This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 13th (it will be out in January 2020), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

You can download an iPhone app for the 13th edition from the App Store (search for Weeks Population).

If you are a user of my textbook and would like to suggest a blog post idea, please email me at:

Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Demography of Accra, Ghana

Since I am in Accra, Ghana, for the week, it seemed appropriate to describe aspects of this sprawling city of 2 million people. The original villages that eventually formed the city were scattered along the coastline because the Ga were, and still are, active in the fishing trade. Newer neighborhoods have generally been created inland. In the 1880s a “zongo” (quarter) was built north of Ussher Town. This was by Salaga market (the first and largest market in the city) and the area was settled by Hausa (Muslim) settlers from northern Nigeria. Another predominantly Muslim quarter, Sabon Zongo, was settled in 1907, in order to relieve some of the congestion in the older quarter. The village of Nima (now the most famous slum in the city) was built outside of the city boundaries after WWII for returning Hausa soldiers. It became part of the municipality in 1953, and by 1958 it was officially designated as a slum needing remediation. The post-WWII era saw the building of the airport to the northeast of Nima, and the University in Legon to the north of the airport. 

You can read about the research that I and my colleagues are doing in Accra at the website of the SDSU International Population Center.

You can also read about the conference that specifically brought me and my colleagues to Accra this week at the PopPov website.

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