Twenty thousand traders come together six days a week in the center of Kumasi, Ghana's second largest city. Kumasi Central Market was moved here in 1922, between the railways station and the main highway intersection and truck and bus loading yard at Kejetia Circle. The city population of 800,000 shops here for most of its consumer goods. The wholesale yards coordinate exchanges between ecological zones across a broad area stretching into neighboring Cote d'Ivoire, Burkina Faso and Togo. Despite heavy congestion, this market still remains much larger than the growing satellite markets, located in the suburbs near highway junctions on the ring road.
When the market gates open at six in the morning, traders and customers pour into wholesale and retail sections for locally-grown foodstuffs, craft products and a wide range of manufactured and imported goods, located within a labyrinth of stalls and sheds. Some sections lie outside the market walls; they can begin earlier and continue after the six pm closing, just before dark. The busiest days are Saturdays and Mondays; few bother to come on Sundays.
One of the largest sections displays second-hand clothes from Europe and North America, and another sells smoked fish from rivers and beaches throughout Ghana and as far away as Mali. Craftsmen and women make shoes, handbags and clothes from their market stalls. Muslims predominate among those selling live cattle and chickens, meat, kola nuts, kapok, shea butter and. Overall, 70% of market vendors are from the locally dominant Asante ethnic group and about 70% overall are women.