Mapping the Web of Relations

Understanding Mobile Phone Appropriation among Produce Traders in Ghana

Rabiu K. B. Asante and Dan-Bright S. Dzorgbo


The literature on mobile phones and market relations across Africa primarily emphasizes their role in facilitating agricultural trading. Proponents of this view highlight the support the mobile phone provides to farmers and buyers in obtaining market information relating to supply and demand dynamics. However, these studies tend to gloss over the factors underpinning the facilitatory role, which for all intents and purposes are reduced to an element of trust embedded in trading relations. Employing purposive and snowball sampling methods, 24 in-depth interviews and life histories were conducted and constructed. Drawing on personalized economic relations theory, this paper acknowledges these benefits, and further argues that “trust” is the main currency that drives these benefits rather than mere access to and usage of the mobile phone.

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