In Ghana, the term chainsaw operator is used to refer to an informal worker who uses a chainsaw to fell trees. The chainsaw is a symbol of siphoning off timber resources since the 1980s. While chainsaws were used by the legal industry for timber felling and sawing since the 1960s, illegal operators began draining the timber resources won in state concessions by formal businesses in the 1980s. The governmental attempt to regulate the chainsaws in 1990s by decreeing their mandatory registration through a system of permits (Marfo, Abankwa and Agyeman 2009) did not work. The formalisation process was either too difficult to implement or too simple to circumvent (Quartey 2010). The Ghanaian government succumbed to pressure from the legal industry and outlawed the use of the chainsaw for timber cutting altogether. Location: Ghana However, the de-legalisation was unable to stop illegal operations. By the third millennium, chainsaw operators fell approximately half of all timber harvested in Ghana, generating an estimated loss of 12.8 million dollars per year in public revenue (MLF 2003; Chatham House 2006: 2, 7; Darko Obiri and Damnyag 2009; Glastra 2009; Marfo 2010: 3, 16). As legal enterprises shifted their focus to the more profitable export market where they could exercise a monopoly, they left the internal demand almost entirely in the hands of chainsaw operators (Quartey 2010; Hoare 2014). Despite the intense police repression, the informal timber industry increased further. In 2010, an estimated 17,000 operators, employing 97,000 workers, were active in Ghana (Osei-Tutu et al. 2010: 16; Marfo and Acheampong 2011: 1).

Chainsaw operators (Ghana) / Boni, Stefano. - (2018).

Chainsaw operators (Ghana)

Boni Stefano
2018

Abstract

In Ghana, the term chainsaw operator is used to refer to an informal worker who uses a chainsaw to fell trees. The chainsaw is a symbol of siphoning off timber resources since the 1980s. While chainsaws were used by the legal industry for timber felling and sawing since the 1960s, illegal operators began draining the timber resources won in state concessions by formal businesses in the 1980s. The governmental attempt to regulate the chainsaws in 1990s by decreeing their mandatory registration through a system of permits (Marfo, Abankwa and Agyeman 2009) did not work. The formalisation process was either too difficult to implement or too simple to circumvent (Quartey 2010). The Ghanaian government succumbed to pressure from the legal industry and outlawed the use of the chainsaw for timber cutting altogether. Location: Ghana However, the de-legalisation was unable to stop illegal operations. By the third millennium, chainsaw operators fell approximately half of all timber harvested in Ghana, generating an estimated loss of 12.8 million dollars per year in public revenue (MLF 2003; Chatham House 2006: 2, 7; Darko Obiri and Damnyag 2009; Glastra 2009; Marfo 2010: 3, 16). As legal enterprises shifted their focus to the more profitable export market where they could exercise a monopoly, they left the internal demand almost entirely in the hands of chainsaw operators (Quartey 2010; Hoare 2014). Despite the intense police repression, the informal timber industry increased further. In 2010, an estimated 17,000 operators, employing 97,000 workers, were active in Ghana (Osei-Tutu et al. 2010: 16; Marfo and Acheampong 2011: 1).
The Global Informality Project
Editor-in-Chief: Prof Alena Ledeneva
N/A
UCL press
REGNO UNITO DI GRAN BRETAGNA
Chainsaw operators (Ghana) / Boni, Stefano. - (2018).
Boni, Stefano
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11380/1169608
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