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Nima Market is thriving with an intensity and energy that is boundless and inspiring. However it lacks basic amenities - infrastructure, sanitation, storage, refrigeration, and drainage - that dampen it’s potential. Nima Market MIC addresses these basic needs as a priority. The improvements thus triggered will make it a model for markets all over Accra. In addition, an entire entrepreneurial economy is generated in the process of providing these basic needs. MIC redefines the concept of the market as a place of exchange of goods as well as ideas — a place of new flows in addition to the current ones, of education, information and awareness for change.




Accra, Ghana


Gabriela Callejas, Alexandra Gonzalez, Nisha Mary Prasad, Racha Daher – GSAPP, Columbia University

MIC masterplan and section

MIC’s design strategy occurs through incremental phasing:

  • Inserting infrastructural sanitation pockets;

  • Creating a paved accessible route that begins in the market to service these pockets, as well as to provide for emergencies;

  • Upgrading the market with new structural modules that are climate responsive ; revitalizing the market square and introducing new programs that anchor and support all the above changes and future transformations.

The market square becomes the main incubation space and absorption area of various formal functions as well as informal exchanges and vital activities that are characteristic of Nima. The space is equipped with informal occupation ‘attractors’ such as shading surfaces and storage units/furniture to be used by the wholesale market on Wednesdays and other daily vendors. The formalized community owned bank, located in the market square, plays a large role in the implementation of MIC: it supplies the micro-loans and the skill-set training to set up the industrial pockets. Anchored to the market square, these pockets are harnessed throughout the Nima housing area. The training programs tap into the energy of the active youth groups harboring their current skills into new micro economies that supply the above mentioned insertions. This allows the youth to take action as catalysts for change. We believe that these changes in the market will begin to transform the housing fabric. In response to this, MIC introduces a housing development office in the market square that could begin to address these transformations.​

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