In less than two weeks, students will return to school for the 2022-2023 school year. At the time of preparations for the return to school on October 04, the markets are flooded with school supplies of all kinds. But, customers are scarce in some markets in the city of Conakry in a situation where parents are multiplying complaints. This is the observation made by a journalist from Guineematin.com at the large Madina market.
Ousmane Bah, seller of school supplies at the Madina market, complains of the lack of enthusiasm because of the high prices. “A few days before the opening of classes, there is no enthusiasm, the parents of students are scarce for the purchase of school supplies. Those who come also complain about the high cost of living and prices. They just complain about the high cost of different school items and just cry in front of us here. I should point out that prices have risen again this year compared to last year. A 100-page notebook is sold at 20,000 GNF, unlike last year when you could have it at 16,000 or 18,000 GNF. But with this conjecture and the lack of money, the parents of students and us traders, we are all complaining about the high cost of living at present,” he explained.
Same story with Mrs. Camara Anna Sidibé, seller of school supplies at the Madina market. “Today the market is very tough. There is no influx of customers, we had never sold a package of 100 pages at 20,000 GNF here. The outfit, we usually resell it at 20,000 GNF, at this level the price is intact. But other school items have increased. The parents of students mourn the high cost of living and we traders also complain about the lack of money and the high cost of goods in the market. We don’t even see any customers, ”she laments.
In addition, Mrs. Camara Anna Sidibé is seeking help from the authorities to reduce prices on the market. “We are asking the competent authorities to come to our aid, by asking large traders, wholesalers, to reduce the prices of supplies for us retailers. We Guinean women suffer enormously. So let the authorities come to our aid, because that’s what we live in”.
Salématou Camara, a seller of school clothes, complains of the same situation. ” This is unheard of. And resellers and buyers, all complaining about the lack of money, but above all about the guesswork that we are currently living. We’re sitting here with no customers, even though we’ve invested all our money in school supplies. If it continues like this, it could be a loss for us”.
Fatoumata Bangoura, an outfit seller who has invested all her money in the trade, also complains about the lack of customers. She says she is worried about this situation. “We who resell school supplies today, there is a real lack of customers. It is difficult for us to resell our articles, while we take them very expensively from wholesalers. All things are expensive, notebooks, outfits, nothing is affordable with this approach to the opening of classes. Really, this situation worries everyone. Since the morning, I haven’t sold anything, whereas I have invested my small fortune in the purchase of school supplies. One invests in trade to gain something and not to lose. If it continues like this, it will be a loss for us. Not to lie to you, this year again is another very difficult year and if it continues, some parents of students may not send their children to school”.
Bakary Mara, parent of students who came to buy outfits, explains that everything is expensive. “Currently, the market is very expensive. First, it is the period that is difficult. This year is a year that is different from past years. And when you come to the market to shop, you find that all the prices of the items have gone up. Instead of decreasing a few days before the start of the school year, this is not happening. For example, I have two dependents. Each school year, prices only go up instead of down. But this year again it’s too hard, because there is a lack of money. With the current authorities, I don’t know if it’s due to their management policy or what. The cause, I cannot define it, but I know that the market is very expensive…”.
Fatoumata Diouldé Diallo for Guineematin.com