The metropolis has a circulatory road network pattern comprising five major arterial primary roads linking Kumasi to other parts of the country and they all radiate from the centre of the city. These are the Accra Road, the Tamale Road, the Wa Road, the Sunyani Road and the Cape Coast Road.
There are also four other primary roads, which link other districts in the Ashanti Region to Kumasi. All these primary roads are connected by a primary circular ring road, which was provided to channel extraneous traffic away from the city centre. This hierarchy of primary roads is supported by a network of existing and proposed district, local distributor and access roads.
The total length of the road network is 430 kilometres. Of this, asphaltic cement concrete is about 26% and that of surface dressing is 53%, while gravel and earth roads account for 21%.The major telecommunication service in the metropolis is run by Ghana Telecom, which offers a wide range of both internal and international dialing services.
Service booths exist in various parts of the metropolis. Also, a large number of private telecommunication centres operate in the metropolis. Since 1994, four digital telephone exchanges have been operational in Kumasi, used for both voice and data communication.There are 15 post offices in the metropolis with a total of 14,470 boxes.
The Regional Post Office is located in the central business district of Adum.Other services also operate in the metropolis. Kumasi is by far the largest electricity local centre in Ashanti Region. Most parts of the metropolis have electricity supply although demand exceeds supply capabilities.
The metropolis and its surrounding areas are supplied from two water sources. The Owabi and Barekese headworks both of which were rehabilitated in 1999. The main distribution centre in the metropolis is Suame. The Kumasi Central Market is the largest in the whole of Ghana. There are several other major markets, including Asafo Market, Asawasi Market and European Market.
There are 330 kindergartens in the metropolis of which 239 are privately owned. At the primary school level, the private sector has 269 schools, while the public sector has 179. However, at the junior secondary school level, the public sector leads with 137 schools compared to the private sector’s 84 schools.
There are 30 second cycle institutions in the metropolis, comprising senior secondary schools, commercial, technical and vocational institutions and training colleges. The metropolis has three major tertiary institutions – the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, the Kumasi Polytechnic and a campus of the University College of Education.
Kumasi hosts the Okomfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, which is the Regional Hospital.There are two quasi-government hospitals, one for the military and the other for the University. There are four Urban Health Centres and three Specialized Health Centres.There are two government maternity homes and four privately run ones. Out of the 64 clinics, 60 are privately owned.For medical training, there are the University’s Medical School and Pharmacy Faculty, as well as a training institution for nurses.
Network and Status of Supply
The energy sector has the following components: electricity, wood fuels (ie. Charcoal, fuel wood and sawdust) and petroleum products (ie. petrol, diesel oil, liquefied petroleum gas and kerosene).
The monthly electrical energy consumption is averagely 120MW. Major consumers include the two breweries, a bottling plant, over 50 wood processing plants, hotels and Suame Magazine foundry. The sensitive customers include Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital and the Owabi and Barekese Water Works.
Kumasi has 5 bulk supply points with 231km of overhead lines and 140.6km underground cables. The status of electricity supply from the grid to the various parts of the metropolis is generally good. There is a 31 per cent overloading at one of the primary stations and this situation must be addressed.
To enhance the delivery of quality supply of energy to its customers in the metropolis the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) has embarked on a successful upgrading of its primary stations. These include;
- Upgrading of main station ‘ B’at Adoato of two (2) 10MVA power transformers to two (2) 20 MVA power transformers.
- Replacement of 11kV switchgears at main station ‘B’ at Adoato.
- Facelift at main station ‘E’ at Suame Magazine with an additional 10MVA power transformer to the existing 10MVA
- Construction of additional overhead line feeders to reduce incidence of load shedding at the main station at ‘E’ at Suame.
In order to enhance safe operations to main station ‘B’ and main station ‘E’ plans are afoot to augment the existing cables with 1x500mm2 copper cable by the end of 2006 from; Main station ‘A’ to main station ‘B’ and main station ‘A’ to main station ‘C’.
In September, 2006 the city experienced irregular power supply due to the national load shedding exercise because of the low level of water in the Volta Lake. Even though this exercise is nationwide it has very serious repercussions on the development of all the sectors of the economy, as alternatives to electric power generation tend to be very expensive.
The supply of charcoal to the metropolis comes from three main sources: 60 per cent from Nkoranza-Kintampo areas, 30 per cent from Ejura-Mampong areas and the remaining 10 per cent is produced within the metropolis using sawmill residue. About 80 per cent of the population depends on charcoal for their domestic cooking and heating but almost all households use charcoal to some extent. Daily per capita consumption of charcoal is put at 0.5kg.
Fuel wood is used by about 10 per cent of households even though it is the main fuel source for commercial and informal sector activities like bakers, “chop bars” and soap manufacturers. The use of Liquefied Petroleum Gas has however increased slightly to about 10 per cent. This could have been higher but for the irregular supply and high cost.
The rate of development of the city has far outpaced the rate of extension of electric power. This has resulted in overloading feeders and transformers. Issues such as the periodic shortage of critical materials, faulty meters and the high number of un-metered premises also affect revenue targets. Another area of concern is the high cost of domestic fuel and environmental pollution resulting from charcoal burning.
The cumulative effect of these problems is very poor customer services, manifesting in unreliable supply of electricity and its related problems. In spite of these constraints there are opportunities to be exploited, among others are;
- Increasing customer demand
- The presence of independent power producers to ensure adequate supply
- Establishment of Public Utility Regulatory Commission (PURC)
It has the single largest traditional market in West Africa called the Kumasi Central Market. It can boast of over 10,000 stores and stalls fully occupied by traders dealing in every conceivable product. Additionally, the city has about twenty-eight (28) satellite markets. There are however plans underway to develop some of them to be modern markets.
Transportation is generally the means to move goods and people from one point to another through a medium. The medium can be either by air, water, land or rail. Kumasi is strategically located in the country. It is 270km North-West of Accra and almost the hub of urbanized and densely inhabited Ghana. Considering the fact that the three Northern Regions of the country are sparsely populated, there is the need to travel to, from and through Kumasi from the north to the south of the country.
Kumasi is land locked. Though there are rivers and streams flowing through the city, their size and environmental conditions do not support any water-based travel. At present, there are three modal choices to commute between Kumasi and all parts of the country as well as neighbouring countries in the West African Sub – Region and the rest of the World, which it provides with various goods and services via its Kejetia transport terminal and other transport terminals.
- Air travel at scheduled times
- Rail travel at scheduled times
- Road travel through the use of the arterial road network.
Road transportation has been dominant in Kumasi, since air and rail transports just account for less than one per cent of the daily movements of goods and persons within the Metropolis. The road network is radial with Kejetia and Adum being the hub of the network. All the major arterials such as the Accra Road, Mampong Road, Sunyani Road and Offinso Road radiate from the Kejetia/Adum area, which forms the core of the central business district (CBD).
Kumasi has one airport located in the Manhyia Sub Metropolitan area. This airport supports all air travel to and from the city. It is presently being underutilised. However access to and from the airport is excellent. There is the urgent need to upgrade the facilities at the airport to support and expand operation that would increase the level of accessibility of the metropolis. There is some form of encroachment on the airport lands and this will limit its capacity for expansion if not checked.
There are presently two private airlines operating domestic passenger services for people traveling to and from Kumasi. These are Antrak Air and City Link. They operate at scheduled times of the day. It will be the desire of the metropolis to have air travel every hour. There is the need to do detailed assessment on the needs of the airport to support external and very vibrant domestic travels.
Rail Based Travel
The Ghana Railway Company operates passenger rail service between Ejisu and Kumasi and also between Takoradi and Kumasi daily. It would be the expectation of the metropolis that there exists a passenger rail service that would be reliable, regular, scheduled and at more frequent intervals during each working day. There will be the need to upgrade the rail infrastructure and structures that will support an improved service and the conditions of the rail network. The structures are old and need urgent rehabilitation. These structures are located in the heart of the metropolis and have the potential to positively contribute to the transport improvement in the metropolis.
Road Based Travel
The current state of the road network is as follows;
Inventoried Road Length 846km
Unpaved Road Length 575km
Paved Road Length 271km
Asphalted Surface 100km
Graph 1 indicates the variations in the conditions of the road network in the years 2001 through to 2003.
The strategic location of Kumasi has attracted a lot of through traffic from other parts of the country, from the north to the south and from the east to the west of the country. This and other factors have contributed to the growth in traffic on our arterial roads to levels that are unacceptable. There has been a lot of congestion at the junctions and roundabouts in the metropolis. The arterial road network as it exists today has not been completed as part of the ring road has not been constructed i.e the Oforikrom-Asokwa By-pass. All the intersections of the arterial road network are at grade and this contributes greatly to the congestion being experienced in the metropolis.
There is the need to upgrade almost all the junctions in the metropolis to accommodate the increasing levels of traffic at these locations. There are plans to construct interchanges at all the major junctions to separate the traffic movement in space. There is also the added problem of capacity along some of the arterial roads in the network and studies are presently on -going to help.
Cities have become major areas of trade across nation-states. All aspects of the development and functioning of global cities are increasingly reliant on advanced telecommunication networks and services; such cities concentrate the most communications – intensive elements of all economic sectors and transnational activities within small portions of geographic space (Leyshon and Thrift 1997). The need for cities to develop their communication networks has come to the fore now more than ever as they strive to become attractive to multinational organisations and some foreign direct investment. Manhattan, for example, has more telephones than all forty nations in sub – Saharan Africa put together (Sussman, 1997: pg. 231)
Two types of telecommunication networks exist in Kumasi, the mobile networks and the fixed line system as in any other modern city. There is only one operator for the fixed line system in Kumasi, Ghana Telecommunications Company Limited. However, there are four operators for the mobile telecommunications network system, Ghana Telecommunications Company Limited, Scancom Ghana Limited, Millicom Ghana Limited and Celltell Communications Group.
With the mobile network there is some variety and access is fairly easy. However, with the fixed line system there is some form of monopoly, as only Ghana Telecommunications Company Limited provides the service. Below is a brief description of their capacity. The Company has four digital telephone exchanges operational in the city. They are:
- Kumasi Main Exchange with a capacity of 30,000 DELS,
- Buokrom RLC Exchange with a capacity of 9,000 DELS,
- Tanoso RLC Exchange with a capacity of 12,000 DELS and
- KNUST RLC Exchange with a capacity of 9,000 DELS.
These 60,000 lines are used for voice and non-voice (data) communication and they are linked to each other by Digital Radio Transmission Links in start configuration.
Key issues and Opportunities
The service is beset with some institutional problems like the lack of appropriate maintenance mechanisms and theft. There are also some opportunities like the increasing demand for the service and increased private sector participation and best practices from other developed places and all the advancements in the industry that would facilitate a massive improvement in the service.
Kumasi is a growing and peaceful metropolis in a very turbulent sub region of West Africa. The city has the potential to grow into a preferred investment destination and the demand for the telecommunication service is bound to expand. The need for the telecommunication in a budding city like Kumasi cannot be over emphasized and the expansion of the service for the anticipated demand.
- Lack of installation/maintenance materials.
- Lack of vehicles for maintenance work and fault clearance.
- High incidence of overhead wire theft.
- High incidence of bush fires that burn overhead cables.
- High and increasing demand for telephone services.
- Increase private sector participation in the telecommunication business.
- The technologically moving industry in telecommunication and new facilities are being added daily.
For tables refer to pdf file attached