Chapter 8: Kinship groups and informal trade in West and Central Africa
Restricted access

In Africa, the informal sector is often in fact quite well organised and even has a major international dimension: informal cross-border trade (ICBT) often swamps official trade. Kinship networks frequently play a major role in domestic economies and in ICBT across Africa, both substituting for and undermining official institutions. In Africa, allegiance to traditional sources of authority is often far more binding than to the modern state. In this chapter, we review the role of kinship groups in African economies, with particular focus on ICBT. The chapter documents the pervasiveness of these phenomena and illustrates them in more detail with case studies of several groups, such as the Mourides in Senegal–Gambia, the Yoruba in Nigeria–Benin, the Hausa across the Sahel, and the Bamiléké in Cameroon.

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Access options

Get access to the full article by using one of the access options below.

Other access options

Redeem Token

Institutional Login

Log in with Open Athens, Shibboleth, or your institutional credentials

Login via Institutional Access

Personal login

Log in with your Elgar Online account

Login with you Elgar account
Edited by Jacques Charmes
Handbook