The effect of liberalization on the growth and development of markets in Kampala District
Mwangu, Alex Ronald
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The study was set out to establish the effect of liberalization on the growth and development of markets in Kampala District. It set out to establish the influence of liberalization on the nature of goods and services offered in the Markets in Kampala District. It also wanted to find out the effects of increasing population (native and foreign) on the nature of goods and services in the markets in Kampala District. The study also sought to investigate the effect of transition from public to private policies of management of markets on the growth and development of markets in Kampala District. A qualitative approach was deployed to carry out the study. A cross sectional survey research design was used in the study. Out of 13 markets in Kampala District, four were selected that included Owino (St.Balikuddembe), Nakawa, Kiseka and Nakasero markets. 126 subjects comprising of traders and vendors; and 18 market officials participated in the study. These participants were randomly selected and were approached directly and interviewed. Data was collected by means of questionnaires, interviews, records and observation. The main findings showed that liberalization has an effect on the nature of goods and services in Kampala markets, the increasing population of both local and foreign customers has an effect on the nature of goods and services in Kampala markets and the transition from public to private management has an effect on the development of markets in Kampala City Council. There is an increase in the nature of goods and services where more foreign goods are brought in the market to meet the demand of the new foreign customers. It was also found out that the tastes of the local customers have changed and they demand more foreign goods. It was found out that there is an increase in the population of Kampala by people from rural areas of Uganda as well as foreigners thus causing more demand for goods and services. It was also found out that private management has led to improvement of market infrastructures although it has led to loss of government revenue through failure to remit collected revenues. It was therefore concluded that liberalization is good for the development of markets because it leads to improvement of infrastructure, increase a variety of goods and services, lead to specialization but the local communities can not compete favorably because they lack the knowledge, skills and capital to match their global partners and it leads to counterfeits. It is therefore recommended that the government trains the local traders in business skills so as to benefit fully from globalization and liberalization, monitor quality of goods and services to avoid importing of counterfeits and reduce taxes on imported goods to stem out smuggling that is leading the government to lose revenue. The government should sensitize stakeholders before rolling out policy changes and private owners should consult traders and vendors instead of issuing orders in the administration of markets for harmonious existence. The government should continue its role of sourcing funding for the development of markets because private managers are businessmen who seek to maximize profits and cannot solely develop markets.
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