Access along Ghana’s charcoal commodity chain

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Frank Kwaku Agyei, Christian Pilegaard Hansen, Emmanuel Acheampong

Charcoal production and exchange is lucrative across sub-Saharan Africa. But who profits along the charcoal commodity chains? By mapping access along the charcoal chain in Ghana, based on interviews with 650 actors, this article traces out the social and political-economic relations by which charcoal benefits are distributed. It illuminates how access and the mechanisms used by various groups of actors to maintain and control access are dynamic in time and space. The article shows how significant profits are derived by those in control of the market while those in control of the resource (the trees) and the production process generate much lower levels of profits. The article suggests force, moral economy, social movement, and innovation as additional access mechanisms to those outlined by Ribot and Peluso in their Theory of Access. Improving equity along charcoal commodity chains requires more attention to access mechanisms operating on charcoal markets, especially access to capital, information and buyers.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSociety & Natural Resources
Number of pages20
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 10 Jun 2019

ID: 222749333