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Opinions of Thursday, 12 October 2006

Columnist: Tawiah, Francis

Tema & Takoradi Harbor: Good Intentions, Unintended Consequences

[Note: This is a moderately extensive article. Please take time to read it through. I welcome your comments. Thanks (PICTURES) ]

Readers, please pull out a map of Ghana, a pencil, and a ruler. Draw a straight line right in the middle of the country from north to south. You have now divided Ghana into east and west zones. After the imaginary split of the country into two zones, look at the map and locate where the major seaports are. There is one on the west coast, Takoradi, and a bigger one on the east, Tema. We will return to the purpose of this exercise later in the article.

Tema Harbor

As many of you are aware, the harbor on the east coast is always busy, fully utilized, and has become the predominantly patronized outlet for nearly all of the country’s import and export trade. The harbor is a nerve center without which Ghana’s economy will go into a tailspin and the country would feel the negative impact on private enterprise and there will also be an enormous tax revenue loss for the government.

Even though Ghana is blessed with another deepwater seaport in Takoradi, a lot of imports destined for Takoradi and the Western and Central Regions are unloaded and cleared out of Tema and then are dangerously transported by road on container trucks or other means to their destinations. More than serving as a mere loading and unloading point, the Tema Harbor has become a major transshipment point for imports destined for landlocked countries like Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger. It is also the port of convenience for importers of durable goods, like vehicles and machinery, who use Tema as their transshipment venue for moving goods to Togo, Benin, and to southwestern Nigeria.

Tema Harbor is huge with three miles of breakwaters, expandable thirteen or more deepwater berths, and an oil-tanker berth, a fully-functioning self-contained dockyard, transit sheds, a very large and fully staffed customs and excise facility, and ample warehouses. The port has a large vehicle holding area and the capacity to hold over 8,000 large containers. An overwhelming portion of the country’s exports is handled through Tema even though Ghana has two deepwater seaports. And for ship repair, the Tema drydock has a 100,000 deadweight capacity.

Surrounding the port is a wide array of industrial and commercial establishments vital to the survival of the country. Tema boasts of the only large-capacity oil refinery serving the energy and transportation needs of the whole country. There are also the very demanding, hungry, and colossal aluminum processing plant, a cement factory, food processing plants, textile, and many other ancillary industries and commercial establishments. The city of Tema also has a separate large fishing harbor, cold storage, and fish marketing facilities.

Since its opening in 1961, the harbor has on its own propelled a sleepy tiny fishing village into a vibrant modern manufacturing, commercial, service, and up-to-date residential city. [Actually, the Tema Harbor was officially commissioned by Kwame Nkrumah in 1962.] The growth and expansion of Tema has continued exponentially in just 45 years so much that Tema and Accra are now almost joined at the hip and are virtually inseparable. Traveling from Accra to Tema these days is completely different from the 1960s when there was a huge gap of open virgin landscape between the two cities. The multiple lane highway constructed soon after the opening of the harbor made it easier to transport imported merchandise from the port to the capital. And the growth and expansion do not seem to have reached their peak yet. Expansion projects in the city and at the port continue today.

What the harbor has accomplished for Greater Accra and the south-eastern region in terms of development in the last forty-five years is immeasurable and has been an indispensable support system for both large and small businesses in the country and particularly in Accra. Its proximity to the capital city has been the magnet that has drawn high-level, mid-level and even menial employable Ghanaians from all over the country to the southeastern corner of the country since its opening. What the new Tema Harbor did above all in the 1960s was that it pulled experienced longshoremen, or stevedores, if you may, able bodied seasoned seamen, and even landlubbers from the west coast who dreamt of someday going to sea. They flocked to Tema in the hopeful search for sailor jobs and for the prosperity potential of the modern Tema and the capital, Accra.

The newly found freedoms that accompanied Ghana’s independence, the potential for higher achievements then open to young free Ghanaians, and particularly the attraction of sea-faring and port employment brought a large influx of Ghanaians into Tema and Accra in search of opportunities in the shipping lines and in the rapidly growing major and ancillary but mainstay industries that were cropping up everywhere in the Accra-Tema area. Many experienced professionals were lured from the central, western, eastern, Ashanti, and even the north to the Greater Accra area to fill employment needs of the government and the private sector.

Thus began the surge of population concentrations in both Accra and Tema. Not only were there the very well-tutored middle and secondary school graduates who easily found employment in government and private corporations in Tema and the capital of this newborn independent country, but also shrewd and smart small town traders and open-market retailers realized exponential business growth in Accra that they could not attain in their constricting little towns and villages. Today’s choking concentration of a large percentage of Ghana’s population in Accra can be attributed not only to the fact that Accra happens to be the capital even with its centralized, burdensome, slow, demeaning, and regressive corrupt bureaucratic red tape but can also be traced to the impact of the opening of the Tema Harbor on business growth in and around the capital. Everybody’s “uncle” or “aunt” now lives in Accra!

Today’s baby boomers of Ghana who moved to the Accra-Tema area in the 1960s can easily recall the economic development decisions made by the government at that time which contributed to their migration choices. Whether the concentration of development in and around the capital in utter disregard for nation-wide decentralization was sound economic judgment is up to the expert economists and social scientists to analyze. But in less than five years after Ghana’s independence, the aroma of hope, aspirations, and exhilaration that wafted across Accra and Tema, with the opening of the Tema Harbor, was irresistible for young Ghanaians in every village and town.

Takoradi Harbor

Until the opening of the Tema Harbor in 1961, Ghana’s only deepwater port was the Takoradi Harbor. It was constructed in 1928. Prior to the harbor’s construction, the railroad, which was constructed in 1903, served as the major vital link between Sekondi and the mining centers of Tarkwa, Obuasi, and all the way to Kumasi and back down to the east coast in Accra. Heavy and large imported goods destined for Accra, Kumasi, the mining towns in between and for the north, passed first through Takoradi and were transported inland by train or by road to their destinations. Likewise, timber, cocoa beans, and other export products came by the same routes. The railways and the harbor began an exciting economic spurt in the Western and Central Regions not only for the colonialists but these two major economic structures also opened new doors for the prosperity of Ghanaian traders and young professionals. Leading up to and soon after Ghana’s independence, well educated middle school level Ghanaians began to fill supervisory, clerical and other subordinate office positions in the government and the private sector in place of the whites who left the country who would not tolerate continuing their lucrative jobs under African leadership.

Many decades prior to the Tema Harbor and with the railroads fully functioning, the migration to the western mining towns and particularly to Sekondi-Takoradi brought on a cultural and tribal diversity to the area. Starting in the early 1900s through the mid-sixties this diverse cultural phenomenon was unmatched anywhere else in the country at that time. The construction of the Takoradi Harbor in the 1920s gave a further boost to the blended population of Sekondi-Takoradi and similar boost to most of the western regional midsized towns by attracting even more Ghanaians from other parts of the country. Successful traders from as far away as Nigeria and Liberian dockworkers were a ubiquitous part of the melting pot of diversity in the western region. The harbor became the economic lifeblood and social conduit of the entire country. Sekondi-Takoradi has since the early 1900s been an ethnically diverse pioneer in Ghana, and tribal interrelationships on the west coast make the place one proud hallmark of Ghana.

For the whole of Ghana after the Second World War, Sekondi-Takoradi was the place to be young, the site of the quintessential forerunner and trendsetter of modern Ghanaian and international lifestyles. It boasted not only of an up-to-date rail station and a harbor, but it was the home of the very first Ghana Air Force (originally the Royal Air Force prior to independence). Takoradi had the only fully functioning naval headquarters with an adequate fleet of naval boats and patrolling ships. There was a successful boat building and fishing harbor at Sekondi, plywood and timber processing industry, elaborate banking and trading infrastructure, food and other processing factories provided steady employment for the region. International trading companies had offices, warehouses and stores in and around the harbor area and world banking institutions and trading companies did brisk business at the southeastern corner of Sekondi near the Fort Orange.

In the early 1960s, many new industries added a zest to Takoradi life. The very popular Pioneer Tobacco Company is one of them. The cocoa processing plant, the newly renovated and expanded Sekondi Hospital, cement and flour factories later added to the economic lifeblood of Sekondi-Takoradi.

Higher educational institutions in and around the western region supplied these new industries and commercial establishments with young educated employable candidates. The ever popular Fijai Secondary School, St. John’s Secondary School, Sekondi Secondary School, the Royal Commercial College (now the Ahantaman Secondary School), the Takoradi Polytechnic, the Tarkwa Mining College, and other higher learning schools stretching from Axim to Cape Coast supported the growing employment needs around the bustling Takoradi Harbor.

And as a boost to its progress in the early 1960s, Takoradi became the home of a new maritime company, the Black Star Line (BSL). The BSL had its own fleet of Ghana-owned ships proudly named after major rivers and landmarks in the country. The BSL became an essential, attractive and uplifting employment source for the youth of the Western Region and a solid competitor in international maritime trade. Prior to the BSL, the major employment avenues available to the young men of Takoradi were local mid-level and low paying jobs and a few menial, dangerous, risky jobs on European and American ships. There were also the simple but unstable and risky temporary and seasonal stevedoring jobs at the port. Despite the dangers and the threats of death at sea, many young western Ghanaians risked those dangerous but decent paying low level jobs and worked and traveled on foreign ships.

In anticipation of expanding the BSL and to provide qualified manpower for the BSL fleet and other seamanship jobs, the Ghana Nautical College, was established somewhere between Accra and Tema and many of the students were from the Takoradi area. It was established to train Ghanaians and other Africans for high level positions on board ships, positions that were reserved often for unqualified foreign nationals even on BSL ships. Some high performing Ghanaian students with leadership qualities at the college were even sent overseas for further training as ship captains, engineers and other line officers.

On land in the twin cities of Sekondi-Takoradi, starry-eyed euphoric young men often stood at the beach and on seaside hilltops and watched arriving and departing ships. They were often caught up in a romantic reverie of their friends and relatives who had jobs on those ships, better than what was available at home, and who were on their way to exotic port cities in Europe and America which these landlubbers have only read about in books and seen in magazine pictures and movies. At that time, those were the pie-in-the-sky places, like New York City, Baltimore, Norfolk, and Newark in the U.S. and other port cities in Europe, that returning seamen enjoyed describing in lofty terms to their relatives and friends at home.

Arriving ships that lined up so beautifully on the horizon waiting their turn to dock at the port were in themselves an attractive incentive and provided the evidence, often real than not, that there were potential employment opportunities ahead. Out-of-work seamen and most of these dreamy young landlubbers would queue up for hours at the maritime union employment offices in Takoradi for very competitive stevedoring jobs just to put food on the table while at the same time anxiously keeping their eyes and ears open for job openings on board the docked ships. The lucky few gave unending hopes for the anxious rest to keep on dreaming.

Wives and concubines anxiously waited and welcomed back their sea-weary handsome strong muscular seamen who came to shore with gifts of attractive dresses, jewelry, exotic foreign food items and household appliances, and the eagerly awaited “chop money.” The young men who had been to sea were instant attraction for young ladies at home. They had money to spend and exotic gifts to give. They could now entertain the young ladies in classy night clubs and dance halls. Those were the dreamy and exciting days in Sekondi-Takoradi.

Night life was an exciting integral social combination to the everyday drudgery which gave a pleasant balance to the overall lifestyle in these twin jumping urban centers. Young men and women would dress up in their latest crisp Western and local fashions and regularly entertained at the many hip nightclubs till the wee hours of morning. I remember those bouncing afro hairdos and the sexy mini-skirts. They danced to the latest pulsating groovy soul and Black American jazz music brought home from America and other overseas destinations by the returning seamen. The now classic finger popping soul stirring music of jazz greats like Jimmy Smith, Gillespie, and soul giants like James Brown, Wilson Pickett, Junior Walker and the All Stars, The Four Tops, The Supremes, The Temptations, to name a few, and many Motown and other popular label artists were the contemporary danceable music at the time. Latest pop music and ever changing dance styles found their way first to Takoradi hip circles before spreading to other areas of the country. Landmark movie theatres, notably Rex, Gyandu, and Venice in Sekondi, and Prempeh and the modern Princess Cinema and Night Club in Takoradi provided additional entertainment avenues for the young. There was also the unforgettable tall and imposing Atlantic Hotel sandwiched in the middle of the upper-class harbor beach residential area. Ghanaians elsewhere in the country who could afford it traveled to Takoradi for their weekend and holiday entertainment. American and European seamen and businessmen and foreign mining workers entertained often in Takoradi. The youth of Takoradi were much more socially advanced and “streetwise” than their peers in other areas of the country.

It was definitely a memorable sight, the coconut-lined pristine sandy shores stretching from Sekondi all the way to Takoradi Harbor area. For someone like me who moved to the area to attend school in the early 1960s it was a sight to see. In addition to the deep-sea canoe fishermen, there were those cast-and-drag beach canoe fishermen all along the coast who had their best catch during the abundant herring season. Short distance coastal fishing was a major sustaining and successful industry in the area. The daily catch were either sold fresh at the two brisk and busy open markets in Sekondi and Takoradi or to women fishmongers who dried or fried the fish for resale at home and other faraway interior markets. I moved to the Takoradi area in my teens and immediately fell in love with the place and I still have fond memories of the area. I will be remiss if I forget to mention all those exciting little towns and villages sandwiched between the two cities, places like Ekuasi, Baka Ekyir, Ketan, Essikado, Essaman, Nkontompo, Adiembra, Effia Kuma, Fijai, and New Takoradi. Those small towns had their own individual identities but were an integral addition to the lifestyle of the whole area.

Those were really the exciting days. And then Tema Harbor happened. And then the unexpected steady collapse began. The twin cities of Sekondi-Takoradi enjoyed its glory for a very long time from the sleepy 1930s to the vibrant 1960s and would have continued to be the trendsetter place up to today if it weren’t for the fact that good national economic intentions yanked its glory so abruptly that the area has not been able to recover for over 45 years. The urban blight that beset the area has rendered both adjoining cities, especially Sekondi, very impotent, stagnant and helpless. One village’s gain (Tema Harbor) should not have been Takoradi’s demise if astute foresight was part of the national economic planning at the time.

Imagine It is sad to note that just as much as we needed Tema Harbor and we still do today, its birth really stole the thunder from under Sekondi-Takoradi. It started an abysmal downward spiral of the southwestern Ghana that continues to be felt today. Tema Harbor has created an economic gap in the country that has surprisingly either escaped or baffled Ghanaian leaders and even so-claimed expert Ghanaian economists and educated elite for 45 years. If Sekondi-Takoradi had been nurtured to maintain its growth rate, especially after Tema Harbor, imagine the higher economic leap that could have been attained in the country and the western portion of the country. The western portion of Ghana could have benefited from continued vibrant port activities in Takoradi and would have been comparable to or surpassed the development that is now evident in the Accra-Tema area.

Imagine a better distribution of population in the country today. Imagine the non-existence of the congestion, pollution, disease, crime, and premature death traps that are now choking Accra and Tema. Imagine improved strategically decentralized and diversified national economic structures and locations across the entire Ghanaian landscape. Once the bustling business activities of the Takoradi port was sidelined by Tema, the spiral of urban decay planted itself firmly in the twin cities. Tema Harbor not only stole the economic lifeblood of Sekondi-Takoradi, it stole its experienced workers and their families, too. Families naturally followed where the breadwinners went. And Sekondi-Takoradi continued to suffer. In Sekondi, many of the long ago busy shopping and residential buildings are now empty shells with leaking roofs and are devoid of windows and doors. The open market there is now like an old wrinkled, dried up prune of a debilitating edifice which no longer carries any traces of it past active youthful glory. These days, hundreds of huge scary rats can be found roaming in the large gutters of Sekondi and in the crevices of the big boulders placed along the beach to arrest the eroding ocean.

Nowadays, when we talk about Ghana’s progress, our frame of reference and cited examples are limited to Accra. All showcase developments in Ghana are concentrated in Accra. Imagine all other Ghanaian towns and cities without the stark evidence of urban decay if there had been prudent distribution of industrial development over the years after independence.

Some Ghanaians may argue that the decay in Sekondi-Takoradi and elsewhere in Ghana occurred due simply to poor planning and the lack of foresight while some other advocates of Sekondi-Takoradi really claim that the decline of the area was deliberate and intentional. It is very necessary to examine both schools of thought: the conspiracy theories versus the cause and effect reasons for the steady dismal state of affairs in the two cities.

Conspiracy

There is a strong belief among many enlightened older citizens in Sekondi-Takoradi that Kwame Nkrumah was extremely disenchanted (Americans would say: really pissed off) with the people of the western region when railway and harbor workers in Takoradi started job walkouts in 1961 that infected workers across the country. In September of 1961, coincidentally the same year that the Tema Harbor went into operation, hundreds of port and railway workers took to the streets to protest austerity measures instituted by the Nkrumah government. The striking workers never factored into their labor strategies the vulnerabilities that the Tema Harbor created for them at that time.

As a preemptive solution to rapid inflation which translated into the rising cost of basic imported goods, the government rightfully raised prices. Food, clothing, shoes, as well as transportation costs spiked dramatically almost overnight. The buying power of the average worker’s income declined. To rub salt in their wounds, the government imposed a compulsory savings plan that asked for mandatory deductions for all wages over 250 cedis a year. The pay deductions would be invested for the individual workers by the government in interest-bearing development bonds. These were attempts by a young country to find solutions to unanticipated runaway inflation.

There were grumblings all over the country but Takoradi seemed to be the ideal starting point for the Trades Union Congress to demonstrate dissatisfaction with the measures. The organized labor strike that started in Takoradi soon spread to commercial and industrial workers in Sekondi. And almost immediately there were sympathy strikes by municipal transport and other workers in Accra. Nkrumah’s aggressive enemies in the Ashanti region found an excellent opportunity to incite Kumasi workers to join in the strikes.

With the Tema harbor in place and after the labor strike, some older people in Sekondi-Takoradi believed then and still do today that Nkrumah no longer needed Takoradi Harbor for his national development plans. To him, it was payback time. They believed that Nkrumah thought that Tema was big and adequate enough to handle development activities even as immense as the Volta River project. A large portion of shipping activities in Takoradi were diverted to Tema with no noticeable disruptions to the Ghana economy. This was probably a sensible and pragmatic decision at the time because of the ever growing commercial activities in and around the capital. However, this also started the downward slide for the Western Region. The alleged deliberate move of jobs from Takoradi to the east coast was so gradual that many western Ghanaians followed unawares the jobs to Tema and Accra like magnetic attachments and robots and those who stayed did not even realize what hit them right smack in the face. Even today, the population deluge from the west coast and other parts of the country to Accra and Tema hasn’t slowed a bit since the onset of that exodus in the 1960s.

Cause and Effect

There is also the school of thought that economic events which overtook Sekondi-Takoradi were symptomatic of the overall national downturn that started in the early 1960s up to Nkrumah’s overthrow in 1966. Nkrumah’s socialist leanings had attracted retaliation, or rather “containment” from the West at a time when the Cold War was in its intensity and the West did not allow true self-determination and the freedom of choice to African leaders who genuinely sought to improve the quality of life on the continent. The attitude of the West at the time was: “You were either with us or you were against us.” Even when Nkrumah preached self-determination for Africa without partiality to either side of the Cold War he was branded as being against the West. Try as he could, Nkrumah had little room to move. Deliberate attempts were made at that time to thwart each of his efforts any way possible, and there were conspiratorial conniving Ghanaians who were eager to sell their birthright to foster dissent perpetrated by the West in Ghana. These Ghanaians even committed murder to further their political agendas. Economic constriction of Ghana was the most effective weapon at that time. By making things difficult for Nkrumah, ordinary Ghanaians rather bore the full brunt of the crafty and subtle sanctions because they were the ultimate victims of the shortages of essential imported goods. The onslaughts by the West on Nkrumah’s leadership and development efforts in Ghana and Africa had more to do with racial prejudice and a very cold wider clandestine world war than with reasonable political and economic expediency. It was extremely uncomfortable for whites back then to sit back and watch Black Africans display any signs of capability and independence.

The Ghanaian on the street, however much he was warned, did not and could not comprehend the complex world events that translated into the changing price levels of his much needed “essential” imported goods and the economics of price controls and the steadily depressed revenues from Ghana’s exports, especially cocoa; he did not realize the intricate webs of world posturing strategies between the superpowers that affected his livelihood, though Nkrumah warned him of neo-colonialism. Ghanaians generally were not aware of the fact that the containment doctrine which began soon after WWII in 1947 was a pragmatic American strategy to ultimately stop Soviet expansionism and unfortunate hapless third world countries like Ghana ended up as pawns in the hands of either one of the two powerful giants. The ordinary Ghanaian was wrongly upset with Nkrumah, because he was told it was Nkrumah’s fault that milk, sugar, and margarine prices went up. And to the Ghanaian, it was definitely Nkrumah’s fault that shortages of those goods suddenly became a national crisis. Never did he accept from Nkrumah that that was a Cold War strategy to foment dissent in the country. The knee-jerk reaction of the Ghanaian worker then was to strike and get rid of his perceived problem: Nkrumah.

This writer does not subscribe to the alleged deliberate pay back by Nkrumah against Sekondi-Takoradi. Yes, he was more so disenchanted with the strikers and especially the exploitative forces behind the labor unrests. But it is beyond comprehension that he would deliberately destroy the economy of a region in his own country while at the same time advocating for the political and economic advancement for the whole of Africa. The economic consequences of the building of the Tema Harbor were simply unintended. As it was with many African leaders of his time, Nkrumah was paradoxically boxed in by strangulating forces emanating from wars of turf control by the two big wild cats of the north and from the disdain of the peoples of the northern hemisphere for any attempts by the Black race to exert intelligence and freedom from control.

Back to the Map of Ghana

Within five years after the opening of the Tema Harbor, Nkrumah was ousted from office. The forces he complained about had finally succeeded. In February 1966, two Ghanaian judases, Kotoka and Afrifa, betrayed their country and received substantial payments from a foreign power for overthrowing Nkrumah. All his efforts to grow Ghana from colonial servitude into a developed country came to a halt. Today, there is an only one superpower in the world and people in places like Ghana should feel secure in the warm embrace of the victor of the Cold War. Right? Are we still pawns or are we totally free? Think about that!

Now, you would think that all subsequent leaders of Ghana would have had the economic savvy to have diversified and decentralized development across the country. No! They were rather preoccupied with their self-interests and their corrupt and bumbling management of the affairs of the country have been so blatant that Sekondi-Takoradi and many other once progressive towns and cities under Nkrumah have rather mired in stagnation and experienced painful regression for so many years. These are the same leaders who often violently forced themselves into power and claimed they would do better than Nkrumah. It is astonishing and it even hurts to think that many of Ghana’s leaders after Nkrumah have displayed inertia and woeful ignorance of national economic planning. Yes, they have been strangely resistant to change. By being resistant to change and real progress, they can safely steal. And when it comes to corruption, it baffles me that they seem to have thickened brains, lack of objectivity, ineptitude, and pathological and aberrant self-hate for their country and Africa, especially when they take their country’s stolen resources and give them to the white man, otherwise known as Swiss banks, for safekeeping. Resources that can be reinvested in their birth countries to promote growth are rather hidden with the foreigners knowing very well that after their abrupt or natural deaths the foreigners get to keep those pilfered billions. [Please excuse my digression here and elsewhere in the article. But it is sometimes therapeutic to ramble on about the inanity and the lack of common sense in my fellow African leaders.]

I don’t think the current government leaders in Ghana really get it. Of late, they have only paid lip service to the physical expansion of the Takoradi Harbor and they have blown a lot of hot air about increasing trade activities at the port. In the meantime, desperate young men in Takoradi have resorted to dangerous stowaway attempts in order to escape the inescapable resignation to stagnation and unemployment. Violent crime in all cities of the country continues to grow. It is worrisome to think that recent governments have been lackadaisical about arms control and gun laws and have allowed the proliferation of not just handguns but high caliber weapons meant for war in the hands of the criminal elements in the country. This was unthinkable just a few years ago. Runaway unemployment has become the nagging reality. Scenes of urban decay are the tolerated environmental eyesores. The only steadily growing and profitable economic activities are funeral management, religious organizations, law enforcement and civil service bribery, theft in office by the leaders, and drug trafficking. Everyone else seems to be eking out a living the best way they can and the lack of adequate medical care and premature death is an accepted life’s circumstance. March 6, 2007 is a good 50 years since our independence, people!

When you look at the western half of the Ghana map that you just drew a line through, from the coast to the northern border, you can imagine how much additional economic and social transformation would be attained from increased activities at the Takoradi Harbor without taking anything from Tema. Tema would continue its busy activities and service the east zone while Takoradi Harbor would be expanded and used to capacity to tend to the west zone and the neighboring countries.

I implore the politicians and other leaders to develop the whole country and not just Accra. I am using this outlet in asking the leaders of Ghana to turn your attention to the west and other prime industrial sites of Ghana and you will begin to witness the easing off of the choking pressures, especially population congestion, that have burdened Accra for nearly 50 years. Just as an example, America has its imposing cities and industrial centers spread properly and equitably across the country from coast to coast. Ghana has only Accra and Tema!

[I am neither an economist nor a politician. I do not carry hidden agendas. I only offer my observations for my fellow Ghanaians to think about and generate some discussions for the sake of the young generations. I am also asking the webmaster to post with this article selected photographs I took on my most recent visit to the Western Region. (PICTURES) I hope they will add some insight and credibility to my observations.]

Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.

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