Structure of the Industrial Sector
AMA is the second most industrialised area in Ghana, contributing over 10% to the GDP. Over 30% of the manufacturing activities, representing over 50% of value added, are located in the area. As at 1984 there about about 2400 industrial units out of which only 20 employed over 500 persons, 39 had between 200 and 499 employees, and another 39 with 100 – 199 employees. Seventy-five percent (75%) of the jobs were in small-scale industries, while 91% of the industries employed 30 persons or less (30 is the upper limit for small-scale industries).Industrial Employment
In 2000, there were nearly 200,101 persons working in various industries, in the AMA. This represents 22.34% of the employed labour force in Accra. Manufacturing employed about 134,692 or 67.3% of the industrial employment (table below).
Female employment in manufacturing is over 53%, the majority of whom were self-employed, particularly in the service sector. Construction, the second largest industrial employer, holds the future to poverty alleviation as construction integrated into poverty alleviation strategy has been found to have the highest multiplier effect in distribution of income.
Industrial Sector Employment
|Electricity, Gas and Water
|Mining & Quarrying
Commercial activities are characterised by a few large and medium size enterprises engaged in import, export, wholesale, distribution, and retail businesses and a myriad of small-scale traders, suppliers, transporters, and retailers. Commerce is the largest and most visible sub-sectoral activity. Although the large firms account for highest value added, they represent just a fraction of the labour employed in the commercial sub sector, their turnover is about one-half of the total in the sub sector.
In the middle are small stores, and market stall owners who also depend to a large extent on the wholesaling functions of the large-scale commercial units. A few of them obtain their supplies directly from the industrial establishments within the metropolitan area and from abroad. These, together with the large units, account for between 70 and 80 per cent of the value of the total turnover of the commercial activities.
At the bottom of this functional hierarchy are the street vendors. In terms of numbers employed, this group accounts for about 70% engaged in commercial activities. By virtue of ease of entry, the flexibility of self-employment, and the need for little or no literacy requirements, women tend to dominate the sub sector.
Because of trade liberalisation, the commercial activities are attracting more entrants into the informal service sector due to the ease with which one can enter. As a result, there is stiff competition, which tends to reduce profit margins, thus inhibiting business expansion.Employment in the Service Sector
The service sector is the largest sector in terms of employment. An estimated figure of 531,668 persons are engaged in this sector. The wholesale and retail sub-sectors employ the largest number of people in Accra (249,164) constituting 47% of service sector employment in 2000.
: Service Sector Employment
|Hotels and Restaurants
|Transport, Storage and Communication
|Real Estate and Business Activities
|Health and Social Work
|Other Community Service
|External Territorial Organisations
|Wholesale and Retail Trade
Accra is a major centre for manufacturing, marketing, finance, insurance, transportation and tourism. It has bout 350 major industrial establishments, a Central Bank, 9 Commercial Banks (with 81 Branches), 4 Development Banks (with 19 Branches), 4 Merchant Banks (with 7 Branches), 3 Discount Houses, 1 Home Finance Mortgage Bank, Building Societies, a Stock Market, 218 Foreign Exchange Bureaux, 9 Finance Houses, 9 Insurance Companies, 12 Insurance Brokerage Firms, 2 Savings and Loans Companies and a host of Real Estate Developers.
There are 591 pre-schools (Kindergarten, Nurseries, Day Care Centres etc.), made up of 65 Public Schools and 526 Private ones, 719 Primary Schools (388 Public and 331 Private), 465 Junior Secondary Schools, (247 Public and 218 Private), 32 Senior Secondary Schools (19 Public and 13 Private), 32 Technical and Vocational Schools, 1 Teacher Training College, 2 Special Institutions for the handicap and 12 Private Commercial Schools. The road network in the Metropolis is about 1117.89 km made up of 918.10 km paved and 199.8 km of unpaved roads.
There are over 50,506 identified residential properties and about 4,054 commercial/Industrial/mixed properties with a total rateable value of ¢1,384,901,377,745.00. There are also 29 markets, 36 facilities for both on – street and off-street parking and over 120,000 units of whole-sale, retail and other self-employed businesses as well as several facilities for the promotion of sports, recreation and many tourist centres.Tourism and Recreation
Accra with such a large population and relatively large coverage of physical development has only a negligible proportion of planned recreational activities. In fact open spaces constitute about 5% of the urban land structure out of which only a fraction is actually planned.
There is a diversity of activities in the few available recreational resources – inland activities both passive and active as well as coastal/beach activities. There is an emerging interest in beach resources while tourism in general is on the increase at least in Accra.
Accra is still a virgin area as far as development of recreational and tourism facilities are concerned. The entire coastal front remains under-developed with large tracts of land from Osu to Jamestown being derelict. The most deprived areas as far as recreational activities are concerned are the low-income communities including the communities in the catchments area of the Korle Lagoon.
In areas such as Jamestown and Bukom, there is simply no space to provide for recreational facilities. Despite the potentials of development in the recreation and tourism sectors, the yield may not be sustainable due to uncertainties surrounding the tourism industry.
However, Accra is still a leading destination for tourists in Ghana at least as the gateway into the country. The main tourism attractions of Accra rally around conference and hotel facilities, festivals and few buildings of historical importance. There is very little planned recreational activities – there is more demands for active recreation vis-à-vis passive recreation.
The few available parks and green areas in the metropolis are in the central area but are under-utilised and neglected. There is considerable scope for the expansion of tourism facilities especially along the beachfront from the Osu Castle to Jamestown and then the Korle Lagoon and its immediate environs.
Recreation, both passive and active, contributes to the health ad productivity of the city residents. Around the slum concentrations of Korle Dudor, Jamestown, Bukom and Osu, children from the depressed homes engage in informal/unplanned sporting activities along the beachfront and any available open space and this unknowingly contributes to their welfare. Finally, the cultural heritage component of Tourism has far reaching consequences in the targets of stability and accelerated national growth.National Resource Demand Versus Availability
If Accra is to provide its share of the planned targets for development of the tourism industry in Ghana, then there is likely to be conflict in demand for scarce land. In the central area of Accra land is scarce and expensive yet there is need for a few more planned green areas.
The few available parks and gardens in the city are either abused or grossly mismanaged. The Kinbu Gardens and the Children’s Park attract delinquents and serve as hideouts for criminals. Again, the coastal front with all the promising features for prime investments in tourism/recreation is the receptable for excreta and refuse disposal as well as dumping of construction wastes.
Unfortunately, certain segments of the coastal front are under threat of erosion and this could prove disastrous to any future or existing roads and buildings. Finally, if tourism investments were to pick up on the coastal front without appropriate development controls, it could have adverse effects on air sheds especially in the congested zones of Jamestown, Bukom and Osu.
There is currently great pressure on land for physical development in Accra especially in Accra Central. At the same time there are programmes for expansion of roads and construction of new roads and drains.
All these physical initiatives will outbid space for recreation, unless proactive measures are put in place to address this issue. The Korle Lagoon always remains a sad example of a potential tourism/recreational feature, which may be in conflict with potentials for inland fishing.
Perhaps the greatest challenge to tourism and recreation in Accra is the under-developed status of infrastructure – if the planned investments in tourism and recreation were to be carried out without due consideration to the available capacities of infrastructure supply this could put unbearable pressure on the already over-burdened city supply network. Accra and Ghana for that matter should develop policies to forestall the adverse influences on local culture, which results from uncontrolled foreign tourist practices.
Accra has a wide variety of monumental buildings the bulk of which are concentrated in the indigenous slum settlements of Osu, Jamestown and Bukom. In the small segment of Jamestown and Bukom alone over 100 buildings and objects were identified as features worthy of conservation due to their historical, cultural and spiritual significance. Ironically, the bulk of the structures are in a rundown state, some irreparable.
The historical sites and cultural activities in Accra Central have as yet not been fully exploited. It could be a useful source of income for the residents in these depressed communities. The potential economic gains of the historical buildings and monuments justified the need to rehabilitate and conserve these structures.
The James Fort and Ussher Fort are typical examples of monuments that are easily viable for rehabilitation and conversion to tourism functions. However, there is need for a continuous maintenance programme to sustain the investments in the rehabilitation of the Forts considering their location on the sea front and the projected high flow of tourist. Markets and Commerce
There are 5 levels of markets in the Accra metropolis: -
- The central markets - Makola, Agbogblshie, Kaneshie and Mallam Atta.
- Neighbourhood markets – Adabraka, Osu, Kwashieman, Salaga and Nima, Tuesday Market, London Market, CIBA Market, Nungua Market, La Market, Teshie Market.
- Night markets – Bukom, Osu and Kwame Nkrumah Circle; and
- Specialist markets - Timber Market, Abossey Okai (Spare parts dealership) slaughterhouse and the fish markets such as the one at the Jamestown Harbour.
- Unorganised markets – Unplanned selling points. Found in deprived communities in the metropolis
The last level constitutes informal trading activities, which constitute serious environmental threat. They are petty traders selling along the road corridors or in kiosks, hawkers especially within the central area and street-side food-sellers. However, they form revenue-generating source for the Assembly.
The key markets in the central area generate high-volumes of refuse – not only organic residues from the foodstuffs but recently plastic and other inorganic substances. The markets serve as bulk-breaking points and given the inefficient nature of foodstuffs marketing in Ghana, the markets attract unusually large volumes of waste.
The rate of collection of refuse in Accra is far too low compared to the area of wastes generation. In this way, each of the market places has large portions of refuse piles as a permanent feature. Apart from breakdown in refuse collection, the markets are without any form of drainage and sanitation facilities with a high incidence of pests and rodents. Incidentally, the markets operate from 4.00 a.m. till around 7.00 p.m. daily – for most of the traders the market place is virtually their home.