squash, and yams in Angola.

W:

Wooden boards

Watermelon

Washing detergent

Water

Wash basins

X:

X-Tigi Mobile (service in Togo)

Y:

Yams

Z:

Zippers

A man walks a roadside of Angola.

A man walks a roadside in Angola.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One thought on “The ABCs of West African Roadsides

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *