Research into Slums and Informal Settlements: development towards making Ghana’s cities resilient

Ghanaian cities like many of their peers on the African continent continue to experience fast growth in terms of their populations. This growing population puts enormous pressure on the provision of infrastructure and services, and the international call for cities to be resilient and sustainable could be lost on the continent if urbanisation is not properly managed. A major urbanisation development that threatens the resilience of cities is the phenomenon of slums and informal settlements. People migrating into Ghanaian cities without the means to afford the increasing cost of city accommodation tend to find their way to the most abandoned parts of cities and the result is the erection of makeshift structures as homes or shelters.

In the past three decades, there have been growing calls for government and other stakeholders to address the situation. There have been many attempts at forceful evictions as well as attempts to initiate affordable housing schemes for low-income earners, all of which have largely failed. The debate over the most appropriate way of addressing this threat to building resilient and sustainable cities in Ghana continues, with successive governments attempting to implement one policy or another. Recent natural disasters in cities like Accra, however, seem to be compounding the situation, with families and individuals who have lost their homes finding solace in the slums in the face of failed social nets.

This publication adopts a more qualitative approach to unearthing the dynamics in selected slums in the cities of Accra and Sekondi/Takoradi (a twin city). The voices of inhabitants are thus heard in the collection of views on a number of issues in city development and management. Policymakers, security agencies, academia, development partners and the general public will find this publication insightful.


Ground Zero – Ameliorating Strategies for Kindergarten Education in Ghana

Sharing the vision and understanding of Ghana’s government that every child needs to be educated as part of his or her fundamental human rights, GGA-WA, from its inception, has lent its support to the education sector.

Rightly so, the centre also shares in the belief that “the beginnings of a child’s life are formative, both prior to and after she/he has enrolled in school” but most of all at the kindergarten level.

The GGA-WA stance is not to start with a very grand approach to early childhood education, which cannot be sustained by either the government across the country or by the districts themselves, but rather to adopt simple but innovative ways of delivering quality education.

Ground Zero is, therefore, a probe into existing education policies and programmes that have not been effectively implemented, mostly in public schools.

The study then adopts verifiable techniques to offer early childhood in the most effective and appealing way as an alternative to the current system used in most public kindergarten institutions.

Findings from the research compares facts and figures between public and private institutions for a better appreciation of what the current situation is, and what could be done to improve it going forward.

It is a simple study that has proved useful for the implementers of education policy, especially at the lower level, and could be a guide for the process of transforming kindergarten education in the various districts in Ghana.

The research report in itself is GGA-WA’s contribution to the country’s decentralisation agenda and will support the proper devolution of the education sector among local governments.