Capital cities play an principal position inside the socio-economic growth of each kingdom. People more often than not transfer to cities the place there are chances.
Accra, Ghana’s capital, demonstrates this pull outcome – and the issues it might probably create, like congestion and growth planning troubles.
One of the implications has been common flooding, which has claimed lives and property. Over the years, the town authorities have tried to decongest Accra, devoid of success. The town is now demolishing illegal structures, notably these on the point of waterways.
Some humans have recommended that Accra’s congestion difficulty might be solved if the capital had been to be moved to one more town. Others disagree.
Our location during this ongoing debate is knowledgeable by a six-year-old study one in all us carried out evaluating Accra with Nigeria’s capital, Abuja. Nigeria moved its administrative capital out of Lagos to Abuja in 1991.
The aim of the investigation was to find suggestions for the successful functioning of capital cities. We feel the findings are nonetheless appropriate.
The learn discovered that Accra was congested on account that too Numerous services and companies had been concentrated inside the town. We conclude that, as opposed to relocating the capital from Accra, its numerous roles might be shared amongst numerous regional capitals. Accra may maintain its political position, however a number of its services and companies needs to be distributed across the kingdom.
Accra’s Numerous services
Ghana’s capital town has a number of services: instructional, industrial, enjoyment and administrative.
As an educational centre, Accra has about 40 tertiary establishments. The seat of presidency, parliament residence and the supreme courtroom of Ghana are additionally in Accra, giving it an administrative and political position. The main sporting events in Ghana are soccer, athletics and boxing. The kingdom’s solely boxing arenas are in Accra. The town additionally has the Ohene Gyan Sports Stadium and the Olympic Stadium (beneath building).
Reputable investigation institutes reminiscent of Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research are positioned in Accra. The headquarters of main non secular organisations – reminiscent of the Christian Council of Ghana and the Office of the National Chief Imam – are additionally positioned right here.
Some services that would have been positioned in different cities are all concentrated in Accra. Overall, the town serves because the kingdom’s industrial, manufacturing and communication centre.
This has attracted main confidential corporations to find their headquarters inside the capital. Ghana Stock Exchange, the kingdom’s principal facilitator of the growth of the capital market, additionally has its headquarters in Accra.
The mixture of its political position and all of the different services and companies inside the town has attracted humans from all elements of the kingdom. According to the 2021 Population and Housing Census, the Greater Accra Region is probably the most populous quarter in Ghana, with a inhabitants of over 5 million humans. The quarter, with a inhabitants density of 1,200 humans per rectangular kilometer, is usually the most densely populated quarter in Ghana.
This density has led to visitors congestion and overcrowding. On typical, visitors throughout the key highways inside the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area grew from 2.5% to 14.8% every year.
The multi-functional nature of Accra has led to stress on land assets which has additionally resulted in encroachment of inexperienced areas and wetlands. The outcome is that elements of the town are unsafe to dwell in. The perennial floods which declare human lives and destroy properties have been attributed to the town’s development and spatial planning problems.
Relocating capital cities doesn’t unavoidably resolve the difficulty of congestion inside the long time if the elemental causes of the congestion usually are not addressed. For illustration, the relocation of Nigerian’s capital town to Abuja didn’t resolve congestion in Lagos.
We argue that a greater possible choice for Accra is to alter the position of the town from a multi-functional position to a political position.
National insurance policies ought to give attention to de-concentration by relocating a few of the services and companies which might be at the moment inside the capital however don’t require direct entry to the chief. These could comprise the headquarters of some authorities establishments, nongovernmental organisations, universities and investigation institutes, non secular organisations and confidential corporations.
The relocation of the headquarters of the Ghana Cocoa Board from Accra, as an instance, might be considered as Accra is simply not a cocoa producing quarter. Such an establishment might be moved to an area the place cocoa is produced.
The headquarters of Ghana National Petroleum Corporation might be moved to the western quarter of Ghana, the place oil is drilled. Universities positioned in Accra might be inspired to determine branches in different elements of the kingdom, thus decreasing the range of college students on the Accra campuses. This would aid promote spatial fairness in Ghana when it comes to geographic entry to school training.
There might be incentive packages for establishments to determine their headquarters exterior the capital. Those inside the capital might be charged a wonderful congestion levy. Finally, there needs to be a acutely aware effort to present sensible roles to all of the 16 regional capitals in Ghana. The sensible roles can comprise industrial capital, guiltlessness capital, enjoyment capital and sporting events capital. The decentralisation of services and companies would aid distribute chances – and humans – throughout the kingdom.
Stephen Appiah Takyi, Senior Lecturer, Department of Planning, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST)
Owusu Amponsah, Senior Lecturer, Department of Planning, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST)