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Title: Youth Livelihoods and Entrepreneurship in the Mobile Telephony Sector in the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area
Authors: Gough, K
Yankson, P.W.K
Owusu, G
Afutu-Kotey, R.L
University of Ghana, College of Humanities, Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research
Keywords: Youth
Mobile Telephony Sector
Mobile phones
Issue Date: Dec-2013
Publisher: University of Ghana
Abstract: Mobile phones have been widely reported to be transforming Africa and have even been referred to as creating a ‘revolution’. Numerous studies have revealed how mobile phones are ‘flattening’ the world and facilitating economic development through improved connections between places and people. In Ghana, liberalisation of the mobile telephony sector has contributed to a dramatic rise in the number of young people who are engaged in various informal support businesses in the sector, including sale of mobile phones, accessories, airtime, and repair of mobile phones. Despite the fascination with the potential of the mobile telephony sector and impact of mobile phone usage, few studies have examined the livelihoods of those working in the business. Using a multiple research methodological approach involving a combination of quantitative and qualitative analytical techniques, this study specifically investigates the motivation for business establishment, performance and business implications in the life course of the youth working in the sector. The findings of this research counter the neoliberal interpretations and assumptions of entrepreneurship and livelihoods that are currently being promoted on two fronts. First, despite the majority of the youth-run mobile telephony businesses being ‘informal’, they cannot be dismissed as ‘necessity’ enterprises unworthy of support. On the contrary, many young people have growth aspirations for their businesses and some have succeeded in establishing successful businesses that enable them to become financially independent and make significant gains in social mobility. Second, although some young people are able to develop flourishing businesses, these are mainly educated males. On the whole, entrepreneurship within the mobile telephony sector is shown to be reinforcing existing social and economic inequalities rather than enabling young people to escape. The research therefore recommends broader policy choices at the micro and macro levels aimed at improving the livelihoods of the youth.
Description: Thesis (PhD) - University of Ghana, 2013
Appears in Collections:Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research

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