Alaba

Rem Koolhaas | The Harvard Project on the City

First published in "Mutations", 2000
Materials © 2016 OMA / Presidents and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved.

Developed with Pierre Belanger, Chuihua Judy Chung, Joshua Comaroff, Michael Cosmas, Sonal Gandhi, A. David Hamilton, Lan-ying Ip, Jeannie Kim, Gullivar Shepard, Reshma Singh, Nathaniel Slayton, James Stone and Sameh Wahba.

In 1978, Alaba International Electronics Market was squeezed out of Lagos, dumped on a swamp and left to its own devices. Since then, the market has grown to include 50,000 merchants that net over USD 2billion annually. Officially described as an “unorganized sector”, Alaba accounts for 75% of West Africa’s electronics trade.

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[1] Chef Magnus Ubochi, in personal conversation.
[2] Ojo LG, " Attributes Financial Strength to Alaba Market ", Post Express, 27 May 1998.
[3] Peil, Lagos, The City is the People, p. 87.
[4] Kelechi Obasi, " More Lines from Emis ", Africa News Service, 27 September 1999.
[5] "Alaba electronics dealers rally against sub-standard products", Post-express, 16 juin 1999.
[6] Uchendu Wogu, " FG indicted over influx of fake electrical products ", Post Express, 9 November 1998.
[7] Mabogunje, A.L., Proceedings of the World Bank Annual conference on Development Economics, 1991.
[8] Former Nigerian Secretary of Finance Allison Ayida, The Rise and Fall of Nigeria, Malthouse Press, Lagos, 1990, p. 47.
The Vanguard, 5 February 2000.
[10] Jimmy Yeow, "Emirates can help put the buyers in West Asia and sellers in Uganda through Emirates’ Skychainnetwork," Business Times (Malaysia), 5 April 2000.
[11] Middle East News Items, 30 September 1997.
[12] Geertz, Peddlers and Princes: Social Change and Economic Modernization in Two Indonesian Towns, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1963, p. 35.
[13] Abdou Maliq Simone, Urban Processes and Change in Africa, p. 105.