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The Greater Accra Region is the smallest of the 10 administrative regions in terms of area, occupying a total land surface of 3,245 square kilometres or 1.4 per cent of the total land area of Ghana. In terms of population, however, it is the second most populated region, after the Ashanti Region, with a population of 2,905,726 in 2000, accounting for 15.4 per cent of Ghana`s total population.
With regard to marital status, 50.0 per cent of persons 15 years and older are in formal or informal cohabiting unions, while an additional 9.6 per cent have once been in a marriage. A slightly higher proportion of females than males are in marital unions; 51.5 per cent compared to 48.5 percent. In spite of the minimum legal age of 18 years prescribed for marriage, there is an indication that some persons aged 12-17 years do marry. The proportion of persons aged 12-17 years who are married or in consensual unions is 1.7 percent, compared to a national average of 6.4 percent.
In 1960, Greater Accra, then referred to as Accra Capital District, was geographically and legally part of the Eastern Region. It was, however, administered separately by the Minister responsible for local government. With effect from 23 July 1982, Greater Accra was created by the Greater Accra Region Law (PNDCL 26) as a legally separate region to include the Ada local council area.
The region is administered at two different but complementary levels, the traditional and political levels. The traditional level of administration is through an intricate network of local governance dealing with purely traditional affairs concerning customs and land administration, while the is along the lines of law and order and decentralized government machinery.
The of the region is through the local government system that derives its authority from the 1992 Constitution of Ghana and the Local Government Act 1993 (Act 462). Under this administration, the region is divided into five areas/districts with their capitals.
Administrative Area Capital
Accra Metropolitan Area (AMA) Accra, Tema Municipal Area Tema, Ga East District, Ga West District, Dangme West District, Dodowa and Dangme East District, Ada-Foah. Each administrative area is under the control of a Chief Executive representing central government but deriving his/her authority from an Assembly, headed by a Presiding Member elected from among the members themselves.
Two-thirds of assembly members are elected through local elections, while the remaining one-third is appointed by Government. The Assemblies have wide ranging social, economic and legislative jurisdiction over their respective local authority areas, but there is a Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) to coordinate and monitor the activities of these Assemblies. The Regional Coordinating Council, which is headed by the Regional Minister, has the following membership:
i. Regional Minister and his Deputies,
ii. The Presiding Member and the Chief Executive from each Assembly in the Region,
iii. Two Chiefs from the Regional House of Chiefs,
iv. The Regional Heads of decentralized Departments in the Region as members without voting rights.
The Regional Coordinating Director is the Secretary to the Regional Coordinating Council. In recent times, it has been decided that new districts are going to be created throughout the country. In the Greater Accra Region, an extra district is to be created, by dividing the Ga District into Ga West and Ga East with the capital at Amasaman and Ga East with capital at Abokobi.
It has a coastline of approximately 225 kilometres, stretching from Kokrobite in the west to Ada in the east. The soils have low organic contents with shallow top soils which limit the capacity for crop production. The vegetation is mainly coastal savannah shrubs interspersed with thickets. Some trees are however found mostly in the Dangme West and Ga districts.
The region is relatively dry since it falls within the dry coastal equatorial climatic zone with temperatures ranging between 20° and 30° Celsius and annual rainfall ranging from 635 mm along the coast to 1,140 mm. in the northern parts. There are two rainfall peaks notably in June and October. The first rainfall season between April and July is associated with the major cropping season in the region.
With the recent floods during the major season in parts of the region, however, a significant proportion of vegetable farmers are increasingly depending on the minor season (September-October). The region is not well endowed with mineral resources and possesses only granite, clay and salt.
The main rivers that flow through the region are the Volta and Densu. In addition, there are small seasonal streams flowing mostly from the Akwapim Ridge into the sea through numerous lagoons. Because the region is bordered on the south by the Gulf of Guinea, there are ecologically very important but highly polluted lagoons and wetlands in AMA, Tema and Dangme East.
The dredging work on the Korle lagoon in AMA to tap its full potential is ongoing. It should also be mentioned that the Volta River`s estuarine delta is at Ada in the Dangme East District.
Analysis of the of the region shows that Greater Accra has remained the most densely populated region in the country since 1960. The population density has increased from 167 persons in 1960 to 441 persons in 1984 to 895.5 persons per square kilometre in 2000. The intercensal growth rate of 4.4 per cent between 1984 and 2000 is much in excess of the national average of 2.7 per cent per annum and implies a doubling time of 16 years.
An additional district has been created by splitting the Ga District into Ga West (with Amasaman as capital) and Ga East (with Abokobi as capital). The sex ratio has increased slightly from 96 in 1984 to 97.7 males to 100 females in 2000. The factors responsible for the excess of females in 2000 include male out-migration and higher male mortality.
The region`s age structure is still a youthful one, characterised by a somewhat high fertility which has begun to show signs of a steep downward trend. The proportion of persons under 15 years has decreased sharply from 41.5 per cent in 1984 to 33 per cent in 2000, giving rise to a corresponding rise in the proportion of the aged (65 years and older) from 2.6 per cent in 1984 to 3.9 per cent in 2000.
The fall in fertility has affected the dependency ratio which has decreased from 79.1 in 1984 to 58.7 persons in 2000 in the dependent ages for every 100 working persons. The corresponding increase of persons aged 15-64 may be due in part to in-migrants looking for jobs in AMA and Tema, the two most industrialised districts.
Accra Metropolitan Area (AMA) has the largest population (57.2%), with Dangme East being the least populated (3.2%).
The age Structure
The age structure of the five districts is characteristic of populations experiencing rapid growth. The proportion of persons under 15 years varies from 31.6 per cent in AMA to 42.4 per cent in Dangme East, while that of the aged (65 years and older) ranges from 3 per cent in the Ga District to 8.2 per cent in Dangme East.
The sex ratio varies from 90.4 males to 100 females in Dangme East to 100.9 in the Ga District. The relatively low sex ratio for Dangme East can be attributed to several factors including male out-migration and higher male mortality. The age structures in the five districts have given rise to two patterns of dependency ratios.
AMA (55.5) and Tema (56.3), the two most developed districts have much lower dependency ratios than Ga (60.9), Dangme West (87.7) and Dangme East (102.3). The higher dependency ratios in Ga, Dangme West and Dangme East are partly a reflection of relatively higher fertility and imply a great dependency burden for the working population in these districts.
With the exception of Ga and Tema, more than half of the population is born in the locality of enumeration. In general, persons born in the Eastern Region predominate in all the districts except Tema and Dangme East, where persons born in the Volta Region form the largest proportion of persons born outside the region. Persons born outside Ghana constitute 1.3 per cent of the region`s population.
The analysis of the migratory pattern for districts indicates that the proportion of persons involved in intra-regional migration is low in AMA (3.2%) and high in Dangme East (12.9%). This pattern is almost the same for both sexes. The Eastern Region contributes the largest proportion of inter-regional migrants, followed by Volta, Central and Ashanti. Slightly more females than males have moved from the Eastern Region to the districts in Greater Accra.
International migration is low. International migrants from ECOWAS and other African countries in the districts (1%) outnumber those from outside Africa (0.3%). AMA and Ga have slightly higher proportions of international migrants than Tema, Dangme West and Dangme East.
The AMA is the most urbanized district in the region, followed by Ga, Tema, Dangme West and Dangme East in that order. As a metropolis, the entire AMA is urban, while only 18 per cent of the population in Dangme East live in urban areas.
Total fertility rates (TFRs) in the five districts vary from 5.1 in Dangme East to 2.2 in AMA. Female adolescents (15-19 years) in Dangme East and Dangme West have much higher fertility than those in AMA, Ga and Tema. This observation is supported by evidence based on life-time fertility: the mean number of children ever born to adolescents (15-19 years) in Dangme West (0.216) and Dangme East (0.202) is higher than the regional average of 0.090.
The population of Greater Accra has increased from 491,817 in 1960 to 2,905,726 in 2000. It has the second largest population, after Ashanti, and its share of the total population of the country has steadily increased from 7.3 per cent in 1960 to 15.4 per cent in 2000.
The male population has grown from 261,547 in 1960 to 1,436,135 in 2000. The corresponding female figures are 230,270 in 1960 and 1,469,591 in 2000. During the 1960-2000 period, the female population grew much faster than the male population. This may be the result of greater migration of females into the region in response to the employment and other opportunities provided by urbanization in the area of trading and services.
The region has remained the most densely populated region in the country since 1960. Population density (measured as the number of persons per square kilometre) has increased from 151.6 in 1960 to 895.5 in 2000. The region`s population density has doubled between 1984 (441) and 2000 and this is, in part, a reflection of migratory movements to the region. The densely populated nature of the region is brought into sharp focus when it is compared with the other regions.
The region has experienced the highest growth rate in the country since 1960. The intercensal growth rate was 5.5 per cent per annum between 1960 and 1970, and 3.3 per cent between 1970 and 1984.
The 4.4 per cent annual growth rate for the period 1984-2000 is far in excess of the national average figure of 2.7 per cent and implies a doubling of the regional population in 16 years, compared with 26 years for the country.
The sex ratio (the number of males per 100 females) has decreased from 113.6 in 1960 and 105.8 in 1970 to 96.0 in 1984 and 97.7 in 2000. The excess males in 1960 is largely due to the fact that Ghana was an immigrant country with a large number of male immigrants. For instance, 12.3 per cent of the total population in 1960 was foreign-born with a sex ratio of 146.8.
The factors responsible for the excess females in 2000 include male out-migration, female in-migration and higher male mortality. The seemingly severe economic conditions of the 1980s and 1990s might have compelled relatively more male emigration.
A population`s age-sex structure is shaped by its past history of fertility, mortality and migration. The region`s age structure is still a youthful one characterized by a somewhat high fertility that has begun to show signs of a steep downward trend.
Total fertility rate has decreased from 3.6 in 1993 to 2.7 in 1998 and 2000. The proportion of the population aged less than 15 years was 39.4 per cent in 1960. It increased to 42 per cent in 1970, and then decreased sharply to 33 per cent in 2000.
The fertility decline in the past two decades has given rise to a corresponding rise in the proportion of the aged (65 years and older) from 2.6 per cent in 1984 to 3.9 per cent in 2000. Figures 1.1 and 1.2 show the population pyramids for 1984 and 2000. The pyramids have the typical broad base that tapers at higher ages, characteristic of high fertility populations.
However, the 2000 pyramid`s base is not as broad as that of the 1984 and this is a reflection of fertility decline which has reduced the proportion of children in the total population. The shape of the two pyramids has also changed significantly between 1984 and 2000. Whereas the 1984 pyramid reflect a relatively young population with high fertility rate, the 2000 pyramid is beginning to assume a shape consistent with declining fertility and a gradually aging population.
In spite of its limitations, it gives a rough indication of the dependency burden of a population. The dependency ratio has decreased from 79.1 in 1984 to 58.7 in 2000, implying that there are now 20 fewer dependents for every 100 working persons. This reduction is largely due to a steep decline in fertility which has reduced the proportion of non-working persons aged less than 15 years. The dependency ratio of 87.1 for the country is 1.5 times that of the region.
Birthplace statistics provide some information on migratory movements of the population. The proportion of Ghanaians born in the locality of enumeration has decreased from 55.3 per cent in 1984 to 52.2 in 2000. Intra-regional migration has also decreased from 7.9 per cent in 1984 to 6.5 in 2000, whereas inter-regional migration has increased from 36.1 per cent in 1984 to 40.1 in 2000.
Examination of the 2000 birthplace data shows that of the 1,309,597 Ghanaian males enumerated in the region, 52.2 per cent were born in the locality of enumeration and 6.3 per cent in another locality in the region, making a total of 58.5 percent. Among the 1,370,394 Ghanaian female population, 52.2 per cent were born in the locality of enumeration, while 6.7 per cent were born in another locality in the region. A slightly higher proportion of males than females is involved in intra-regional migration, whereas almost the same proportion of males (40.3%) and females (39.9%) is involved in inter-regional migration.
The Eastern Region contributes the largest proportion of inter-regional migrants (11% of males and 12% of females) in view of the region`s proximity to and cultural links with, the Greater Accra Region. The same proportion (1.2%) of each sex in the region was born outside the country.
As already indicated, the region comprises five administrative districts, Accra Metropolitan Area (AMA), Tema Municipal Area, Ga, Dangme West and Dangme East.
Some analysis has also been done for the six sub-metropolitan area in AMA (Ablekuma, Ashiedu Keteke, Osu Clottey, Kpeshie, Ayawaso and Okaikoi) where the data are available.)
The AMA is the district with the largest population, followed by Ga, Tema, Dangme West and Dangme East. The AMA`s share of the region`s population is more than half (57.1%) while Dangme West and Dangme East contribute less than a tenth (about 3% each) between them. The heavily populated nature of the region is underscored by the fact that three of the five districts have populations exceeding 500,000. Ablekuma, a sub-metro of AMA even has a population exceeding that of Tema.
In the region, the dependency ratio has decreased from 79.1 in 1984 to 58.7 in 2000. The dependency ratio ranges between 55.5 persons in AMA to 102.3 in Dangme East.
AMA and Tema, which are the most developed districts, have much lower dependency ratios than Ga, Dangme West and Dangme East. The high dependency ratios in Ga, Dangme West and Dangme East are partly a reflection of relatively higher fertility and also imply a higher dependency burden for the working population in these districts. In the six sub-metropolitan areas, there are roughly two working persons catering for one non-working person.
Birthplace and migratory pattern Birthplace
More than half (52%) of Ghanaians by birth in the region were born in the locality of enumeration compared to a slightly higher percentage of 55.3 in 1984. It is observed that except Ga and Tema, more than half of the population were born in the locality of enumeration; in Dangme East, it is about three quarters. The proportion of persons born in another locality in the region, ranges from 3.2 per cent in AMA to 12.9 per cent in Dangme East.
On the other hand, the proportion of persons enumerated in the region but born elsewhere in Ghana varies from 11.9 per cent in Dangme East to 49.5 per cent in Tema. In general, persons born in the Eastern Region predominate in all the districts, except Tema and Dangme East, where persons born in the Volta Region form the largest proportion of persons born outside the region. Persons born outside Ghana constitute 1.3 per cent of the population of the region.
The proximity of the Eastern Region to AMA, Ga and Dangme West as well as availability of job openings particularly in AMA may partly account for the large proportion of persons from the Eastern Region. Similarly the Volta Region borders Dangme East on the east and it is likely that distance, language and affinity will predispose persons in the Volta Region to move to Dangme East.
The analysis shows that the above pattern holds true for both males and females. In general, the male proportions are slightly higher for persons born in the locality of enumeration, while the reverse is the case for persons born in another locality in the region.
The proportion of persons involved in intra-regional migration is low in AMA (3.2%) and high in Dangme East (12.9%). The above pattern is almost the same for each sex. It is observed that the Eastern Region contributes the largest proportion of interregional migrants followed by Volta, Central and Ashanti regions in that order.
Slightly more females than males have moved from the Eastern region to the districts. At the district level, Ga has the largest proportion (14%) of inter-regional migrants from the Eastern Region, compared to 2.4 per cent for Dangme East.
International migration is relatively low. International migrants from the ECOWAS and other African countries predominate in the districts (1.0%) compared to 0.3 per cent from outside Africa. AMA and Ga have slightly larger proportions of international migrants than Tema, Dangme West and Dangme East.
Population distribution (urban-rural)
AMA is the most urbanized district in the region, followed by Ga and Tema while Dangme West and Dangme East are the least urbanized. The proportion of persons living in urban areas ranges from 18 per cent in Dangme East to 88 per cent in the Ga District, outside of the AMA which is wholly urban. Dangme West and Dangme East are largely rural districts, where more than three out of every four persons live in a rural area. This pattern is true for both males and females.
This is unexpected for Ga, Dangme West and Dangme East, where age at marriage is relatively lower than in AMA and Tema. Age misstatement may be more prevalent in these three districts. Female adolescents (15-19 years) in Dangme East and Dangme West have much higher fertility than those in AMA, Ga and Tema.
The TFR of 2.5 for the region compares favourably with 2.7 for the region in 1998. Comparison of TFRs for the districts shows Dangme East with the highest fertility (5.1) and AMA with the lowest fertility (2.2). The fertility level indicated by TFR for Dangme East is 2.4 times that of AMA.
The higher the age of women the higher the mean number of children ever born increases; the largest increase being between age groups 25-29 years and 30-34 years, for all districts. Dangme East, once again, recorded the highest fertility; the mean number of children ever born to women is 76 per cent higher than that of AMA.
Comparison of mean number of children ever born and mean number of children living gives some indication of mortality levels in the districts. There is very little variation in survivorship by district, with the lowest of 81.0 in Dangme East and the highest of 85.1 in Tema.
Policy implications and interventions
The relatively high fertility in Dangme West and Dangme East suggests low contraceptive use and hence the unmet need for family planning. The Ministry of Health and other health service providers should continue with efforts to make effective birth control methods not only accessible but also affordable. Analysis of current school attendance shows that the proportions of females in primary and junior secondary schools are slightly higher than those for males.
The sex differences at the senior secondary schools level however is in favour of males and widen at the tertiary level. The emphasis on girl child education is yielding dividends but there is room for improvement. The private informal sector plays a vital role in the economies of the districts.
Six out of every 10 economically active persons in the region are in the private informal sector. This high proportion in the informal sector points to lack of employment opportunities that compel people to create their own jobs which in turn often leads to fractionalisation of profits and a condition of shared poverty.
The private informal sector dominates the institutional sector in the region. In view of this, there is the urgent need for the district assemblies and central government to train and equip this large workforce with new skills to be able to participate effectively in the economies of their respective districts. It should be possible for the private informal sector to access soft loans from banks for business. The ultimate objective would be to capacitate such businesses to transform into the private formal to provide job opportunities and make an impact on the economy.
The housing conditions situation leaves much to be desired. The toilet facilities accessible to households and the waste disposal methods, for both solid and liquid waste, point to a high level of unsanitary conditions, especially in AMA and Tema. Except at the Ridge, the Cantonments and educational institutions such as the Achimota College and the University of Ghana Legon, which were constructed with proper underground sewerage systems, the rest of the region has no proper interconnected sewerage system.
Only Tema Township was planned and constructed with a fully integrated sewerage system. Unfortunately, Tema has overgrown the capacity of the original system due to poor maintenance and lack of upgrading of the system. This has created problems similar to the situation in the AMA. An attempt to construct such a system between 1969 and 1971 for the Kaneshie and Korle Bu areas was abandoned after the 1972 coup d`etat.
The high cost of connecting housing units to the central sewerage system also discourages the implementation of the system. The drainage system in the AMA is very poor, resulting in annual flooding in spite of the low annual rainfall of the region. The open drains are supposed to serve as storm drains but have become receptacles for solid, liquid and human waste disposal. This situation, which has affected the efficient and hygienic disposal of solid, liquid and human waste in almost the entire region, needs to be seriously reviewed and addressed.
There is therefore the need for drastic measures to resolve once and for all the perennial sanitary and disposal problems of the region. AMA should enforce the byelaw that bans the use of pan or bucket latrine in the metropolis. The use of electricity as the main source of lighting in Dangme West and Dangme East is low. The low use of electricity may not be unrelated to the high cost of electricity. The proportion of households using charcoal as cooking fuel varies from 36.8 per cent in Dangme West to 61.1 per cent in AMA.
It is also noted that in Dangme West and Dangme East, more than half of households use wood as cooking fuel. In the face of depleting forest and little reforestation, cutting down trees to produce charcoal exacerbates the deforestation and land degradation problems.
To effectively address the issue of deforestation, District Assemblies should initiate and implement a vigorous tree planting exercise in their areas of jurisdiction. The sale of gas in smaller cylinders, which will be affordable to households, would need to be introduced to encourage the shift from wood- to non-wood- based fuel. This is because liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) is already heavily subsidised by government and to reduce it further may not be feasible under the present economic conditions.
The central government`s rural electrification programme has to be sustained so as to extend it to every nook and cranny in the country. The District Assemblies can contribute to the programme by mobilizing the communities to make financial contributions towards the purchase of electricity poles and cables. Government would need to address the issue of affordability of electricity.
Most households in the region rely on both orthodox medical and traditional health facilities for primary health care needs. Hospitals and clinics are not within easy reach of most communities, whereas traditional health facilities are fairly well dispersed and within easy reach of most communities.
The maximum distance from a locality to a traditional health facility is less than 5 kilometres while the maximum distance to a hospital ranges from 25 kilometres for Tema to 49 for Dangme West. The average population per doctor for the region is 2,968 while that for registered traditional healer is 1,207.
The good patronage of traditional healing facilities is evidence of easier accessibility and affordability than is the case with hospitals and clinics. The central government should not scrap the cash and carry system until the envisaged comprehensive health insurance scheme has gained a firm footing. The District Assemblies should collaborate with central government to build at least one well-equipped district hospital in Ga, Dangme West and Dangme East.
The major intervention in the area of education relates to access of females to education at the post secondary and particularly tertiary levels. Conscious efforts are required to close the male/female gap at the post secondary and tertiary levels through the adoption of an affirmative action programme. Affirmative action will ensure that some concession is granted female students at the tertiary level during admission.
Even though the region is well endowed with junior and senior secondary schools, some of which are among the best in the country, there is the need to guard against the proliferation of schools which could make room for the establishment of sub-standard schools. Two interventions emerge with respect to education facilities in the districts particularly Ga, Dangme West and Dangme East.
The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports should vigorously pursue government`s initiative of upgrading at least, a senior secondary school into a centre of excellence in each district in order to close the wide gap in accessibility and academic performance between rural and urban schools. The second intervention relates to the cost of senior secondary school education. Increased government and private sector support for infrastructural development and equipment as well as viable scholarship and bursary schemes will go a long way to facilitate a much larger intake of students.
Cultural and social structure
The Ga-Dangme are a patriarchal, patrilineal and patrilocal society.
The largest ethnic group in the region is the Akan, comprising 39.8 percent, followed by Ga-Dangme (29.7%) and Ewe (18%). In terms of individual ethnic sub groups, detailed results indicate that the Gas form the single largest sub-group, accounting for 18.9 per cent of the population. Among the Akan group, the Fantes constitute 10.6 percent, Asantes, 8.3 per cent and Akuapem 4.9 percent.
Perhaps the most important common religious institution that has survived as an expression of the unity of the Ga-Dangme people relates to the three main annual festivals celebrated in the region. These are the Asafotufiam celebrated in the Ada area, Ngmayem in the Shai Osudoku area and the Homowo by the Gas. The festivals provide an occasion for the gathering together of the Ga-Dangme from every part of the country, where they happen to be temporarily domiciled in order to eat communally together and at the same time to welcome new members of the family while remembering the dead. It is also an occasion for the settling of personal quarrels and important family disputes.
The percentage distribution of religious groups shows the predominance of Christians (82.9%) in the region, compared with the second major religion, Islam (10.2%). Among the Christian group, adherents of Pentecostal and Charismatic churches constitute the largest religious denomination (38.0%) followed by Protestants (26.0%) and Catholics (9.7%) in that order. The distribution is almost similar for both sexes except for the predominance of females in the Pentecostal and Charismatic churches. There are however more male than female Muslims which conforms to the national pattern.
Children of the head constitute 32.3 percent, while grandchildren and other relatives together make up 30.9 percent. Twenty eight per cent of males are household heads compared to 12.7 per cent of females.
Where a female is the head of household, it is very likely that it is a single person household or a single parent household. This explanation is reinforced by the finding that 2.3 per cent of males compared to 16.1 per cent of females were reported as being spouses of the head of the household. It is also noted that the large proportion of grandchildren and other relatives in the household is evidence of the continued importance of extended family relations.
In most of Ghana, procreation is expected to take place within marriage and hence the implication of the pattern of marital status for fertility. 50.0 per cent of persons 15 years and older are in formal marriages or informal cohabiting unions, while an additional 9.6 per cent have once been in a marriage. In spite of the minimum legal age of 18 years prescribed for marriage, there is an indication that marriage takes place among persons aged 12-17 years.
The proportion of persons aged 12-17 years who are either married or in consensual unions is 5.8 per cent compared to a national average of 6.4 percent. Analysis of marital status by sex shows that 48.5 per cent of males and 51.5 per cent of females are in formal or informal unions.
The proportion of females (13.2%) who have once been in a marriage is 2.2 times that of males (6.1%). This may partly reflect the fact that males, after a divorce or death of spouse, are more likely than females to remarry. The phenomenon may also reflect the fact that polygamous marriages may hide dissolution of unions between women and the man in such a union. As is expected, there is a higher proportion of widowed females than males; among the factors that explain this is deferential age at marriage and differential mortality.
A population of 1,945,284 persons aged 15 years and older, 1,377,903 or 70.8 per cent are economically active. Among the economically active population, 82.6 per cent had worked, 4.0 per cent had jobs but did not work and 13.4 per cent are unemployed. The region`s unemployment rate (13.4%) is higher than the national figure of 10.4 percent.
The occupational structure of the region shows that 42.0 per cent of the economically active population were engaged in sales and service occupations, while professional, technical and related workers comprise 10.8 percent. The three largest occupational groups among males are production, transport operators and related workers (29.6%), sales workers (19.4%), and clerical and related workers (14.4%), compared with 42.0 per cent of females in sales occupation, 19.5 per cent in production, transport and equipment, and 13.9 per cent in service occupations. The industrial sector is dominated by wholesale and retail trade (30.4%) and manufacturing (16.7%).
A higher proportion of females (39.0%) are in wholesale and retail trade compared to 22.2 per cent of males. Female are three times more likely than males to be in the hotels and restaurant industry. The third largest group of male workers (10.9%) is in transport, storage and communication.
More than half of the economically active population in the region is self-employed with employees, while a third (32.6%) is employees. A much larger proportion of females (62.6%) than males (41.6%) are self-employed without employees, implying that males are 1.5 times more likely than females to be employees. The private informal sector, which employs 6 out of every 10 economically active persons, plays a leading role in the economy of the region.
Females (69.1%) dominate the private informal sector, compared with 55.8 per cent of males in this sector. On the other hand, a higher proportion (40.7%) of males than females (28.5%), are employed in the public and private formal sectors.
Over 68 per cent of the population aged 15 years or older in each district are economically active. Higher proportions of males, compared to females, are economically active. The highest unemployment rate was recorded in Tema (16.0%) followed by Ga (13.3%) and AMA (13.2%). In each district, the proportion of unemployed females is higher than that of males.
Two different patterns of occupation characterise the districts. Sales workers and general workers are the two major occupations in AMA, Tema and Ga. In both Dangme West and Dangme East, about half of the economically active population are engaged in agriculture, animal husbandry, fishing and hunting, followed by sales workers.
Two groups of districts emerge with regard to the type of industry of the economically active population. The main industry in AMA, Ga and Tema is wholesale and retail trade. In the three districts, the proportion of females in wholesale and retail trade exceeds that of males.
Agriculture/hunting/forestry is the main industry in Dangme West (40.8%) and Dangme East (36.8%). In Dangme East, fishing is the second largest industry. More than half of the economically active population in Ga (56.3%) and over two-thirds in Dangme West (70.8%) and Dangme East (74.3%) are self-employed without employees.
In AMA and Tema, the proportions of self-employed without employees are less than half. In all the districts, females are more likely than males to be self-employed without employees. The second largest group is employees, ranging from 14.0 per cent in Dangme East to 38.2 per cent in Tema.
The analysis of the economically active population by institutional sector underscores the dominance of the private informal sector in the economies of the districts. The proportion engaged in the private informal sector ranges from 57.8 per cent in Tema to 84.5 per cent in Dangme East.
Type of activity
Out of a population of 1,945,284 persons aged 15 years and older, 1,377,903 or 70.8 per cent were economically active, while 567,381 or 29.1 per cent were not. Among the economically active population, 82.6 per cent had worked, 4.0 per cent had jobs but did not work and 13.4 per cent were unemployed during the seven days before census night. It is noted that the proportion unemployed (13.4%) is slightly above the national figure of 10.4 percent. The proportion of employed persons in 1984 is 92.3 per cent. In 2000, a slightly higher proportion of males (87.0%) than females (85.7%) was employed, while the reverse is the case in 1984.
Students (35.9%) and homemakers (25.8%) form the highest proportions of the noneconomically . Persons who could not work on account of old age constitute 6.5 per cent and the retired/pensioners make up 4.9 percent. A large proportion (15.7%) of inactive population includes beggars, voluntarily unemployed and persons living on independent income or remittances.
Of the economically active males aged 15 years and older, 83.5 per cent worked while 3.5 per cent had jobs but did not work. The corresponding figures for females are 81.7 per cent who worked and 4.5 per cent who had jobs but did not work. Females (13.8%) tend to be slightly more unemployed than males (13.0%). For the non-economically active population, students form the largest group. As expected, the proportion of male students (42.0%) is higher than that of females (30.7%), while females are about one-and-a-half times as likely as males to be homemakers.
The occupational structure shows that 42.0 per cent were engaged in sales and service occupations, with 24.7 per cent as production, transport and equipment operators. As expected, the region has a larger concentration of professional and technical workers (10.8%) compared to the national figure of 6.5 percent. On the other hand, agriculture, animal husbandry and forestry, fishermen and hunters, do not feature as prominently (9.1%) as is the case for the country as a whole (49.1%).
There are sex differences in terms of type of occupation. The four largest male occupational groups are production, transport operators (29.6%), sales (19.4%), clerical and related workers (14.4%) and professional, technical and related workers (13.4%). In contrast, females are mainly sales workers (42.0%), production, transport and equipment operators, (19.5%) and service workers (13.9%).
In the Greater Accra Region, wholesale and retail trade (30.4%) and manufacturing (16.7%) are the dominant branches of activity, as was the case in 1984 (with 29.9% wholesale and retail trade and 19.1% manufacturing).
About 7.9 per cent of economically active persons are engaged in agriculture, hunting, forestry and fishing industry. This proportion is far below the national average of 52.1 percent. 39.0 per cent of females are in wholesale and retail trade compared to 22.2 per cent of males. There is no sex differential as far as manufacturing is concerned. However, females are about three times more likely than males to be in hotels and restaurants industry.
More than half (51.8%) of the economically active population are self-employed without employees, while 32.6 per cent are employees. A much larger proportion of females (62.6%) than males (41.6%) are self-employed with no employees. Males are 1.5 times more likely than females to be employees.
Type of activity
The major occupation in the Greater Accra region is sales work (30.4%), followed by production, transport operators and related workers (24.7%). The pattern of occupation in Dangme West and Dangme East however is very different from that of AMA, Tema and Ga.
This is due to the geographical location and the administrative nature of the districts. For instance, Tema and AMA are the main gateways to the country for most goods and services. AMA is the seat of government and Ga takes most of the excess population and land pressures from AMA. Activities in these three districts are therefore likely to be similar.
Sales workers are predominant in AMA (34.0%) and Tema (26.8%). For these two districts, the proportion of females is twice that of males. On the other hand, workers in agriculture, animal husbandry, fishermen and hunters constitute the major occupation in Dangme West (50.2%) and Dangme East (52.3%).
In each of these two Dangme districts, a high proportion of males engage in agriculture and related work, the proportion of males being more than half in each district. Sales workers are the second most important occupation in Dangme West (16.4%) and Dangme East (15.4%), with the proportion of females being more than three times that of males.
The two major industrial activities in the region are wholesale and retail trade (30.4%) and manufacturing (16.7%). Agriculture, fishing and forestry, the most predominant industry in the country, comes as the third major industry in the region, contributing 7.9 percent. Two groups of districts again emerge as regards the type of industry for the economically active. In AMA, Ga and Tema the main industry is wholesale and retail trade. While AMA has a third of the economically active population in this industry, Tema and Ga contribute slightly over a quarter.
In the three districts, the proportion of females is about twice as high as that of males. In Dangme West and Dangme East, on the other hand, agriculture, hunting and forestry is the main industry, accounting for about a third of the economically active population and involving more males than females.
Fishing is the second largest industry in Dangme East. The second major industry for AMA, Ga and Tema is manufacturing, ranging from14.9 per cent in Ga to 18.5 per cent in Tema; AMA and Tema have most of the industries in the country. There is not much sex differential for those engaged in the industrial sector in these three districts. Wholesale and retail trade, the second major industry in Dangme West and Dangme East, involves a much higher proportion of females than males.
More than half of the economically active persons in the region are selfemployed without employees (51.8%) with much higher proportions in Dangme West (70.8%) and Dangme East (74.3%). This pattern is observed for both males and females and persists in all the districts except the AMA and the Tema municipality, where the proportions are lower than half.
In the region as a whole, higher proportion of females (62.6%) than males (41.6%) is self-employed without employees. The employee categories vary considerably from 38.2 per cent in Tema, 34.0 per cent in AMA and 28.4 per cent in Ga to below 20 per cent in the two Dangme districts. The proportion of males who are employees is higher than that of females in all the districts.
The proportion of persons who are self-employed without employees is higher than that for selfemployed with employees. For instance, this proportion ranges from 47.8 per cent in the Tema municipality to 74.3 per cent in Dangme East. In all the districts in the region, the proportion of females who are self-employed without employees is much higher than that for males.
The proportion of the self-employed with employees ranges from 4.8 per cent in the more rural Dangme East to 7.7 per cent in the more urban AMA. Apart from the Tema municipality where the tilt is towards females, for the other districts, there are very minimal sex differentials, in favour of males for the other districts.
Unpaid family workers are relatively more common in the more rural Dangme East (4.0%) than in the more urban AMA (1.2%). The pattern in the districts gives an impression that it is more a rural than urban phenomenon. The high proportion of self-employed without employees which has increased from 49.0 per cent in 1984 to 51.8 per cent in 2000 has economic implications for the region.
In order to tap the full potentials of this large work force, there is the need to equip them with the necessary skills to contribute to sustainable development. Soft loans could be provided to enable them expand their businesses.
Employment status of people with past school attendance
For persons who have been to school in the past, the level of educational attainment has some influence on employment status. Persons whose highest educational level is pre-school or primary, middle or junior secondary school are mostly self-employed without employees, the proportion ranging from 56.3 per cent for those with preschool education to 62.3 per cent for those with primary education.
On the other hand, persons who have secondary or senior secondary school education, vocational/technical, post secondary or tertiary, are mostly in the employee category. The proportion of employees ranges from 46.7 per cent for persons with vocational/technical level to 61.1 per cent for persons with post secondary (non tertiary) education.
Institutional sector of employment
The distribution of the economically active population by institutional sector by district and sex. Majority of the economically active population in the region are in the private informal sector (62.3%), in all districts and for both sexes. The proportion of females in the private informal sector (69.1%) is higher than that of males (55.8%), a pattern which is repeated in all districts of the region.
To a lesser extent, 23.3 per cent of the economically active population are in the private formal and 11.5 per cent in the public sector. For both public and the private formal sectors, it is more common to find higher proportions of males than females. The proportion of persons engaging in non-governmental or international organizations (0.5%) is not high but relatively higher in AMA (0.6%) and also among males in all districts.
The private informal sector engages comparatively higher proportions of persons in the Dangme East (84.5%) than the AMA (60.0%) and in all the districts, more females than males are in the informal sector. The public sector has a larger proportion of persons in Tema municipality (12.7%), AMA (12.5%) and Ga (9.6%) than each of the two Dangme districts.
The Tema municipality, with a large number of private industrial establishments, has the highest proportion (26.0%) of persons engaged in the private formal sector. The non-governmental organizations or international organizations in the AMA employ a higher proportion of persons in AMA (0.6%) than the other districts. In each district the persons employed in this sector are mainly males.
There is enough evidence in Ghana that children as young as seven years do engage in family enterprises (Ghana Statistical Service, 2003). The Children`s Act of 1998 prohibits children less than 13 years from doing any work for pay or profit. Children who are younger than 13 years and do any work for pay or profit can be described as working children. In line with this, the 2000 Population and Housing Census collected information on economic activity from persons aged seven years and older.
An attempt was made to glean from the data the phenomenon of working children in the districts. This was done by calculating the proportion of economically active persons aged 7-14 years out of the population of persons aged 7-14 years. In general, slightly more than one out of every 10 persons aged 7-14 years is economically active. Females in this age group tend to be more economically active than males. The proportion of economically active males aged 7-14 years ranges from 9.1 per cent in Tema to 18.3 per cent in Dangme East.
Among females, it varies from 10.1 per cent in Tema to 17.5 per cent in Dangme East. The two Dangme districts have higher proportions of working children than in AMA, Ga and Tema, a phenomenon not unrelated to lower enrolment in primary school.
The proportion of unemployed persons varies from 7.0 per cent in Dangme East to 16.0 per cent in Tema. Females are more likely to be unemployed than males. The low female educational attainment may partly account for lower female participation in the labour force, particularly in the private sector.
The high unemployment rate of 13.4 per cent for the region suggests that job openings are severely limited in the districts, especially in the more developed ones. The analysis of the institutional sector emphasizes the crucial role the private informal sector plays in the economy of the region. Sixty per cent of economically active persons in the region are in the informal private sector.
This high proportion in the informal private sector points to lack of employment opportunities which compel people to create their own jobs which in turn often leads to fractionalization of profits and a condition of shared poverty. The large workforce in the private informal sector has economic implications for sustainable development. Although a major potential source of government revenue, collecting taxes from this group has is an extremely difficult task.
The number of rooms occupied by a household can have health implications. For instance, the larger the number of persons in a room, the easier it is for an infection to pass from one person to another. In the region, 42 per cent of households occupy one room, 29.5 per cent occupy two rooms and 28.3 per cent occupy three or more.
With an average household size of 4.6, the problem of overcrowding rears its ugly head. Dangme East and Dangme West are better off than AMA and Tema. In AMA, 45 per cent of households occupy one room compared to 19 per cent in Dangme East. The relatively higher proportion of households occupying one room in AMA underlines the extent of housing shortage and its attendant overcrowding in AMA.
With regard to type of ownership, it is observed that 40.5 per cent of households live in dwelling units owned by a household member, while 31.5 per cent of households live in dwelling units owned by other private individuals. AMA and Tema are worse off than the other three districts. The proportion of households living in dwelling units owned by a household member ranges from 38.2 per cent in AMA to 63.3 per cent in Dangme East.
The main source of lighting for households in Dangme West and Dangme East is kerosene. In the Dangme East, three out of four households use kerosene compared to less than one household in AMA. The use of electricity as the main source of lighting in Dangme West and Dangme East is relatively low; 33 per cent and 24.3 per cent of households in Dangme East and Dangme East respectively.
The Ghana government`s rural electrification programme is yet to achieve the desired results particularly in Dangme West and Dangme East. Low usage of electricity may make it more difficult to establish industries to promote sustainable development.
The analysis so far suggests that Dangme East is the most deprived district in the region. In the Dangme East, only one out of four households has pipe borne water as the main source of water supply compared to nine out of 10 households in AMA. The importance of good drinking water as an investment against water-borne diseases needs no emphasis.
In the region, more than half of households use charcoal as cooking fuel, the proportion varying from 36.8 per cent in Dangme West to 61.1 per cent in AMA. Charcoal is made from wood and this means cutting down trees to produce charcoal. It is also noted that in Dangme West and Dangme East, more than half of households use wood as cooking fuel. In the face of depleting forest and little reforestation, cutting down trees to produce charcoal exacerbates the deforestation and land degradation problems.
The provision of good drinking water is one way of controlling water-borne diseases. Because the District Assemblies are not likely to have financial resources to build water treatment plants to provide good drinking water for their communities in the foreseeable future, the onus is on the central government to provide potable water to all communities in the country.
The target of providing good drinking water for all persons can be achieved if the central government makes it a deliberate policy to provide potable water for a specified number of communities in each district every year.
There are at least two interventions to address the issue of deforestation due to tree felling to produce charcoal for cooking purposes. The first relates to a vigorous tree planting exercise to be initiated and implemented by District Assemblies.
Secondly, households must be encouraged to use liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) by making it available for sale in smaller cylinders that will be affordable to households. This is because cooking gas is already heavily subsidized by government and to reduce the price further may not be feasible under the present economic conditions.
There is no doubt that LPG is more user-friendly than either charcoal or wood. It is worth noting that unless households have access to alternative sources of cooking fuel, they will continue to cut down trees to produce charcoal at the expense of deforestation and land degradation.
The central government`s rural electrification programme has to be sustained so as to extend electricity supply to every nook and cranny in the country. In this endeavour, communities have an important role to play by meeting central government halfway.
The District Assemblies should mobilize the communities to make financial contributions towards the purchase of electricity poles and cables. There is the need for central government to ensure that cost of electricity is affordable to majority of households. In addition to its domestic use, the availability of electricity will also open up the communities for the establishment of factories and other economic activities.
The analysis of household composition reveals that 20.2 per cent of household members are heads and 32.3 per cent are children. The proportion of household members who are heads ranges from 17.2 per cent in Dangme East to 20.7 per cent in the AMA. In all the five districts, the proportion of male household heads is higher than that of females. In the Greater Accra Region, about a third of household heads are females.
The distribution is not even among the districts; the proportion of female household heads varies from 26.4 per cent in the Ga District to 44.9 per cent in Dangme East. The average household size for the region is 4.6, with the largest households in Dangme East (5.3) and Dangme West (5.2).
The pattern of marital status of the population aged 15 years and older shows AMA (43.3%) and Tema (43.5%) having the smallest proportion of married persons and the largest proportions of persons who have never married (41.6% and 42.7%). The Ga District has the smallest proportion (4.2%) of persons living in consensual union, compared to 13 per cent for Dangme West.
In AMA, Ga and Tema, Akan, Ga-Dangme and Ewe are the three predominant major ethnic groups. The predominant ethnic group is the Akan, accounting for over 40 per cent of the population in the AMA, Ga and Tema. Ga-Dangmes make up 85.9 per cent in Dangme East and 77.9 per cent in Dangme West. It should be mentioned that these two districts have a very high proportion of the indigenes who are mostly Dangmes rather than Gas.
Christianity is the dominant religion with more than 80 per cent of the population in each district professing this faith. Islam is practised more in AMA (12.2%) than in any other district. While an insignificant proportion of the population in the AMA (0.6%) and Tema (0.6%) practise traditional religion, over 6 per cent of the population in both Dangme West and Dangme East are adherents of traditional religion. Significant proportions of person in Dangme East (11.1) and Dangme West (7.9%) professes no religion.
The AMA has the highest literacy rate of 85.1 percent, followed by Tema (79.8%) and Ga (77.1%). Dangme West and Dangme East are the most disadvantaged in this regard, with half (50.0%) of the population aged 15 years and older not literate. The proportion of literate females in Dangme East (38.6%) is much lower than is the case for males (63.4%).
The analysis of educational attainment reinforces the one for literacy status. Dangme West and Dangme East, once again, stand out as the most deprived districts. The proportion of persons aged 6 years and older who have never been to school is about 20 per cent in AMA, Tema and Ga, but it is about 43.0 per cent in Dangme West and Dangme East. The proportion of females who have never attended school ranges from 22.7 per cent in AMA to 51.3 per cent in Dangme East.
The proportion of males at the senior secondary school, vocational/technical and tertiary levels in all the districts is much higher than it is for females. The reverse is however the case for persons with non-tertiary post-secondary (teacher training, nursing, agricultural extension) level.
The total number of households in the region is 626,611 giving an average household size of 4.6. Among the districts, Dangme East has the highest average household size of 5.3 followed by Dangme West (5.2).
Surprisingly, Ga district, which is more rural than Tema, has a smaller average household size (4.6), which is closer to that of AMA (4.5) than Tema (4.8). In the AMA itself, the household sizes for the sub-metros are quite similar, ranging from 4.2 for Osu Clottey to 4.8 for Okaikoi.
A household head is the one the household looks up to and recognizes as the head. As the head, his or her social and economic characteristics such as marital status and occupation can impact his or her dependents. In the Greater Accra Region about a third of household heads are females. The distribution however is not even among the districts; the proportion of female household heads ranges from 26.4 per cent for the Ga District to 44.9 per cent in Dangme East.
The factors contributing to higher female headship reported in these districts may include migration of males to the more urban areas in the region like the AMA, high divorce rate and widowhood of women (Ghana Statistical Service, 2002).
Tema, Dangme West and Dangme East districts have higher proportions of female household heads in the urban areas than in the rural areas. The reverse however is true for the Ga district, where the proportion of female heads of households is higher for rural areas than it is for urban areas. The implication is that in the Greater Accra region, female household headship is more a rural than urban phenomenon.
Marital status of household heads
Marriage becomes very important when both parents are needed to play their individual roles in the household, particularly with children. Incidentally, in each district, over 60 per cent of household heads are either married or in a consensual union. The proportion of household heads who have never married are not significantly different by sex.
Two patterns however emerge in the marital status of household heads in the districts. While the pattern in AMA, Ga and Tema is generally similar to that for the region as a whole, Dangme West and Dangme East have a different pattern.
The three districts of AMA (17.3%), Ga (14.8%) and Tema (15.6%) have a comparatively higher proportion of household heads who have never married, compared with Dangme East (6.4%) and Dangme West (7.7%). The pattern suggests that the more urban the district, the more likely it is for household heads to be unmarried. The relatively higher proportion of single person or single parent households in urban areas may be the reason for this.
6.8 per cent of household heads are divorced. Female household heads are four times more likely to be divorced than male household heads. At the district level, AMA has the highest proportion of divorced household heads (7.2%) followed by Tema (6.4%) and Ga (6.1%), which are only about half the proportion for all female heads.
The higher proportions of divorced female household heads in AMA (14.2%) Tema (13.7%) and Ga (14.5%) may well be a reflection of urban living, which makes it possible for females to live without the support of a man and therefore delays the formation of another union after the break of one.
On the other hand, Dangme West and Dangme East have higher proportions of widowed persons than other districts. In all districts, it is ten times more likely to find a widowed female household head than a widowed male household head. This situation could be due to males dying earlier than their wives on account of their older ages or men remarrying earlier than females after the death of a partner.
Another striking feature of the marital status of household heads is in Dangme West where a relatively higher proportion of household heads (13.9%) are living in consensual unions rather than being in a formal recognized marriage. This is true for both males and females.
Occupation of household heads
Data on the occupation of heads of households show that 24.8 per cent of household heads are sales workers, 27.8 per cent are professional, administrative and clerical workers (white collar workers) and 20.0 per cent are general casual labourers.
Even though the region is bounded by the sea in the south, and the country as a whole has more than 50 per cent of the population are agricultural workers including workers in animal husbandry, fishermen and hunters, less than a tenth (9.2%) of the economically active household heads in the region are in this occupation.
The heads of households in AMA, Ga and Tema tend to have a similar pattern of occupation as the regional picture, while it is different for the two Dangme districts. For instance, in Dangme East (51.4%) and Dangme West (48.8%), household heads are engaged mainly as agricultural workers. Sales workers and “white-collar” workers closely follow agricultural workers.
In AMA, Tema and Ga, female heads are mainly sales workers, followed by white collar workers, service workers and production workers in almost equal proportions, but in the two Dangme districts, sales workers and productive workers follow agricultural workers.
With regard to males, white collar workers and general labourers are the two major occupations in AMA, Tema and Ga, followed by sales workers, while in the Dangmes white collar workers and general labourers follow agricultural workers as the major occupations of household heads.
In all the districts, a distinctive feature among household heads is that a higher proportion (almost twice) of females than males is in the production and transport operation occupation.
Literacy of heads of households
Most household heads (78.2%) in the region are literate. The proportions are 47.7 per cent in English and a Ghanaian language, 23.8 per cent in English only, 5.6 per cent in Ghanaian language only and 1.1 per cent in other languages.
Thus, the literacy rate ranges from 39.5 per cent in the more rural Dangme East to 82 per cent in the wholly urban AMA. In all of the districts, there is a higher proportion of literate males than literate females. The gap between the sexes is much wider in the Dangme districts than it is in the three other districts. Apart from Dangme East, female household heads are more literate in a Ghanaian language than male household heads.
Half (50%) of the region`s population aged 15 years or older are either married (44.8%) or living in consensual union with a partner (5.2%), while an additional 9.6 per cent have once been in a marriage, but are currently divorced (3.7%), widowed (3.6%) or separated (2.3%).
Even though the marital status pattern of the population aged 15 years and older in the districts is similar and mimics the regional trend, it should be noted that the AMA (43.3%) and the Tema Municipality (43.5%) have the smallest proportions of persons who are married and the highest proportion of people who have never married (42%), while Dangme East has the lowest proportion of persons living together in loose unions (3.8%).
The two Dangme districts have the highest proportion of widows. In all the districts however, even though the proportion of widows is comparatively low, the proportion of widows is three times higher than that of widowers.
While the level of divorce is highest in AMA (4.0%), that of separation is highest in Dangme East (3.5%). The proportions of the separated and divorced are higher for females than for males.
In the Dangme West district, 13 per cent of persons aged 15 years and older, live together in loose unions with their partners compared to 3.8 per cent in Dangme East. In other words, persons aged 15 years and older in Dangme West are three times more likely to live in loose unions than is the case in Dangme East.
Considering that the two Dangme districts have much in common, one would have expected that marital status pattern would be similar. The dissimilarities could be due to the differences in cultural practices: the dipo of the Adas, for instance, would promote marriage rather than the practice of living together in a loose union.
As is to be expected 99.9 per cent of persons in this age group have never married. This ranges from 96.7 per cent in Dangme East to about 97 per cent in all the other districts.
Even though the proportion of children married in all the districts is very small, Dangme East has the highest proportion of children who are married (3.3%), and an insignificant proportion, less than 1 percent, living in loose unions, are divorced or widowed. These may be children forced or lured into such marriages by parental pressures to older men who either die or divorce them.
Community facilities such post offices, telephones health and education facilities are also discussed in this report. In the region, postal facilities are fairly accessible in the AMA area but in the other districts, inhabitants of some districts such as Dangme West are 30 kilometres or more away from such facilities. Questions were asked about the availability of some facilities in each community. Such facilities include post and telecommunications, health facilities and education facilities. For facilities that were not available in the community, the distance to the nearest available facility was recorded.
Post and telecommunications
The post office is available in all the districts in Greater Accra. Not all communities have this facility, but all in AMA have this facility. For the rest of the districts, availability of a post office facility ranges from 1.3 per cent of communities in Ga to 8.8 per cent in Tema.Telephone
Telephone facility, like the post office, is available in all the districts; again, not all communities have this facility. In the AMA, the facility is available in all the communities and the distance to the nearest facility is less than 1 kilometre. More than half of the communities in Tema have telephone facility. On average, the distance to the nearest telephone facility in the district is 0.9 kilometre. In Ga, Dangme West and Dangme East, the availability of telephones to most communities is very low, ranging from 4 per cent of communities in Dangme West and Dangme East to 5.5 per cent of communities in Ga. For this reason, for some communities, particularly in Dangme West, the maximum distance to the nearest facility is 65 kilometres. On average however, travel distances to the nearest facility is between 5.4 kilometres for Dangme East and 15.2 kilometres in Ga.
Greater Accra is covered by all the telephone operators of the country. The average teledensity for Greater Accra is 3.2 per 100 persons, about five times that of the national average (0.7), indicating that most of the fixed line and mobile telephones of the country are concentrated in the region. All the 7 telephone companies in Ghana operate in the region. Ghana Telecom covers Greater Accra from three locations, namely Accra metropolis, which has several main and sub70 transmission stations in the sub-metropolitan areas, Tema and Ada. Other providers of fixed line and radio telephone systems, though on a relatively small scale, are Westel and Capital.
Out of its 67 coverage locations nationwide, Scancom, operators of Areeba mobile systems, covers the region from 6 locations, namely Accra, Ada, Dawhenya, Dawa, Kpong and Tema. Coverage of the entire region, particularly Dangme West, is yet to be achieved. Millicom, which operates the Mobitel system, covers the region from four locations, namely Tema, Weija, Accra metropolis and Pokuasi. The two Dangme districts, including important towns such as Dodowa and Asutsuare, are yet to be covered. Other operators of mobile systems are One-touch (Ghana Telecom) and Kasapa
The health facilities in the districts include traditional healing facility, hospital and maternity home/clinic.
Traditional healing facilities
Traditional healing facilities are available in all the districts in proportions ranging from 90.9 per cent to 100 per cent of communities in the districts. On average, the distance to the nearest traditional healing facilities is under 1 kilometre, with the maximum distance ranging from less than 1 kilometre for AMA to 10.0 kilometres in Ga. Notwithstanding the relatively better but unevenly distributed orthodox medical facilities in Greater Accra, traditional healing facilities also play a very important role in health care delivery in the region, particularly in the rural districts. As has been stated, hardly any locality is without a traditional healing facility within a 10 kilometre radius.
The regional population to traditional healer of 2,407 is much higher than the national average of 953 to one healer. The rural districts of Dangme East and West, however, have ratios far below the national average, indicating their reliance on this source of health care delivery in the absence of adequate allopathic medical facilities such as hospitals and clinics. In Dangme West for example, the maximum distance from a locality to a hospital is 49 kilometres while the maximum distance from a locality to a traditional healing facility is 4 kilometres.
There are hospitals located within all communities in the AMA and in 14.9 per cent of communities in Tema. On the other hand, hospitals are not available in Dangme West and Dangme East. For instance, the maximum distance to the nearest hospital in Dangme West is 49 kilometres. Of the 2008 doctors nationwide, over 50 per cent (53.9%) live and work in Greater Accra, the population of which is only 15.4 per cent of the country`s total population. Greater Accra has a total of 1082 doctors, 864 of whom are in the public sector (Ministry of Health and Ghana Medical Association, 2003). This is about the same as the number of traditional healers (1,207).
The population per doctor for Greater Accra is 2,686, far better than the national average of 1 doctor to 9,418 people. This is however deceptive in terms of the spread and availability in the region, because 991 (94%) of the 1082 doctors are in the Accra metropolis, with another 83 (7.7%) in the Tema municipality. Ga, Dangme East and West, between them, share only 8 doctors. Of the 991 doctors in the Accra metropolis, 483 (48.7%) work in the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital while another 116 (11.7%) are in the Military Hospital.
If one takes into consideration the substantial numbers working in other major hospitals such as the Police, the Trust, the Psychiatric and the Ridge Hospitals, as well as those in private practice, this leaves relatively few doctors to serve the rest of the city, the metropolitan area, and the region as a whole.
Indeed, outside of Accra, the population to doctor ratio is worse than some of the most rural districts in the country. This contrasts sharply with the traditional healers, who are within easy reach in all the districts. In planning for the health needs of the region, therefore, there is the need for traditional healers to be properly organized, trained and their talents and services properly coordinated as an officially recognized, integral part of the health care delivery system, with its own peculiar and fully recognized needs and competence, and not as a poor appendage of orthodox medical practice.
With the exception of AMA, the proportion of communities where clinics are available is much higher than that of hospitals. This ranges from 2.9 per cent of communities in Dangme East to 98.9 per cent in AMA. For communities that do not have clinics, the distance to a clinic can be as far as 75.0 kilometres for some communities in Dangme West. On average, the distance to the nearest maternity home/clinic in Ga is about 9 kilometres
Of all in the form of schools, availability of primary schools to communities in all the districts is the most encouraging. Primary schools are available to all communities in the AMA where people can travel within 1 kilometre to the nearest primary school. In all the districts in the region, Ga district (11.3%) has the lowest proportion of communities where primary schools are available and therefore some pupils need to travel an average of 2.8 kilometres (up to a maximum of 30km) to the nearest facility. Even though the proportion of communities with primary schools in Dangme West is much higher than that of Ga, children in Dangme West would not attend school or would need to travel 55 kilometres to get to a primary school.
Junior secondary schools
Apart from AMA where all the communities in the district have junior secondary schools available to them, the proportion of communities with junior secondary schools in Tema (45.6%), Ga (7.5%), Dangme West (17.4%) and Dangme East (14.1%) is much lower than that of primary schools. The maximum distance to the nearest junior secondary school, from a district, is about 30 kilometres for Ga District; while for Dangme West, it is 55 kilometres.
Senior secondary schools
The availability of senior secondary schools to communities in each district is even less than junior secondary schools, even in the AMA. The decrease is much higher for Ga, Dangme West and Dangme East, where it is 6.4 times more likely to have a junior secondary school than it is to have a senior secondary school. For instance, in Dangme West only 1.3 per cent of communities have senior secondary schools. In some communities in the district, the maximum distance to a senior secondary school is 65 kilometres, the longest distance in the whole region.
The issues of availability and affordability are a matter of concern, particularly in Dangme West and Dangme East, the two most deprived districts. Since most senior secondary schools are by and large boarding facilities, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports has to revisit the issue of cost of training at the senior secondary school level.
The analysis of health facilities points to a good patronage of traditional healing facilities, which are more easily accessible and affordable than hospitals and clinics. The central government should not scrap the cash and carry system until the envisaged comprehensive health insurance scheme gains a firm footing.
The government has to continue to come to the rescue of the people particularly, women, children and the aged who are unable to pay for medical care. The District Assemblies should collaborate with central government to build at least one well equipped district hospital in the deprived districts.
The Regional Minister
Greater Accra Regional Coordinating Council
P. O. Box M. 196, Accra
Greater Accra Region
W / Africa
Tel: (+233 21) - 222690/220015
Fax: (+233 21) - 233276