The District has a population of 104,753 made of 48,942 males and 55,811 females with a growth rate of 1.8% (2000 population and housing census). There are three major ethnic groups in the district. These are the Twi and Guan speaking people. There are however a number of settlers, like Ewes, Krobos and people of north extraction in the district. These are 248 human settlements in the district.
Demographic data is very relevant development planning since planning is concerned with the future, policy makers and planners require as of necessity reasonable demographic data which provide information about the population size, structure and distribution of population. As human resources and needs vary according to the size, composition and distribution of population, demographic data not only for the current period but also estimates for the future have become fundamental background for development planning.
Therefore the effective formulation of development programmes and projects to overcome poverty and underdevelopment relies basically on relevant demographic data. Efficient planning of future investments, educational needs, housing needs and economic and social infrastructural needs are all accessed based on the population characteristics of the people. The concept of human-centered development is one of the distinct features of the new planning system. It calls for the analysis of the basic demographic characteristics like population size, structure, growth rate and distribution in space with a view of establishing their needs and ability to contribute towards the achievement of stated goals.Population Size and Growth Rates
Since human beings are the ultimate beneficiaries of the development plans and programmes, there is the need to take into consideration the population dynamic of the district in order to project for the future. According to the Population Census publications of Ghana, the Akuapem North District’s population had a total population of 68,247 in 1970 and increasing at an annual rate of 1.6% thus increasing by a percent change of approximately 25% to 85,131 in 1984. It is estimated that the annual growth rate of the District’s population between 1984 and 2000 was 1.8% while the total population as at 2000 was 104,753 made up of 48,942 males. (Draft Report — October 2006 28) Medium Term Development Plan (2006-2009)
Akwapem North District and 55,811 females which translates into a sex ratio of 1 female to 0.88 males (that 100 females to 88 males). By projecting at an annual growth rate of 1.8%, the current (2006) total population of the District is approximately 116,699 a percentage rise of 11.4%. From all indications the population is growing moderately as compared to the national population growth rate of some 2.6 percent per annum. The population rate of increase provides the opportunity for District economy to register exponential growth and significant development if the necessary interventions are effectively and pragmatically formulated and implemented.
It is worth noting that the moderate growth rates of the total population of the District are attributable to the fact that out-migration is very high in the District due largely to the following factors:
- The sharp decline in production and productivity of the cocoa industry which used to be the economic mainstay of the District in 1960s and 1970s.
- Inadequate non-farm economic and business activities which has culminated in the drifting away of the youth and other economically active people into other large towns and cities in Ghana.
Following from the above reasons settlements that formerly enjoyed prosperity and hold a lot of development prospects are either having very low population growth rates or are experiencing stagnation if the rate of growth of their population. The implication for development and planning is the fact that there is the to concentrate time and more resources on the creation of employment opportunities and improvement in the employable skills and knowledge of the youth in the District.Age-Sex Structure of the Population
The age and sex structure basically represents the distribution of population in terms of age and sex. In the District the dominant sex females constituting about 53.3 percent of the population whilst the males represent about 46.7 percent of the total population. The sex ratio of the district is about a 1:88. The age structure of the district is basically youthful thus indicating that the working age in the district is more than those in the dependant age. The working age is about 63.4 percent of the population whilst the dependant age forms about 36.6 percent of the population. The age dependency ratio in the district is about 1:0.7 thus substantiating the fact that there are more people in the working age than the dependant age.
This calls for a conscious intervention to create employment opportunities for the large labour force in the district. This will help improve upon the standard of living of both those in the dependant age and those in the working age group. There is also the potential of rapid population growth through high birth rate since those in the working age group are also the sexually active group. There is therefore the need to intensify education on the various family planning methods to help improve its knowledge and adoption. The details of the age and sex structure of the district have been presented. Dependency Ratio
it is the ratio of the dependent-age population (the young and the old) to the working-age population. The higher this ratio is, the more people a potential worker is assumed to be supporting and the vice-versa. From the socio- economic survey conducted the age dependency ratio for the district is 1:0.8. This means that 100 persons in the active population group are being depended on by 80 persons in the inactive population group. The working population group is not over burdened since one person in the active group takes care of himself and another person in the inactive group. (Draft Report October 2006 30) Rural-Urban Split
On the whole, about 30.4% of the population is residing in the urban centres of the District which are compose of only four communities out of the over hundred human settlements in the District. From this analysis the rural-urban split is about 69.6% rural dwellers to 30.4% urban residents as against national average of 64% rural dwellers to 36% urban residents. This notwithstanding, there is ample indication that the District is rapidly undergoing urbanization which good for development. This is because the proportion of residents living in the urban centres in the District has increasing steadily from 24.4% in 1984 to 30.1% in the year 2000.
The benefits are that urban centres are increasingly assuming leadership in attracting investment and harnessing human and technical resources for achieving unprecedented gains in productivity and competitiveness. The concentration of human, technical and financial resources in urban towns has become an invaluable asset in an increasingly liberalized world economy. The demands for efficiency, productivity and information are being met by big towns around the world that now form a continuous twenty-four-hour platform for value-added services in support of global trade, commerce and tourism.Population Density
Apart from the question of numbers, the impacts of population size can be viewed in terms of density and of the speed of change. A dispersed population may do without modern sewage systems without damaging the environment, but a dense population discharging all its waste into a river or lake can easily pollute it. Such ecosystems can survive until they suddenly pass a threshold of sustainabiiity and collapse. Density and speed of growth are also factors affecting urban areas, which in the developing world are typically growing at four times the speed of the rural population. Table below shows the population for the district and the national with their densities for the various inter-censal years.
The size of the district is 450sq.km and that of the national (Ghana) is 238,537 sq.km. It is realized that the population density growth rate of 3.6% (2000-2005) for the district is greater than the national rate of 2.6% (2000-2006). Therefore, this increase in the density will put pressure on the available natural resources and some of the agricultural lands will be turned into residential uses. For all the years under consideration the population densities for the District are far higher than the national averages.Components of Population Change
In spite of the fact that the total population of the District is growing at a relatively moderate rate, is it of utmost importance and very imperative to investigate the major sources of the population increases in the District. Our survey indicated that, the major components of population change are death rate, birth rate and the incidence of net migration.
As many as 18,256 people out of the total population were recorded to have moved out of the District in the past five years alone. On the other hand approximately 3,784 immigrants were also recorded. This brings the net migration to -14,472. which means that during the past five years, more people have moved out of the district than those that have moved in and thus Religious Affiliation
The socio-economic survey undertaken in the District indicated that all the major religious denominations in Ghana that are traditional worship, Christianity and Islam, are practiced in the District. However, the predominant religion (86.8%) in the district is Christianity. This is followed by Islam (10.2%) with the remaining 3.0% belonging to the other religious groups. With a District of such multiplicity of religious groups, morally the inhabitant stands to benefit from their respective teachings. In addition, unison in diversity is assured since diversity sparks up life. However the interest of these groups needs to be considered especially in developmental initiative. This could delay the process of consensus building. Ethnic Composition
On the whole three languages are largely spoken in the District. These are Akuapem Twi, Kyerepong and Guan. Akuapem twi speaking people are the largest ethnic group in the District, representing 51.6% of the population, 42.3% are of Kyerepong and guan extraction while only 6.1%% constitutes Ewes, Northerners, Krobos and ethnic groups. With Akuapem Twi spoken by almost all the residents in the District; it could be said that the Twi language can be the most effective medium of communication mass and functional education as well as development information dissemination. This situation implies that implementation of development projects would not encounter any hindrances since the district is dominated by different tribes. This is because labour will be available for any development project and more Akwapem North District
development projects will be provided to the District because of different cultural backgrounds of the people.Traditional Authority and Major Festivals
Traditional Authorities command the respect of a large number of people and communities particularly in rural areas. There is therefore the need to facilitate a permanent and institutionalized dialogue between government and chieftaincy to ensure the realization of policies. The traditional authorities in the district are dedicated to the development of their traditional areas and the education and enlightenment of their people by providing land and materials for infrastructural projects, mobilization of community for communal labour and arbitration of disputes. They also perform an essential role in support of land administration reform and the protection of the poor, vulnerable and excluded. They therefore offer positive contribution to the economic and social transformation of the district and must be seen as part of the decentralization process.
It is worth mentioning that the entire Akuapem State has one paramount chief notably referred to as the Okuapehene with the seat of the paramountcy established and managed at Akropong the District capital. In terms of traditional administration governance, the Akuapem state has five (5) important and well established divisions namely the Kronti division (Akropong), Adonten division (Aburi), Gyase division (Amanokrom), Nifa division (Adukrom) and Benkum division (Larteh).
These divisions have operated effectively and harmoniously until 1994 when unfortunately as a result of a meeting held at Larteh which gave rise to the Larteh Accord, three of the divisions, namely Nifa, Benkum and Adonten decided to renounce their allegiance to the Ofori Kuma Stool and have petitioned the National House of Chiefs for autonomous paramountcies. it is known that behind the scene discussions are still on-going on this issue.
A major development challenge is that the Akuapem state has a number of chieftaincy disputes and land litigation which is true for districts in the country. This has major implication for planning, development and governance and therefore one has to be circumspect and cautious in handling development issues relating to chieftaincy in the District. The realization of the enormous contribution of the Traditional Authorities to development and governance makes the building of cordial relationship and cooperation between the traditional authorities and the District Assembly very imperative and significantly crucial in the planning and implementation efforts for the District’s development.
There are two (2) major traditional festivals that are celebrated annually in the District namely Odwira and Ohum. These festivals serve as important occasions and events for mobilization of human and non-human resources for community development and social transformation and hence should inform the plan preparation, implementation and development administration in the Akuapem North District.Spatial Analysis and Human Settlement Pattern
At the national level, the colonial spatial structure has not changed significantly. It is characterized by polarization without equity and distribution of services is skewed and urban Medium Term Development Plan (2006-2009)
biased. It is the replica in the district where the rural areas are greatly depressed with weak linkages between service centers and their hinterlands. Towns therefore do not fulfill their roles as engines of growth and providers of services to the hinterlands or villages. Analysis of settlements system and spatial linkages was made to provide an understanding of the district’s space economy and an insight into the adequacy of the functions performed by the various settlements. It would also help us to establish the hierarchy of settlements as well as their distribution in space which would provide basis for injecting equity and efficiency into the space economy.Population Distribution by Settlement
The district has a total of over 100 settlements. Table provides the population of the top twenty settlements in the District which would facilitate the location of services and facilities based on population threshold and acceptable planning standards. As can be observed from the table, currently the Akuapem North District has four urban settlements namely, Akropong, Larteh, Mampong and Adukrom. it can be seen that Akropong and Larteh are the only first order settlement with population of SOOO and over while four settlements with population of 4000 plus come out as the second order communities. Nine towns follow as third order with population ranging between 2999 - 2000. From Table , it could be seen that the rest have population below 2000 and that these towns are concentrated in the eastern part of the district. The western part is however, characterized by dispersed small settlements except a few communities. This form of settlement pattern affects the distribution of services as the needed population thresholds for the provision of high order services are not met.Location and Distribution of Services and Functions
An important issue in dealing with spatial organization is the distribution of services. This together with conditions of communication and transportation system and social factors determine the access the people have to basic services. The analysis of the service distribution was made or undertaken using the scaiogram method/technique. This is the matrix presentation of the functional structure of settlements. This technique enables the determination of hierarchy of settlements in the districts and hence the nature of spatial integration. About 40 services were considered in the analysis covering ail the sectors of the district economy, transport and communication, security, public administration, education, health, agriculture etc. The type of services and their distribution in the major 45 settlements in the district. Hierarchy of Settlements in Terms of Functions
From the scaiogram analysis, the variety and level of sen/ices in each of the settlements was determined. Based upon these, the settlements have been ranked in a hierarchical order, however, the analysis revealed a weak linkage between population distribution and service location and skewness in the distribution of service to the detriment of the rural areas. For instance, Mamfe which came out as the 6th highest populated settlement ranked (fourth) 4th in service distribution having 25% of the 40 services considered. Adukrom which was ranked seventh in terms of population distribution of settlements goes to third order settlement by service distribution having 14 out of 40 services considered. In terms of spatial equity, it was revealed that the services centers are concentrated in the eastern part of the district where towns such the district capital are found.
The district as a whole is deficient in service facilities. Apart from Akropong which is the district capital and Mampong with total centrality of 1526 and 893.1 respectively, the rest of the settlements have inadequate higher order services. This reveals that the variety, number and distribution of services and facilities in the District are not satisfactory. To objectively determine the level of deficiency in service distribution in the District, accessibility analysis was undertaken using the accessibility analysis techniques. The hierarchies of settlements. General Conditions of Road Network
Roads and their conditions are very important determinant of the accessibility of people to services and facilities. For this reason, it is necessary to analyze the road network and conditions in the district, it is imperative the roads are constructed to promote effective inter and intra district communication and transportations and to facilitate socio-economic development in the District. The District’s road system can be classified into three categories namely the first, second and third class roads. The first class roads with a length of about 46 km originates from Aburi and ends at Asukwao and from Larteh to Koforidua. These are the main roads that link the District to the regional and national capitals). The second class roads connect and provide accessibility among the major settlements in the District with a total length of approximately 54 km. The rest of the road network could be classified as third class and are mainly feeder roads which link other villages to each other and to the main commercial and administrative towns.
During the rainy season, most of the third class roads become unmotorable and their use is restricted mostly to tractors in transporting farm produce to the marketing centers. Communities in the northern section of the district and in the farmsteads are the most inaccessible. The first and second class roads are the only ones providing all-weather motorability in the district. In the small farming communities, footpaths and tracks are the only links between the villages and their farms. The total length of roads in the district is about 450km made up of 100 km trunk roads and 98km feeder roads with 252 km constituting tracks and paths.
Based on the road conditions identified, three road hierarchical orders were identified based on the road surface type. Good, fair and bad classifications were used to categorize the road network in the district. All road surfaces with bitumen coating and had good surfaces without potholes having standard width were classified as good whiles those with good laterite surfaces were considered fair however most of the laterite surfaces linking the minor communities as well as tracks and paths were classified as bad. About 40.7% of the roads are good, 23.5% are fair and about 35.8% are bad.
Available data indicate that approximately 24.2% of the entire roads networks are under construction. The major road network, surface type, their lengths and the road conditions in the district are as shown in the Figure. Indications from the socio-economic survey conducted in August 2006 are that the Highways and Feeder Roads in the District have been receiving the needed attention in terms of rehabilitation and reconstruction.
Almost all the town roads in Adukrom, Larteh, Akropong, Apirede and Mangoase have been rehabilitated with some tarred and others in the process of being being tarred to improve their motorability Reports available in the District Assembly show that almost all other town roads on the Akuapem Ridge have been improved upon in terms of spot improvement, rehabilitation, reshaping, gravelling and tarring, while others are in line to be worked on quickly.
Those identified to be rehabilitated include the Dawu bypass, Akropong-Daakye clinic road, the access road to the District Chief Executive’s residency, the Larteh bypass neatly graveled, with the road to Mampong market, Police Station and Tetteh Quarshie Cocoa farm graveled and tarred.
The Abiriw bypass and Dawu bypass as well as other bypasses in Mamfe, Amanokrom, Obosomase, and Mampong are being rehabilitated. The rural sector feeder roads - Tinkong to Amanfro through Konko and Nkyenoa, Tinkong-Mangoase, Mangoase-Adawso would be similarly rehabilitated. Again, the Aseseeso-Abonse and many other feeder roads to Lakpa, Aboma, Addo-Nkwanta, Kwamoso-Konko, Abenawia-Krutiase, Deveme junction and Nanabanin-Afiafi-Sikoko-Ntronang have earmarked for development and improvement.
The Mamfe-Pantang/Accra road is vigorously being reconstructed. Demolished structures in the various towns especially Tutu, Obosomase, Amanokrom and a few at Mampong have been partially compensated! The Mampong old road in the centre of town would also be given substantial improvement. A new access road to the New District Ghana Education Service Headquarters and the Community Information Centre (CIC) at Akropong has also been graveled and is soon to be tarred by the Feeder Roads Department. A new access road to the Apirede clinic (EU/COM./DA.) which is yet to be completed is receiving the Feeder Roads’ attention.
The Apirede - Trom Junction and Konko -Agyemankrom have gone through the tender process with award of contract to be soon effected. The Community Based Rural Development Programme (CBRDP) is providing support for the improvement of some selected roads such as Gbolokofi-Tokwaboba road in addition to the construction of a 6 unit classroom block. The Kwamoso irrigation dam is also to be constructed under this programme.Transportation, Post and Telecommunication
Facilities for post and telecommunications are limited in the district. The district has a post office and telephone exchange at Akropong which links the district to other parts of the country. There are two postal agencies at Larteh and Amanokrom and over 200 letter boxes which serve the neighbouring communities. In addition to all these, there are numerous privately owned communications centers in Akropong and most of the major towns in the District. There are also Ghana Telecom telephone booths facilities in Akropong.
Areeba’s space-to-space facilities and services are randomly found in a good number of big towns in the District providing the telecommunication needs of the people. The major vehicles found in the district are minibuses, taxi cabs, motor-bicycles, tractors and bicycles. Few minibuses and taxis use the village road because of their poor condition. Most of the vehicles that use the village roads are old and often hardly roadworthy. Some of the problems found in this sector were;
- The on-street parking due to the absence of parking spaces along the roads
- Absence of road signs - this makes driving difficult in the district which consequently leads to accidents on the roads.
- The development of pot-holes gullies etc on the roads. This makes driving uncomfortable for both drivers and passengers; this problem has rendered most of the vehicles which ply on the road old and weak.
The optimum accessibility is however a composite of all the services considered. The optimum accessibility therefore defines the ideal zone where one has access to all the services considered. It could be seen that over 90% of the populace have high access to services like banking, market, police station and secondary school which covers a relative large proportion of about 73% of the total land size. However for health service a high access zone of relative smaiier land size absorbs a huge proportion of the population. There would be congestion and traffic due to the overwhelming numbers.
Although the large proportion indicates an improved provision of service for the District, it also indicates pressure on the existing health facilities. Long queues, self medication, improper medical attendance emergency cases could arise as a result of this. The large proportion of the districts within the high access zone (73.2%) for the other four services indicates less pressure land and the existing faciiities. Increased savings, increased commercial activities, high security and high education patronage are the outcomes of this. To improve accessibility, there is also the need to improve upon the road surface conditions, improve supply of modes of transport thereby reducing travel and waiting time to enjoy services.Commodity Flows
Market surveys were undertaken to determine the extent of natural interaction between the market centers and their surrounding areas. It was also done to determine the trading position of the district that is the nature of exchange between the district and the rest of the country. A survey involving sellers and buyers were conducted in the major market centers; Abiriw/Akropong, Asenema and Adawso among others. The goods traded in were classified under agricultural and manufactured goods and their monetary values computed for the analysis.
It was realized that these markets functioned as retailing of agricultural produce mainly plantain, cocoyam, yam, and cassava among others which are mainly produced within the district and manufactured goods clothing, hardware cosmetics which come in mainly from outside the district. The analysis was taken in two parts namely exogenous flows and endogenous flows. Exogenous Flows
Exogenous flows refer to the exchange of goods between the district and the rest of the country. That is goods moving beyond the borders of the district. Goods entering the district from other parts of the country are considered (imports), exogenous inflows and those leaving the district to outside destinations were considered exogenous outflows (exports). The main trading partners are from Accra, Koforidua, Odumase Krobo, Asuogyaman, Manya Krobo and Nsawam among others.Endogenous Flows
This refers to the internal exchange of goods between settlements in the district. These were also analyzed under agricultural goods and manufactured goods. The analysis is to help determine the areas of intensive interaction in the district which will serve as input in the derivation of the functional region. a total net flow of 079,445,000 was recorded for agricultural good flow. This indicates that the district is a net exporter of agricultural goods, it is however a net importer of manufactured goods as indicated by a net flow of 0-2,085,000.
The overall trade balance was computed and as shown below:
Total agricultural net flows = 79,445,000 Total manufactured net fiow = -2,085,000 Overall trade balance = 77,360,000. The overall trade balance of 077,360,000 indicates that the district generally is the net exporter of agricultural goods and net importer of manufactured goods.
This was because of the huge surplus incurred in the agricultural trade balance. To correct the deficit in the manufactured goods flows in the district, measures should seek among others to encourage the development of agro and forest based industrial activities to add more value to the district agricultural and forestry products. From the analysis, the rural areas supply mainly agricultural products to the market centers and buy manufactures goods products mainly fish/meat, clothes, kerosene and cosmetics among others. This interaction is however hampered by poor surface condition of roads. The Functional Region of the District
A functional region defines the geographical area with intensive interaction of socio-economic activities, functional coherence and interdependence. It represents the area where economic initial investments could be concentrated due to the presence of basic facilities and intensive interaction, in mapping out the functional region, the following were considered:
- Optimum surface accessibility zone where one has access to all the basic services considered based on time distance indicators and
- The frequency and intensity of commodity flows.
Based upon these it was found out that only Akropong, Manfe, Mampong, Abiriw, Dawu Adukrom, Larteh and Amanokrom and their surrounding communities appeared as the major functional areas of the District as a whole.
The functional region covers about 43.7% of the entire surface area of the district, it also absorbs a population proportion of 62.7%. The small size of the functional region is an indication of the fact that, the greater part of the district lack access to the major market centers and service centers. This is attributed to the poor accessibility in terms of bad roads and inadequate vehicles in the area.
For tables refer to the pdf tables below.