Gender Minister says government is working to rebrand the head porters trade popularly known as ‘Kaya’, to make it a dignifying venture.

Cynthia Morrison said this has become necessary because the way the trade is carried out at the moment, is dehumanising and sullies Ghana’s reputation in the eyes of the international community.

The rebranding, she explained will also bring to an end the involvement of minors in the enterprise which is dominated by women.

“Why should people be sleeping on the street? We see young girls below the age of 16 hawking and doing kayayo, that is wrong, that is child labour.

“We see mothers carrying their newborn babies and doing kaya, that is wrong and unacceptable,” the Minister said in an interview with Joy News.

She added “we are going to brand their operations by getting them leaders and branding their head pans so that it will be easy to trace your item if it gets missing”

A good number of the women and girls engaged in the kaya business have either not been to school or dropped out of school for varied reasons and so have virtually no employable skills.

Of the estimated 19,127 people involved in the trade, 86 per cent of them are females, mainly single mothers.

We’re working to rebrand ‘Kayaye’ trade - Gender Minister
Cynthia Morrison, Gender and Social Protection Minister

They tend to resort to carrying loads on their heads as their only livelihood.

Even as government works on its promise to build a hostel facility for the porters operating in Accra, the Gender Minister’s plan if successfully implemented, is expected to ease the rather harsh conditions under which they operate.

But the Kayaye are not buying any of that.

Reacting to the Minister’s promise, founder of the Kayaye Association of Ghana, Mohammed Salifu, is questioning why previous governments, as well as the current administration, have failed to pay attention to the plight of the porters.

“Today they know and they are rebranding them. Is it today that governemt got to know that we have Kayaye in Ghana?” he quizzed.