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39 - 50

Publication :

16 décembre 2022

Market traders in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso challenged by Covid-19: discourses and practices in the face of preventive measures

George Rouamba, Zakaria Soré, Yacouba Tengueri, Claudine Valérie B. Rouamba-Ouedraogo

Rubrique - Global Africa N°2

Analyses Critiques


En Français

Based on material collected using mixed methods, this article analyses the knowledge and prevention practices of Ouagadougou traders concerning Covid-19. Their discourse is based on a conception which, by focusing on highly publicised patients (from the rich or supposedly wealthy classes), reinforces the idea of a pathology of the “rich”, a “disease of the snow”, “of the cold”, and of “air conditioning”. Covid-19 is then perceived as a disease of the West, with its cold climate, its rich, whose equivalents in Burkina Faso are the civil servant cadres and business-people who have a favourable economic situation and use air conditioning on a daily basis. The reconfiguration of citizen interactions pits two types of citizens in opposition to each other. On the one hand, the agents of the state acting as dominant actors, predators of resources, and even local representatives of the West, and on the other hand, those left behind, the dominated who suffer the measures recommended by the dominant. This construction of the risk linked to Covid-19 leads to a trivialisation of the pathology in the markets, and then to the contestation of the protective measures. Demonstrations against the closure of markets, places of worship and land borders are a form of condemnation of the passivity of a state seen to be dominated by the West. It reflects a mistrust, a mistrust fuelled by the unequal power relations between the North and the South around global health.

Keywords  :

Covid-19, traders, market, West, state, Ouagadougou

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