Ghana Journal of Geography

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Decentralized Development Planning and Fragmentation of Metropolitan Regions: The Case of the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area, Ghana

George Owusu


Ghana implemented a decentralized development planning system in 1988. This has resulted in the proliferation of ‘independent’ and ‘autonomous’ local government areas. However, the practice of constantly creating new local government areas of jurisdiction has resulted in a fragmentation of large metropolitan areas. More importantly, while the existing Local Government Act calls for adjoining local government areas to work hand-in-hand, there is no enabling legislation to foster such cooperation among municipal and metropolitan authorities. Using the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area (GAMA) as a case study, this paper argues that the proliferation of autonomous local government areas within the context of urban sprawl and other challenges have inhibited metropolitan-wide development planning.

Keywords: Decentralization; local government; urban growth; Accra

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