This essay seeks to explain the concept of civic agency and how it can be used to teach about solving the problems of street vending in Zambia. The essay will therefore begin by defining key terms, street vending and civic agency. It will further bring out the problems associated with street vending and later the civic engagement in solving the problems of street vending. Based on the discussion, a conclusion will be made to bring out a clear picture of what will be discussed in the essay.
Street vending is generally described as the sale of goods and services in public places. Street vendors are an integral component of urban economies around the world. Distributors of affordable goods and services, they provide consumers with convenient and accessible retail options and form a vital part of the social and economic life of a city. Street vending as an occupation has existed for hundreds of years and is considered a cornerstone of many cities’ historical and cultural heritage.
Civic agency, according to Thomas Friedman (2010:25)” involves the capacities of citizens to work collaboratively across differences like partisan ideology, faith traditions, income, geography and ethnicity to address common challenges, solve problems, and create common ground.”
Vending as a profession has been carried all along in the known history of Zambia. It has been an integral part of both urban and rural culture. In the historical context, the informal vending was viewed and still is, as to leading to the obstruction of pavements and blocking pedestrian flows, traffic congestion, crime, large volumes of garbage, dirt and often unsanitary waste products leading to unhygienic environment, health hazards and general deterioration and dilapidation of the important areas of the city.
The driving forces behind street vending, as with the informal economy as a whole, are diverse. many of the working poor who enter street vending do so because they cannot find jobs in the formal economy....