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Fastest developing city in West Africa:Picture of Central business district of Tamale


Tamale, the Northern Regional Capital has been proclaimed the fastest developing city in West Africa . This beautiful city braves the odds in spite of the negative southern media reportage about the northern region.

The rapid increase in the banking sector has left many wondering especially, those staying in the southern part of Ghana if this is the Tamale they have been hearing in the news every now and then. Currently, the enclave of the central business district of Tamale, can boast of over 18 licensed banks. They include, Ghana Commercial Bank, Agric Development Bank, Barclays Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, Stanbic Bank, UniBank, GT Bank, HFC Bank, Bank of Africa, EcoBank, Access Bank, Sahale Saharan Bank, UT Bank, Energy Bank and the latest to join is First Allied Bank.

As at November, 2013, figures from the Association of Rural Banks indicated that there are over 52 micro financial institutions in the northern region. For non-indigenes who spoke to this reporter confirmed that, the region, bearing any unforeseen circumstances, Ghana's capital town be relocated to Tamale. The Tamale Metropolitan Assembly, upon realizing the its potential, decided to focus its attention on markets. While building new markets in its sub-metros, it is also rehabilitating abandoned Achampong regime's biggest market in Tamale as well as constructing Tamale Central Market to an ultra modern one.

According to them, cost of living is cheap as compared to Accra and Kumasi and the hospitality by the people cannot be compared anywhere in the world. In the first quarter of 2014, the central business district of Tamale Metropolis was inundated with hawkers mainly people from the south and some few indigenes.

In order not to be accused of denying people their livelihoods, the assembly decided to focus on markets to ensure sanity and also keep the city tidy. Public servants who were transferred to the region considered their transfers as punishment because of their premeditated minds that northern region was a war-torn zone.

After most of them spending just a year, they did not want to hear the word 'Transfer' and they would never tell their compatriots that the people in the north are not the way they thought they were.

Some have also attributed the rapid growth of both business and infrastructure to governments long term programs which are seeing the light of day. They mentioned the ongoing construction of eastern corridor road, upgrading of Tamale airport to befit international standard and the near completion of the almighty Fufuliso-Sawla trunk road. My trip to Bimbilla, Zabzugu and Yendi all in the eastern part of the Northern Region did tell me one thing, the peasant farmers' lives will be improved.

The farmers in Bimbilla, Zabzugu and Wulensi produce an estimated  80 percent of yam Ghanaians consume. However the major challenge facing them was transportation the yam to major cities and towns. Sang, in the Mion district and Yendi, in the Yendi municipality are expected to be like Kintampo, Nkawkaw or Nsawam.

These are major towns along Tamale-Accra or Kumasi where long journey buses make stop-overs. Some media houses in the nation's capital, Accra have succeeded in polluting the minds of many people about the people of the north and tag them as 'warlike'people.

They have made up their minds that anything good in the north is not news but even if someone gives another person a push, it is a big news for reasons best known to them and their pay masters. Journalists who report for media houses in Accra and are natives in the region are people who are sometimes angry at their arm-chair editors whose only aim is to tarnish the image of North.

The Northern Region covers an area of 70,384 sq. km, making it the largest region in terms of landmass in Ghana. It occupies about 30% of the total land area of the country. The Region shares international borders with La Cote d'Ivoire to the West and Togo to the East.

” I was in the office one day and a colleague of mine in Accra just called and asked: “Can you go to Walewale in the West Mamprusi district of the northern region and get us this story?”A reputable media house reporter told me as if Tamale and Walewale are two adjacent households in a close-knit society.

That day how I was peeved! She didn't know Tamale to Walewale is about fifty kilometers. Rapid nature of development in Tamale has made those people who have taken entrenched positions to hate the people in the northern region rewrite their notes.

Many a Southerner sees everything good for the north from either party A or B to be a useless venture and their Modus operandi is lobbyists in parliament or cabinet levels. In the history of Ghana, it is only northern part of Ghana that, Ghanaians have the three Northern Regions. They lump Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions together sharing one national cake. Regrettably, academicians, technocrats and journalists who the society endears and reveres so much are worst culprits of these acts. Why don't we have the three Greater Accra regions or three Ashante regions? Hypocrisy at the highest level! One thing is clear, the detractors of the northern Ghana will continue to be visited by surprises and they will one day eat their humble pie.


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