Country Listing

Ghana Table of Contents


Roads and Railroads


Buses, such as this one at Navrongo in far northern Ghana, are a vital part of local transportation
Courtesy life in general (Brook, Rose, and Cooper Le Van)


Traffic on the highway between Winneba and Accra
Courtesy James Sanders

Ghana contains about 32,250 kilometers of roads, of which about 12,000 kilometers are main roads. Approximately 6,000 kilometers are paved; the remainder are gravel, crushed stone, or graded earth. The country's rail network is 953 kilometers in length; all track is 1.067 meter (narrow) gauge and all but 32 kilometers are single track. The network connects Sekondi-Takoradi with Kumasi and Accra; branch lines run to Prestea, Awaso, Kade, Tema, and Shai Hills (see fig. 10). Poor rural infrastructure has been blamed for problems in agriculture, partly because transportation costs account for about 70 percent of the difference between farm prices and retail prices. Only about one-third of the feeder road network can carry vehicular traffic.

The government has no plans to extend the railway system beyond its limited coverage of the southwestern regions of the country. The western section of the rail system (Takoradi-Kumasi) was renovated under a US$240 million program, the bulk of which the World Bank financed. Figures indicate a downward trend in passenger traffic from a high of 389 per kilometer in 1988 to 277 per kilometer in 1990. Freight steadily increased throughout the 1980s from 44 million tons per kilometer in 1984 to a decade high of 131 million tons per kilometer in 1989.

The government has instead focused on improvement of the road system. Since 1985 all trunk roads and about 2,900 kilometers of feeder roads as well as a number of bridges and drainage systems have been undergoing repairs. For example, 275 kilometers of the Accra-Kumasi road's northern section are slated to be repaved, but as of early 1994 only the 135 kilometers from Kumasi to Anyinam had been completed. In 1987 Japan offered US$80 million to rehabilitate the main road between Kumasi and Takoradi, which carries cocoa and timber exports; this project was well under way in 1993. By the early 1990s, a World Bank loan of US$22 million was funding the rehabilitation of three major roads in Accra in yet another effort to ease import and export traffic. The road between Tema and Akosombo, an important link in the transportation network between the Gulf of Guinea and Burkina, was also due for improvement.

Data as of November 1994