Ghana Central Region - Infanti
The region’s population is 1,593,823. The corresponding 1984 population was 1,142,335. This means that the region’s population is growing at a rate of 2.1 per cent per annum. The region is also the second most densely populated in the country, with a population density of 162 persons per square kilometre. Out-migration, which continues to be a problem in the region, is declining gradually with immigrants constituting about a quarter of the population in all the districts. Between 1984- 2000, the region recorded a net out-migration rate of 14.3 per cent compared to that of 15.4 per cent recorded in the period 1970-1984.
Roughly between 20 and 37 per cent of the population in the districts are migrants. Twifo- Hemang-Lower Denkyira has the highest proportion of migrants of (37%) and Ajumako- Enyan-Essiam has the least (20%). Inter-regional migrants are more than intra-regional migrants in three districts, while four other districts receive more intra-regional migrants. In almost all the districts, most of the immigrants come from the Western, Greater Accra, Ashanti, Volta and Eastern Regions. The region is typically rural in nature, though there has been an increase in the urban population from 28 per cent in 1960 to 37.5 per cent in 2000. The most urbanised districts, which are about two-thirds urban, are Cape Coast, Awutu-Efutu-Senya and Agona.
The age structure in the districts shows marked differentials. Five districts exhibit an age structure typical of a growing population with a higher proportion of children younger than five years and decreasing at each successive higher age. In the remaining seven districts, however, there is a smaller proportion enumerated in the 0-4 years age-group than in the 5-9 years age-group; this may be indicative of a decline in fertility.
There are more females than males in all the districts except Twifo-Hemang-Lower Denkyira, which has a sex ratio of 100.4 males to 100 females. The dependency ratio in the region is very high in five districts; the proportion of the aged (65 years and older) is higher than the regional average of 5.7 per cent in six districts. Only three districts, Cape Coast, Awutu-Efutu-Senya and Agona have a working age population (15-64 years) greater than the regional average of 51.0 per cent.
Fertility and child survival
The total fertility rate for the region is 4.0 births per woman, with marked differences in the districts. The highest (5.0 births per woman) is recorded in Asikuma-Odoben-Brakwa and the least (2.4 births per woman) is in the Cape Coast Municipality. Child survival is about 81.9 per cent in the region, with the highest being 84.6 per cent and the lowest 79.8 per cent.
Adult literacy rate in the region is slightly more than 50 percent, with the highest being 75.3 per cent in Cape Coast and the lowest 45.2 per cent in Abura-Asebu-Kwamankese. There is a larger proportion of literate males (69.8%) than females (46.3%). Nearly 40 per cent of the region’s inhabitants have never been to school. About 50 per cent of people in the region have attained primary or middle /JSS education. Very few people have gone beyond the basic level to the secondary or tertiary levels. Apart from Cape Coast, which has a number of SSSs and a university, barely 2 per cent of the residents in the districts have attained tertiary education. At the post-secondary (pre-tertiary) level, there are more males than females in all the districts with the exception of Cape Coast, where there are more females (5.5%) than males (2.7%).
Primary school enrolment rate in the region is 76.7 per cent and that for middle/JSS is 71.1 per cent. However, enrolment for secondary school, 17.0 per cent, is much lower. There is a wide gap between the level of enrolment for primary and middle/JSS, on the one hand, and secondary, on the other. Among the districts while the former ranges between 70 per cent and 83 per cent, the latter ranges between 12 per cent and 30 per cent. There are more males than females enrolled in both primary and secondary schools in all the districts.
More than half of the people in all the districts with the exception of Cape Coast are in a form of marital union, that is, married or living together in a consensual union. There are more never married people in Cape Coast than in any other district. While the proportion of the residents never married in other districts ranges between 23 and 30.8 per cent, the proportion in Cape Coast is 40.5 per cent.
Nearly all the people (96.9%) of the region are Ghanaians (that is, Ghanaian by birth and Ghanaian by naturalisation) and 2.3 per cent are other ECOWAS nationals. Three districts, Gomoa (8.9%) Awutu-Efutu-Senya (4.0%) and Agona (2.6%), have proportions of ECOWAS nationals above the regional average.
The region is predominantly Akan, which constitutes more than 90 per cent of the population in six districts and account for at least 60.0 per cent in the remaining five districts. Majority of the Akans are Fantes, the indigenes of most districts in the region. The indigenes of the Awutu-Efutu-Senya are Guans, who constitute nearly half (46.9%) of the population in the District, while the Akans form 31.9 per cent, the lowest proportion in any of the region’s districts.
Economic characteristics Type of activity
Type of activity
Unemployment is much lower in the region (8.0%) than the national average (10.4%). Two districts, Mfantsiman (14.8%) and Cape Coast (11.3%), have values exceeding the national average. Unemployment affects females (8.2%) more than males (7.8%) in almost all the districts.
The phenomenon of working children is also a problem in a number of districts where about 5 per cent of children under age 15 years are engaged in economic activities.
Occupation and industry
The predominant industry in all districts except Cape Coast is agriculture (52.3%), followed by manufacturing (10.5%). Agriculture (including fishing) is the main occupation and employs more than two thirds of the work force in many districts. Cocoa production is concentrated in Assin, Twifo-Hemang-Lower Denkyira and Upper Denkyira while oil palm production is mainly in Assin and Twifo-Hemang-Lower Denkyira. Other major agricultural enterprises are pineapple and grain production. Fishing is concentrated mainly in the six coastal districts.
Agriculture remains the main occupation for both males and females in all the districts except Cape Coast. More males (8.6%) than females (4.6%) are engaged in professional/technical occupations while more females (18.2%) than males (6.0%) are involved in sales work. It is important to note that in all the districts, except Cape Coast, less than 10 per cent active population are engaged in service activities.
A significant proportion of the working population is self-employed without employees. Employees account for 12.6 per cent of the region’s working population, but in the District of Cape Coast the proportion is much higher, 33.1 per cent. The self-employed with employees and apprentices constitute 5.1 per cent and 3.4 per cent respectively.
Institutional sector of employment
Over 80 per cent of the working population in all the districts work in the private informal sector. Between 6 and 20 per cent of the working population in all districts are engaged in the public and semi-public/parastatal sectors.
More than half (58.3%) of the houses in the region are owned by their occupants. Nearly half (48.6%) of households live in compound houses. Agona has the highest percentage of compound houses (61.4%) while Assin has the least (38.8%).
Materials for outer walls, floor and roof
Majority (82.4%) of all the households in the region live in houses in which the floor is either made of concrete or cement. Only 15.5 per cent of households in the region live in houses in which the floor is made of earth. There are three districts, Asikuma-Odoben-Brakwa (30.3%), Assin (27.4%) and Twifo-Hemang-Lower Denkyira (29.0%), however in which twice as many households live in houses in which the floors are made from earth.
More than 80 per cent of households in the region live in houses in which the roofs are made from metal sheets and slate/asbestos. In Assin and Twifo-Hemang-Lower Denkyira, however, about a third of households live in houses with roofs made from thatch. More than half (55.8%) of households in the region live in houses with walls made of mud/mud bricks/earth. In addition, 36.2 per cent of households live in houses with walls made of cement blocks.
Source of lighting
Two-fifths of households in the region have electricity. Cape Coast and Mfantsiman are the only districts with over 50 per cent of households enjoying electricity. Districts which have very little electricity are Assin (18.0%) and Upper Denkyira (29.3%). The low usage of electricity could be due to both unavailability of electricity supply or unaffordabiblity of electricity bills.
Apart from Assin (5.5%), Twifo-Hemang-Lower Denkyira (10.0%), Asikuma-Odoben- Brakwa (11.2%), and Upper Denkyira (29.5%), over 53 per cent of households in the remaining eight districts have access to pipe borne water. It must be noted however that most of the supply comes from outside their homes.
Nearly 40 per cent of households in the region use public toilet facilities, while18 per cent have no facilities at all. In Mfantsiman, Awutu-Efutu-Senya, Abura-Asebu-Kwamankese, Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abirem and Gomoa, about 30 per cent of households do not have any toilet facility.
Wood and charcoal constitute the main fuel for cooking in the region (about 90%). The use of gas as cooking fuel is not very common, except in Cape Coast (13%); not more than 5 per cent of households in the other districts use this facility for cooking.
Solid and liquid waste disposal
Much of the solid waste generated is disposed of at a public dumpsite or elsewhere. About 41.0 per cent of households dispose of liquid waste into the streets in front of their houses while 35.5 per cent use the compound and 20.4 per cent the gutter. The sewerage system is hardly used, except in Cape Coast (8.6%) and Awutu-Efutu-Senya (4.2%) where an appreciable proportion of households use the facility.
Very few communities in the Central Region have post offices. There are only 30 post offices and 54 postal agencies in the region. Most communities in the districts (90-99%) do not have post offices within the locality. Cape Coast has 10.1 per cent of communities with post offices within the localities. For communities without post offices, a greater proportion have them located within 10 kilometres of the facility.
The distribution of telephone facilities is not different from that of post offices. With the exception of Cape Coast, less than 10 per cent of localities in the other districts have telephone facilities within the communities. For most of the other districts the majority of communities are located within 10 kilometres of a telephone facility.
There were 46 doctors, 960 nurses and 35 medical assistants in the region in 2001. The districts with the largest number of health personnel, exceeding 200, are Cape Coast, Upper Denkyira and Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abirem. In fact, with the exception of Cape Coast (1:5,905), the doctor/patient ratio is very high in the region, ranging from 22,349 patients to a doctor in Asikuma-Odoben-Brakwa to as high as 110,352 patients to a doctor in Twifo- Hemang-Lower Denkyira. Gomoa and Ajumako-Enyan-Esiam do not have even a single doctor.
Very few localities have hospitals, and these are located mainly in districts capitals. The majority of communities without hospitals are however within about 10 kilometres of a hospital. The proportion of localities with clinic facilities is higher than that for hospitals for all districts. In Cape Coast, for instance, about a fifth (20.3%) of localities have clinic facilities but about a tenth (11.4%) have a hospital facility. For communities without clinic facilities, more than 50 per cent are located within 10 kilometres of a clinic facility; the exceptions are Assin (41.6%) and Upper Denkyira (47.5%), where less than half of localities are within 10 kilometres of a clinic.
Between 73 and 90 per cent of localities in all districts have traditional health facilities. As a result of this, the farthest distance to a traditional healing centre is 10 kilometres. No locality is situated beyond 10 kilometres. of a traditional health facility. About a fifth of localities in Agona (19.5%), Assin (22.8%) and Upper Denkyira (21.6%) are within 5 kilometres of a traditional health facility. Notwithstanding the poor health facility in Twifo-Hemang-Lower Denkyira, the district has the highest child survival rate in the entire region,
The region has 1,207 primary schools, 856 junior secondary schools and 49 senior secondary schools. It has some of the best secondary schools in the country and is endowed with two universities. Between 26.2 and 79 per cent of localities in the coastal districts have primary schools within the locality. Localities without primary school or JSS however have these facilities located within 10 kilometres from the nearest facility. The situation with senior secondary schools (SSS) is similar to the siting of hospitals, because of potential demand and cost or other administrative considerations. Few localities outside of the district capital therefore have the SSS facility. Since most SSSs are boarding institutions, the problem of distance becomes less important; rather, affordability is more relevant. For localities without an SSS, distances are much further away than it is for the JSS. The challenge for the districts should be to provide boarding and hostel facilities to cater for students from distant localities.
The fact that there is a relatively large number of SSSs in the region does not imply relative advantage of access to secondary school to residents of the region. The policy of developing a secondary school in each district should therefore be applied equally to the region. The analysis has shown that there are differences among the districts in the region. The general pattern however is that there are more females than males in all the districts most of which are typically rural.
There are the 10 administrative regions in Ghana, the same as in 1984.
Ghana changed from the local authority system of administration to the District Assembly system in 1988. The country was demarcated into 138 districts out of the existing 140 local authorities. The boundaries of the district do not necessarily conform to the boundaries of the local authorities but are coterminous with regional boundaries.
The rural/urban classification of localities is population based, with a population size of 5000 or more being urban and less than 5000 being rural, as used in earlier censuses.
History and geography
Location and history
The Central Region was historically part of the Western Region until 1970 when it was carved out just before the 1970 Population Census. It occupies an area of 9,826 square kilometres or 4.1 per cent of Ghana’s land area, making it the third smallest in area after Greater Accra and Upper East. It shares common boundaries with Western Region on the west, Ashanti and Eastern Regions on the north, and Greater Accra Region on the east. On the south is the 168-kilometre length Atlantic Ocean (Gulf of Guinea) coastline.
The region was the first area in the country to make contact with the Europeans. Its capital, Cape Coast, was also the capital of the Gold Coast until 1877, when the capital was moved to Accra. It was in the castle of Cape Coast that the historic Bond of 1844 was signed between the British and the Fante Confederation.
In all, there are about 32 major festivals in the region. Notable among these are the Aboakyer at Winneba, Fetu at Cape Coast and Bakatue at Elmina.
The region has two Universities - University of Cape Coast and the University of Education, Winneba. The Cape Coast Municipality has excellent educational institutions like Mfantsipim School, St. Augustine’s College, Wesley Girls High School, Adisadel College and Holy Child that have produced some of the prominent citizens in the country.
The region can be broadly divided into two: the coast, which consists of undulating plains with isolated hills and occasional cliffs characterised by sandy beaches and marsh in certain areas and the hinterland, where the land rises between 250 metres and 300 metres above sea level.
The Region lies within the dry equatorial zone and moist semi-equatorial zone. Annual rainfall ranges from 1,000mm along the coast to about 2000mm in the interior. The wettest months are May-June and September-October while the drier periods occur in December- February and a brief period in August. Mean monthly temperature ranges from 240C in the coolest month (August) to about 300C in the hottest months (March-April).
Along the coast can be found the coastal savannah with grassland and few trees while semideciduous forest predominates the inland areas. Much of the original dense forest vegetation has been cleared for the cultivation of cocoa and oil palm.
The region is endowed with rich natural resources like: gold, beryl and bauxite in the Upper Denkyira District; petroleum and natural gas at Saltpond; kaolin in the Mfantsiman district; diamond at Nwomaso, Enikokow, Kokoso all in the Asikuma-Odoben-Brakwa District; clay including pigment clay in all the districts; tantalite and columbite at Nyanyano in the Awutu- Efutu-Senya District; quartz, muscovite; and other minerals like mica, granite, feldspar as well as timber in all the forest areas; rich fishing grounds along the coast; forests and rich arable land.
Political and administrative structure
The region was created in 1970 and at the time, it consisted of three districts and 18 local authorities. However, in 1988, the existing 18 local authorities were recombined into 12 administrative districts.
Cultural and social structure Nationality
Ghanaians constitute 96.9 per cent of the total population in the Central Region, made up of 92.5 per cent Ghanaians by birth and 4.4 per cent naturalized Ghanaians. There are more naturalized males than females. There has not been much change in the proportion of Ghanaians and non-Africans since 1970.
The region is predominantly Akan speaking (82.0%), followed by Guan (6.1%) and Ewe (4.8%). The Fante, who are mainly along the coast, are the predominant group among the Akan (56.6% of regional but 69.1% of Akan population). A number of small ethnic groups in the region (Mole Dagbon, Grusi; Gurma and Mande- Busanga), constituting 3.4 per cent of the population of the region, originate from the northern part of Ghana.
Some children are given away in marriage below the age of 16 years. For this analysis however, 15 years and older is used. For the total population, majority of the people (71.1%) are either currently married or have ever been married. The corresponding proportion for females is higher, (78%) while that for males is lower (62.9%).
A look at those who had ever been married but not in any type of union at the time of the census (separated, divorced and widowed) shows that there are more females than males. While males in this category are 14.1 per cent, the corresponding proportion for females is about two times as much (29.1%).
Relationship to head of household
The composition of the household is central to the study of economic dependency, migration, social welfare and social adjustment. Households to a very large extent are constituted of the couple and children. As in other parts of the country, however, households in the region almost always include extended family members or non-family members. Children of household heads constitute the largest proportion of the household during the period (41.8% in 1970, 44.7% in 1984, and 39.1% in the year 2000). The proportion of grandchildren of the head declined gradually from 12.9 per cent in 1970, to 11.9 per cent in 1984 and then to 10 per cent in 2004.
The proportion of heads of households has declined slightly from 23.7 per cent in 1970 through 23.0 per cent in 1984 to 21.7 per cent in 2000, which might suggest a slowing down of the rate of increase in household formation. While the proportion of female heads has also declined from 21.4 per cent in 1970 to 16.1 per cent in 2000, that of male heads has increased from 26.4 per cent to 27.8 per cent over the period.
At the same time there has been an accompanying increase in temporary heads from 0.3 per cent in 1970 to 1.3 per cent in 2000 over the period. Female temporary headship increased from 0.5 per cent to 2.1 per cent suggesting that male heads may have been absent from their homes leaving females to assume roles and responsibilities as heads. There is also an increase in the proportion of spouses from 5.8 to 8.8 per cent, but much of this increase was for females, which went from 10.3 to 15.4 per cent, between 1970 and 2000.
The presence of affinal relations remains insignificant in the household, increasing slightly from 1.1 per cent in 1970 to 1.3 per cent in 2000. The increase in the proportion of other relatives from 11.7 per cent in 1970 to 15.6 per cent in 2000, may be accounted for by increasing urbanization and pressure on housing accommodation particularly in the urban areas, that results in having to accommodate such relations till such time that they could secure a place of their own.
Religion is an important personal characteristic because it is also associated with a variety of differences in attitudes, statuses and behaviour. Most people (81.5%) are Christians. There is a larger proportion of female (83.3%) than male (79.4%) Christians. Among the Christians, the Pentecostal/Charismatic churches are the largest group, followed by the orthodox Protestant churches. This is true for both males and females.
The next major religion is Islam, although only 9.2 per cent of the residents in the region profess to be Moslems. There are slightly more male (9.7%) than female Moslems (8.8%). Moslems can mostly be found in the Mfantsiman district specifically in Saltpond where many Ahmadis in the region can be found. For those who profess to have no religion, there are more males (8.8%) than females (6.1%).
In Ghana, most people acquire this skill by enrolling in the formal educational system. However, with the introduction of the non-formal education system, a number of people, especially females, have acquired this skill by attending classes organized in the evenings for those who did not go to school at all as well as those who dropped out at some point. More than half (57.1%) of the population in the region are literate, in at least one language; and those who can read and write both English and a Ghanaian language constitute 37.9 per cent of the population aged 15 years and older.
There is a larger proportion of literate males (69.8%) than females (46.3%). Consequently, among the literates there are more males than females in each of the categories with the highest difference (19.9 percentage points) being among literates in both English and Ghanaian language 48.7% males as against 28.8% females). Literacy in a Ghanaian language only has implications for cultural and cognitive development of the child. In the Central Region, 16.6 per cent (18.5% males and 15.0% of females) are literate in English only and this raises serious issues as the extent to which indigenous Ghanaian languages are taught in schools, particularly at the basic education level.
Although literacy can be achieved without formal education, the latter is important in acquiring skills needed in the work force. The educational attainment in the formal system. More than a third (35.3%) of the population in the region have never been to school, which confirms the illiteracy level of 42.9 per cent for the region. The highest educational attainment in the region is the basic level that is primary and middle/JSS (52.8%). The proportion is higher for males (58.6%) than for females (47.6%). About 9.8 per cent of the population have post basic pre-tertiary level education. For all educational levels, there is a greater proportion of males than females, which appear to be a deviation from other region where there is a greater proportion of females than males at the primary level and in some cases even at the JSS level.
Population size, growth rate and density
The region is the third smallest region after Upper East and Upper West in terms of population size. The population has more than doubled since 1960 from 751,392 to almost 1.6 million in 2000. From 1984 to 2000 the population increased by almost 40 per cent, which was below the national average of nearly 54 per cent. In spite of this increase, its share of the country’s population has consistently declined from 11.2 per cent in 1960 to 8.4 per cent in 2000. What this means is that whereas in 1960, 11 per cent of the country’s population occupied 4 per cent of the land area, in 2000 8 per cent of the population occupied the same land area, an indication of the extent of out-migration from the region.
< The age structure for the past three censuses clearly shows a decrease in the proportion of children under 15 years from 48 per cent in 1970 to 43 per cent in 2000, indicating a decline of the fertility rate in the region from 6.5 per 1000 women in 1988 to 4.8 per 1000 women in 1998 (GSS, 1999). The proportion of the aged (over 65 years) has also increased from 4.5 per cent in 1970, to 5.7 per cent in 2000, which is higher than the national average of 5.3 per cent. The proportion of the dependent population (under 15 and over 64 years) reduced from 52.1 per cent in 1970 to 49.0 per cent in 2000. The implication is that the high dependency ratio of 108.8 in 1970 fell to 95.9 in 2000, thus easing the pressure on the workforce in the region. In spite of this, the figure of 95.9 is still too high and likely to adversely affect the living standards of the people in the region, which is classified among the four poorest regions (Upper East, Upper West, Northern and Central) in the country (GSS, 2000).
There are more females than males aged 0-9 years, but the differential is reversed in the 10-14 years, and 15-19 years age groups, when males outnumber females. Thereafter, the number of females exceeds that of males at all ages.
Population pyramid, Central Region, 2000
The overall sex ratio declined from 95.0 in 1960 to 93.8 in 1970, then rose to 95.9 in 1984 before declining again to 91.2 in 2000. Examined individually, each census has its own peculiar sex ratio pattern. The 1970 figures give three patterns. The sex ratio rises from 97.9 in the 0-4 years age group to 112.4 in the 10-14 years age group. It then falls to 75.1 in the age group 35-39. No clear pattern occurs until after age 69 years where it resumes its downward trend.
The 1984 census, on the other hand, shows four different trends. The sex ratio rises initially from 99.5 in the 0-4 years age group to 110.4 in the 10-14 years age group. It then falls until the 25-29 years age group. The next downward trend is observed from the 45-49 years age group until age 69 years. Then after age 74 years, the downward trend resumes. The age specific sex ratio rises from 98.1 in the 0-4 years age group to a maximum of 105.7 in the 15-19 years age group then falls gradually until the 30-34 years age group. It rises again to 94.7 in the 45-49 years age group. There is no clear pattern thereafter.
A comparison of the 2000 age specific sex ratios with those of the 1984 shows that from the age group 20-24 to 35-39, the sex ratio declines for each age group and after age 69 years, the sex ratio declines for each age group. The only plausible cause for this may be net out-migration of more males from the region than females for the age group 20-39 years and higher male mortality among the aged since females usually outlive males. This has implications for policy. Since generally, females have lower income levels, continued out-migration of males in the productive age groups from the region may result in falling income levels. This however, need not happen if financial remittances are substantial and regular.
Birthplace and migratory patterns
This section looks at the migratory pattern in the region, using the national growth as well as the place of birth methods. The national growth method assumes that as the population of the country increases, all the regions should increase at the same rate. Any deviation from the national figure is taken as the rate of net migration. From 1984-2000, the region recorded a net out-migration rate of 14.3 per cent. In terms of absolute numbers, the region lost about 163,354 persons through migration. Compared to the net outmigration rate of 15.4 per cent recorded in the period 1970-1984, however, one can say that there has been a slight reduction in the out-migration in the region.
The main economic activities consist of salt mining and fishing along the coast (the region accounts for between 40-45 per cent of Ghana’s total fish landings). Fish farming constitutes another lucrative business for those interested in investment in the region. Central Region has lagoons in addition to the sea, which make fish farming a prominent feature along the coast of the region. There is tremendous opportunity for investors in this sector as it has the potential to export fresh and preserved fish to neighbouring countries. The rainforest areas of the hinterland are suitable for the cultivation of large-scale oil palm, cocoa, citrus and pineapple while gold mining is predominant in Upper Denkyira, particularly in the Offin river basin. Oil palm cultivation is carried out mainly in Twifo-Hemang-Lower Denkyira and Assin, while cocoa cultivation is concentrated in Upper Denkyira, Assin and Twifo-Hemang-Lower Denkyira. Citrus farming takes place mainly in the Abura- Kwamankese, Mfantsiman and Ajumako-Enyan-Esiam. Pineapple farming is common in Gomoa and Ekumfi areas. There are also tantalite and columbite deposits around Nyanyano, but these are yet to be exploited. Logging and sawmilling activities are also important in the forest areas, especially in Nyankomasi Ahenkro in Assin. The region is endowed with large deposits of clay, upon which the Saltpond ceramics factory was based. Unfortunately, that industry has virtually collapsed, but it still has the potential for revival. Tourism as an economic activity is now on the increase with the development of hotel services on the rise. The castles, forts and the rainforest canopy walkway at the Kakum National Park, as well as the beautiful beaches explain why the region has become the most attractive choice of both domestic and foreign tourists. The recent reburial of three African American slaves at Assin Manso has opened up the Assin area for tourism.
Type of activity
Labour force statistics provide much of the data on the characteristics of a nation’s human resource. It also provides an inventory of skills available in a country. This section looks at the evolution of the activities undertaken by persons 15 years and older, the occupational distribution, type of industry, employment status as well as the institutional sector of employment of the economically active. The total population of persons 15 years and older in the region is 904,579, made up of 414,157 males and 490,422 females. This translates into 74.2 per cent of the total, 74.4 per cent of males and 74.0 of females who are economically active.
The unemployed increased by about 5.2 percentage points from 2.9 per cent in 1984 to 8.1 per cent in 2000. The corresponding increase among females (6.1%) was much higher than that of the males (4.9%). In 1984, there were proportionately more employed females (97.8%) than their male counterparts (96.4%). However, there are slightly employed males (92.2%) than females (91.7%) in 2000. Among the not economically active population, students form the largest group in both the 1984 and 2000 censuses, followed by homemakers. While the proportion of homemakers increased by about 9 percentage points that of students dropped sharply from 64.1 per cent in 1984 to 36.6 per cent in 2000. A striking feature is that the proportion of male homemakers more than tripled from 5.1 per cent to 16.5 per cent and that of females declined marginally.
Another feature worth mentioning is that the number of persons with disability (the physically challenged) in the not economically active category reduced drastically from 14.7 per cent in 1984 to 4 per cent in 2000. The biggest reduction occurred among the females. Two possible explanations are that either there was an under estimation of this category in 1984 or programmes for empowering the physically challenged are enabling many to undertake economic activities.
In both 1984 and 2000, agriculture was the main type of economic activity for both males and females. Agriculture was even more important in 1984 (64.0%) than 2000 (54.8%). This means that an increasing proportion of people in the economically active population is shifting from agriculture to other areas of economic sectors, as urbanization increases and people attain higher education. Sales was the second major economic activity in 1984 while it ranks third in 2000.
Apart from agriculture and sales, a significant proportion are engaged as production and transport equipment operators. There were more people engaged in this activity in 2000 (16.1%) than in 1984 (13.8%). In each of these years, the proportion of males was higher than that of females in this field. Between 1984 and 2000, the proportion engaged in professional and technical jobs increased from 3.9 per cent to 6.4 per cent. As in the case of production, transport and equipment operators, the proportion of males in professional and technical occupation was higher than that of females.
The proportion of those engaged in clerical and related jobs as well as those engaged in services, increased between 1984 and 2000. In both years, the proportion of males was higher than that of females for clerical and related jobs. In the case of services, the proportion of females is higher. While the proportion of females in administrative and managerial occupations increased, that of males declined.
The major industries engaged in are agriculture, (including fishing) manufacturing and wholesale and retail trade and, to some extent, other community service and private households with employed persons. The proportion in the agricultural industry declined from 64.4 in 1984 to 52.4 per cent in 2000. While in 1984, there was a substantial difference between males and females; there was only a slight difference in 2000.
The proportion in the wholesale and retail trade industry increased substantially between 1984 and 2000. While there were more males than females in the industry in 1984, it was the reverse in 2000. The mining and quarrying sector, on the other hand, registered the highest decline from 8.6 per cent in 1984 to just 1.1 per cent in 2000. This might be as a result of the collapse of the gold mines in Dunkwa-on-Offin and its environs.
Majority of the people in the region are self-employed with no employees. The proportions increased slightly (1.6%) between 1984 and 2000. It is interesting to note that for both census years, there were more females than males. The next major category of workers is the employees although in this case, the proportions declined from 14.7 per cent in 1984 to 12.6 per cent in 2000. In both census years, there were more males than females. In 2000, there were 5.1 per cent self-employed persons with employees. The proportion was much smaller in 1984 (2.3%). This means that some of the self-employed are beginning to appreciate the importance of engaging additional hands to assist them. In the case of unpaid family workers, females tend to predominate although their proportions went down from 11.3 per cent in 1984 to 3.5 per cent in 2000.
Institutional sector of employment
Most active persons (80.8%) in the region are employed in the private informal sector. This is a reflection of the employment status where majority of people were self-employed with no employees. The proportion of females exceeds that of males by about 10.0 per cent. The private formal sector is the next important sector (12.3%) followed by the public sector (5.7%). In fact, the large proportion in the private informal sector where the self-employed (whether with or without employees) are found, should be a cause for concern because it is very difficult to tax such persons.
Moreover, they usually have low incomes and therefore the tax revenue from them is very small. Because their economic activity is small and necessitated by lack of alternative sources of employment, this results in what is normally described as “poverty spread”, a situation where many people chase few resources in an over-saturated sector, an example is petty trading. Contributions to the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) also become a problem. Such a large proportion of the population will therefore not have anything to fall on in their old age.
Assin, with a population of 196,457, is the most populous district in the region, accounting for 12.3 per cent share of the region’s population, followed closely by Gomoa (12.2%). Asikuma-Odoben-Brakwa, with a population of 89,395 (or 5.6%) of regions population is the least populated district.
Age and sex structure
The age structure of the districts, which shows marked differences, are typical of a youthful population. There are indications of inter district age differentials depicted in the variations in the proportions of the population under 15 years. The proportion of the population under 15 years is relatively very low in Cape Coast (36%), low in 5 other districts, (around 42%- 43.5%), and higher than the regional average (44.3%) in the remaining districts. The smaller proportion of the under 5 years compared to the 5-9 years in five districts may be an indication of the onset of fertility decline in those districts, as all (except one) of them also recorded a lower total fertility rate (TFR) than the national average (4.0). Besides, Cape Coast, which recorded a very low proportion of aged less than 15 years population (36%), also recorded an equally low TFR (2.4).
Sex composition and sex ratio
There are more females than males in all districts except Twifo-Hemang-Lower Denkyira, which has almost a balanced sex composition (100.4 males to 100 females). This may be a reflection of net out-migration of males. Half of the districts in the region, with sex ratios of 90.0 or below, also have very high percentages of female headed households, ranging between 41.0-48.0 per cent. The low sex ratios also imply a relatively heavy burden on females, a high proportion of whom are single parents.
The proportion of males to females varies between age groups and districts. For instance, there are more males than females in Agona, Asikuma-Odoben- Brakwa and Lower Denkyira for children under five years while females outnumber males in the other districts for the same age group except Cape Coast where the ratio is one to one. There is generally male predominance in all districts for all ages from 5 up to 19 years except Cape Coast, Mfantsiman and Awutu-Efutu-Senya.
From age 20 years, there is female predominance with the exception of Assin, Lower Denkyira and Upper Denkyira, for which most of the sex ratios exceed 100 for ages above 40 years. Since generally, females outlive males in the older age groups in all countries, it is likely that age mis-reporting occurred in the three districts among the older age groups. There is an indication that the fertility may be declining in districts like Abura-Asebu-Kwamankese, Mfantsiman, and Agona since the proportion of children in the 0-4 years is much lower than that of the 5-9 years.
The proportion of the elderly (persons 65 years and older) is higher than the regional average of 5.7 per cent in six districts. Ajumako-Enyan-Esiam, Mfantsiman and Abura-Asebu-Kwamankese have values ranging from 7 to 8 per cent, while five other districts have values lower than 5 per cent in the over 65-year group. Only three districts, Cape Coast, Awutu-Efutu-Senya and Agona, have a proportion in the 15-64 years age group greater than the regional average of 51.0 per cent. The dependency ratio is over 100 in five districts, which means that each worker would have to cater for an additional person. Cape Coast (69.1%) and Awutu-Efutu-Senya (87.7%), on the other hand, have the least dependency ratios.
Rural-urban composition of population
Cape Coast, Awutu- Efutu-Senya and Agona are the most urbanised districts in the region, with over 60 per cent of the population living in urban areas. The remaining districts, apart from Mfantsiman, are predominantly rural. Generally, females exceed males in both rural and urban localities. However, in some districts, Ajumako-Enyan-Essiam, Mfantsiman, Gomoa and Agona the differences in the proportion are relatively large. In the others the differences are minimal.
Most of the urban localities are found in Agona, Mfantsiman and Awutu-Efutu-Senya. Awutu-Efutu-Senya, with five urban localities, has 18.6 per cent of the total urban population of the region, while Agona with 8 urban localities has 17.2 per cent of the urban population. Cape Coast with three urban localities also has 13.8 per cent of the urban population while Gomoa with 4 localities has 12.7 per cent of the population. This implies that 62.3 per cent of the urban population in the region is concentrated in 23 of the localities.
Fertility and child survival
The total fertility rate (TFR) for the region is the same as that of the country (4.0). Of the twelve districts, 6 have a TFR higher than the regional average. Though the regional TFR of 4.0 is lower than that recorded (4.8) for the region in the 1998 Ghana Demographic and Health surveys (GDHS), it is still high. The TFR for the region is declining and substantial out-migration still goes on, yet the population continues to grow as a result of the in-built momentum from high past fertility levels. Although districts such as Cape Coast have relatively very low under 15-year population (36.0%), yet continuing high fertility in some districts, resulting in TFRs of 4.9 and 5.0 (in districts such as Assin and Asikuma-Enyan-Esiam), give cause for serious concern.
Incidentally there appears to be a close relationship between the size of the under 15-year population of a district and the TFR of a district. For instance, Cape Coast, which recorded the lowest under-15 year-old population (36.0%), also recorded the lowest TFR (2.4). In addition, the five districts with under 15-year population 42.0%-43.5% also recorded a TFR of 3.8-3.9. However, the remaining five districts with under 15 year -population higher than the regional level and ranging from 44.1-45.9 percent, also recorded TFRs higher than the regional average, ranging from 4.3 to 5.0.
There is evidence also of falling levels of infant mortality and increased chances of child survival. These, combined with a high proportion of women in regular sexual unions (56.8%), should create concern about the future growth of the population in the region.
About 80 per cent of children born to women of childbearing ages (15- 49 years) in the region survive. The districts with the highest survival rates are in Twifo- Hemang-Lower Denkyira (84.6%), Agona (83.7%). Assin (83.5%), and Cape Coast (83.4%); these districts also have a large number of health facilities and health personnel in the region, which may account for the high survival rates.
Birthplace and migratory pattern
On the simple assumption that persons enumerated in localities of their birth are non-migrants, the indication is that about 30 per cent of the enumerated population in the region are migrants. Twifo-Hemang-Lower Denkyira has the highest proportion of migrants (37%) while Ajumako-Enyan-Essiam has the least proportion (20%). There appear to be a greater proportion of migrants from other regions than from other districts in the region. Inter-regional migrants are greater than intra-regional migrants in Cape Coast, Awutu-Efutu-Senya and Upper Denkyira. Twifo-Hemang-Lower Denkyira, Assin, Asikuma-Odoben-Brakwa and Agona, on the other hand, receive more intra-regional migrants than the other districts. In almost all the districts, most of the in-migrants come from the Western, Greater Accra, Ashanti, Volta and Eastern Regions.
Interregional migrants constitute only 13.8 per cent of the region’s population. However, data show that each group of migrants (from a region) reside mainly in specific districts. Thus, migrants from Eastern region (with the largest migrant proportion 2.8%) are mainly found in Twifo-Hemang-Lower Denkyira (5.8%) and Assin (4.6%), both major cocoa, oil palm and timber producing areas. In addition, a significant proportion of Eastern migrants (3.9%) are in Agona with which it shares a border. Migrants from the Western Region (2.2%), reside mainly in Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abirem (4.3%) and Upper Denkyira (4.1%) with which it shares borders, and Cape Coast (4.1%), the educational capital. Migrants from Ashanti region also form 2.2 percent, are predominantly found in Upper Denkyira (8.8%) with which it shares borders.
Volta migrants (1.9%) form a significant proportion (4.8%) of the population of Awutu-Efutu-Senya and Cape Coast (2.5%) where they are mostly found in the fishing industry along the coast. In addition, they constitute 2.9 per cent and 2.1 per cent of the population of Twifo-Hemang-Lower Denkyira and Assin, respectively. Migrants from outside Ghana form between 1.0 and 3.7 per cent of the population in Abura- Asebu-Kwamankese, Awutu-Efutu-Senya, Mfantsiman, Cape Coast and Komenda-Edina- Eguafo-Abirem. The sex distribution of migrants from outside Ghana is similar to that of the total population.
On the whole intra regional migration is slightly higher among females in all the districts except Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abirem. This may be due mainly to either the females moving in to join their spouses or to trade.
Place of residence
the region gained 281,516 net in-migrants (or 24.4%). At the regional level, male in-migrants were more than female inmigrants; differences occur in the districts. In all districts, the proportion of male in-migrants exceeds female in-migrants except Cape Coast, where the male and female in-migrants are about the same, a fifth each of the population.
Household size, household composition and structure
The average household size of 4.4 for the region is lower than the national average of 5.1. This may be due to the fact that the region has a number of its residents migrating to other regions. There are six districts, which have figures even further below that of the region. Cape Coast has the lowest average household size of 3.9, and Assin with 4.9, has the highest.
About a fifth of all household members are heads, ranging from 18.8 per cent in Assin to 24.3 per cent in Cape Coast. About two-fifths of household members are children of the heads. This proportion ranges from 34.3 per cent in Cape Coast to 43.7 per cent in Twifo-Hemang-Lower Denkyira.
The next group of people who constitute a sizeable proportion in the household are other relatives. The relatively high proportion of grandchildren in households reflect a living arrangement where adults with children may live with their parents in the same house, while that of other relatives may reflect the practice of fostering of young children asked to stay with other siblings of parents.
Children form the bulk of household members (38.9%) in all the districts in the region, while parents and in-laws form the smallest proportions. It is also significant to note that there is very little variation in the composition of households in the districts.
Overall, most household heads are between the ages of 25 and 49. There are no significant differences across districts. In terms of sex, however, the situation is different. Males tend to assume household headship at younger ages than females. At least 10 per cent of male heads of households in all districts are between 25 and 49 years. Furthermore, the concentration of male heads is in the age range of 25-49, while that for females is 40-54.
It is also important to note that after age 50, the proportions of female heads of households are more than those of male household heads. At age 75 years and older, the proportions are much higher. The explanation could be the higher survival rates of females to males at higher ages. Under normal circumstances, males tend to be older than their female spouses, which means that many females assume headship on the death of spouses.
More than half of the population (15 years and older) in all districts, except Cape Coast, are in a form of marital union (married or living together in a consensual union). In most districts there are more females than males in such unions. In contrast there are more males than females who have never married. The explanation could be that females generally marry earlier than males. While 37.1 per cent of males have never been married, 22 per cent females have never married. There are more never married people in Cape Coast than in any other district. While the proportion of the residents never married in other districts ranges between 23 and 30.8 percent, the proportion never married in Cape Coast is 40.5 per cent. This may be due to several factors, including the high proportion of students as well as young persons who had moved to the district in search of jobs or to begin a career.
Among those who have ever been in a marital union (separated, divorced or widowed), most of them are either divorced or widowed. There are more divorced persons in Ajumako- Enyan-Esiam (9.9%) and Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abirem (9.1%) while there are more widowed persons in Gomoa (8.5%), Mfantsiman (8%) and Ajumako-Enyan-Esiam (8%). Among males, there are more divorcees than separated or widowed, while females tend to be widowed more than divorced or separated. It is also important to note that for each of these three categories, the proportion of females is much higher than that of males.
As noted earlier, this phenomenon could be due to the higher survival rate of females than males. It could also be due to females marrying older men who die leaving them widowed at ages where they find it difficult to re-marry. However, males tend to remarry soon after experiencing a break in marriage, from either divorce or death of spouse.
Nationality and ethnicity
Nearly all the people (96.9%) of the region are Ghanaians (that is, Ghanaians by birth and Ghanaians by naturalisation), with 2.3 per cent being ECOWAS nationals. There are three districts, however, which have proportions of ECOWAS nationals above the regional average; they are Gomoa (8.9%), Awutu-Efutu-Senya (4%), and Agona (2.6%). The high percentage of ECOWAS nationals in these districts could be due to the large refugee population made up mostly of Liberians and a few Sierra Leoneans at the refugee town of Buduburam and its adjoining localities. Indeed Buduburam, which used to be a very small spiritual camp called Ekwankrom before the refugees were settled there, is now the ninth largest locality in the region, with a population of 18,713.
There are more female than male Ghanaians by birth. On the other hand, there are more male than female Ghanaians by naturalisation in all districts. For the non-Ghanaians, there are generally more males than females in all districts except in a few instances where the proportion of males and females are similar.
The region is predominantly Akan, the district with the least number of Akans is Awutu- Efutu-Senya (31.9%), where Guans are the indigenous ethnic group. The other districts have at least 60 per cent of residents being Akan; indeed, six of the districts have more than 90 per cent of the population being Akans, majority of whom are Fantes, the indigenes of most districts in the region.
Nearly half (46.9%) of residents of Awutu-Efutu-Senya are Guans; in the other districts, they constitute barely 2 per cent. Among the other ethnic groups, the only one with a slightly higher percentage than the others is Ewe. The Ewes are found mostly in Awutu-Efutu-Senya (11.1%), Twifo-Hemang-Lower Denkyira (9.8%), Agona (6.0%), and Cape Coast (5.2%). The Ga-Dangme, who are about 2.3 per cent of the region’s population mainly reside in Twifo-Hemang-Lower Denkyira (5.6%), Assin (4.8%), Awutu-Efutu-Senya (3.9%), and Upper Denkyira (3.5%). The Mole Dagbon (1.6%) form a relatively small proportion in Upper Denkyira (6.5%) and Cape Coast (3.2%).
Most people (about 80%) in the region are Christians. Among this group the Pentecostals are the largest (25 percent). Protestants and other Christians also constitute about 20 per cent each. Catholics form about 14 per cent. The Islamic religious group accounts for 9.2 per cent while those professing no religion are about 7.4 per cent. Only a small proportion adheres of the population in the region to Traditional religion.
The pattern of religious affiliation for the region is similar to that of most districts with few variations. The Pentecostals constitute at least 20 per cent in each district, while Protestants form between 21 and 29 per cent in seven districts and less than 20 in the others. Catholics are predominant in only three districts, Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abirem (21.8%), Cape Coast (21.3%) and Upper Denkyira (20.6%). Significant proportions (21.7 to18.4%) of Catholics are also found in 5 other districts. Relatively high proportions of other Christians are in all districts with the lowest proportion in Cape Coast (10.5%).
Islam holds a significant proportion mainly in Asikuma-Odoben-Brakwa (11.8%), Agona (11.7%) and Cape Coast (11.3%). About 10 per cent are found in 3 other districts. Persons with no religious affiliations constitute 11.1 and 10.7 per cent in Awutu-Efutu-Senya and Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abirem, respectively. The practice of traditional religion is rather low in all districts except in Awutu-Efutu-Senya (2.2%).
Educational attainment and literacy
The region has 57.1 per cent of the population (15 years and older) being literate; this figure is almost the same as the national average of 57.9 per cent. Most of the literate (37.0%) can read and write in both English and a Ghanaian language. Another 16.6 per cent of the population are literate in English only. There are more males literate (69.8%) than there are females (46.3%) and it is similar in all districts. About 2 per cent of the adult population in the region are literate in only a Ghanaian language, while less than one per cent are literate in languages that are neither English nor Ghanaian.
In the districts, the picture is not too different. In Cape Coast, however, two-thirds (75.1%) of the people are literate while in Abura-Asebu-Kwamankese, almost half (45.1%) are literate. In addition, Cape Coast has the highest proportion (52.8%) literate in both English and a Ghanaian language while Gomoa has the lowest proportion (29.9%) in the region literate in both of these two languages.
About a third of the population in all districts except Cape Coast have never been to school. The relative advantage of Cape Coast may be the fact that as regional capital, the municipality has benefited from more and better quality educational facilities than other districts. There are more females (43.4%) than males (26.2%) who have never been to school. Slightly more than half (52.8%) of the population of the region have attained primary or middle/JSS education. With the exception of Cape Coast (9.3%), Gomoa (6.3%) and Awutu-Efutu-Senya (6.0%), less than 6 per cent of the population in the other districts have attained secondary level. Barely 3 per cent in all the districts have attained tertiary education, except Cape Coast with 9 per cent at the tertiary level.
There are more males than females at all levels of education in all districts except Cape Coast, which has more females (5.5%) than males (2.7%) with post secondary education. Females are more likely than males not to be in school. While between 15 and 33 per cent of males have never been to school, for females, it ranges between 27 and 52 percent, with most districts in the 40-49 per cent bracket.
Enrolment rates for districts have been computed to examine school attendance/enrolment levels. The rates are Crude Enrolment Rate (CER) and Age Specific Enrolment Rate (ASER). The CER relates to the population attending school at any level to the total population, while the ASER measures the proportion of 5-6 years who are in school Data show that 61.9 per cent of the people in the region are enrolled in schools at different levels.
There are six districts (Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abirem, Abura-Asebu-Kwamankese, Mfantsiman, Gomoa, Awutu-Efutu-Senya, and Ajumako-Enyan-Esiam) which fall below the regional average. The lowest rate (55.1%) for Abura-Asebu-Kwamankese still means that half of the people are enrolled in school, which is encouraging. Cape Coast has the highest enrolment rate of 77.2 per cent.
The pattern with the ASER is not different except that the figures are slightly higher. The only district that has a lower ASER than CER is Asikuma-Odoben-Brakwa.
92.0 per cent of the economically active are employed while 8 per cent are unemployed. The proportion employed ranges from a low of 85.2 per cent in Mfantsiman to a high of 96.1 per cent in Asikuma-Odoben-Brakwa. The districts with unemployment rates exceeding the national average of 10.4 per cent are Mfantsiman (14.8%) and Cape Coast (11.3%). Three other districts: Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abirem (10.3%), Gomoa (8.8%) and Awutu-Efutu- Senya (8.3%) also have rates greater than the regional average of eight per cent. Asikuma- Odoben-Brakwa registered the least unemployment rate of 3.9 per cent. Another observation is that, unemployment affects females more than males in all the districts except Agona, Gomoa and Twifo-Hemang-Lower Denkyira.
Among the not economically active, students form the majority in all districts with Cape Coast, Assin, Twifo-Hemang-Lower Denkyira and Asikuma-Odoben-Brakwa having over 50 per cent. The picture is different where the sexes are concerned. The proportion of female students is less than 40 per cent in most districts. The male students constitute over 50 per cent in all districts except Gomoa where the proportion of male students is 49.8 per cent of the not economically active.
Homemakers are the second most important category of the inactive population in all the districts except Asikuma-Odoben-Brakwa and Ajumako-Enyan-Essiam where old age is next to students.
The age composition of the employed and unemployed shows that children between 7-14 years constitute 3 to 5 per cent of the working population in all the districts (except in Cape Coast, where it is less than 2 percent). Moreover, about 45 per cent of workers in all the districts fall within the 25-44 years age group and that close to a fifth of the working population are between 15-24 years. 51 There are also among the children some who are actively seeking work. Between 8.9 and 17.9 per cent of the unemployed persons in the districts are children. In addition, the level of unemployment among the 25-44 year group is higher than the 15-24 age group in Komenda- Edina-Eguafo-Abirem, Cape Coast, Abura-Asebu-Kwamankese, Mfantsiman, Gomoa and Upper Denkyira. In the remaining six districts unemployment affects the youth (15-24 years) more than the adult population of 25-44 years.
Agriculture and related work (this includes animal husbandry, forestry, fishing and hunting) is the predominant occupation in all the districts. Except in Cape Coast (14.9%), Awutu- Efutu-Senya (44.3%), Agona (47.7%) and Mfantsiman (49.4%), over 50 per cent of the economically active population are engaged in agriculture. Production/transport equipment operators constitute the second major occupation in all the districts (except Mfantsiman) and this is followed by sales workers.
Sales workers are predominantly found in Cape Coast (22.9%), Mfantsiman (17.2%), Awutu- Efutu-Senya (16.2%) and Agona (16.2%). Cape Coast also has significantly proportions of its labour force in professional and technical workers (12.4%), administrative and managerial workers (0.9%) and clerical and related workers (8.7%). This is hardly surprising as Cape Coast is the regional capital has more job openings in these categories. Agriculture remains the main occupation for both males and females in all the districts, except Cape Coast. Excluding agriculture, the proportion of females engaged in sales outstrips all other occupation in all the other districts. In the case of males, production/transport comes next to agriculture.
Industry The main industrial activities in the region are agriculture (52.3%), manufacturing (10.5%), wholesale/retail trade (11.8%) and fishing (5.9%) employing 80.5 per cent of the working population between them. Except Cape Coast where only 10.7 per cent of the working population is in the agricultural sector, between 37 and 70 per cent of the working population are employed in the agricultural sector in all districts. Specifically the agricultural sector is predominant in five districts where between 65 and 71 per cent of the working population are employed. These districts are Asikuma-Odoben-Brakwa (70.4%), Ajumako-Enyan-Essiam (67.3%), Assin (71.4%), Twifo-Hemang-Lower Denkyira (70.2%) and Upper Denkyira (65.3%).
The fishing industry is very prominent in the coastal districts of Mfantsiman (15.3%), Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abirem (12.7%), Abura-Asebu-Kwamankese (10.9%), Awutu- Efutu-Senya (10.5%) and Gomoa (8.5%).
The wholesale and retail trade also employ a significant proportion of the economically active (11.8 percent). Significant proportions of employed in the sector are in Cape Coast (21.8%), Awutu-Efutu-Senya (16.0%), Mfantsiman (15.8%) and Agona (15.4%). The manufacturing sector is also important in Cape Coast (17.4%), Agona (13.8%), Awutu-Efutu- Senya (13.6%), Mfantsiman (12.1%) and Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abirem (10.2%). As expected, Cape Coast as the education capital has a relatively high proportion, 9.8 percent, engaged in the education sector.
Nearly three-quarters of the working population in almost all the districts are self-employed with no employees. Employees account for 12.6 per cent at the regional level. In Cape Coast, where most of the government institutions are sited, however, the proportion of employees is 33.1 per cent. Apart from Cape Coast, significant proportions of employees are also found in 6 other districts where the range is from 11.2 per cent in Agona to a high of 16.9 per cent in Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abirem.
The other five districts have proportions about 10 per cent or less. The self-employed with employees category is a significant group in the region with 5.1 per cent. Among the districts, the proportions range from 3.6 per cent in Upper Denkyira to 7.4 per cent in Cape Coast. Apprenticeship is also important in Cape Coast (6.9%) and Agona (4.5%).
The proportion of male employees is about three times that of females in all the districts. As usual the exception to the rule is Cape Coast, where employees form about 46 per cent of the male working population compared to 21.1 per cent for females. Additionally, the proportion of males in apprenticeship is greater than that of females in all the districts while domestic employment is insignificant in all the districts for both sexes.
Institutional sector of employment
Almost 80 per cent of the working population in all the districts except Cape Coast (63.0%) work in the private informal sector. The private formal sector is next in importance as an employer, accounting for between 7 per cent in Asikuma-Odoben-Brakwa and 16.8 per cent in Cape Coast. In addition, nine other districts also have proportions of above 10 per cent as employees in the private formal sector. The data further show that in Cape Coast the public sector also employs a significant proportion, 16.5 per cent of employed persons.
At a time when the private sector has been declared the engine of growth, an economy with a large proportion of the private informal sector is clearly an impediment to achieving an accelerated economic growth and development. This is because it is very difficult if not impossible to tax the self-employed (with or without employees) who are mostly in the private informal sector. It follows therefore that with such a low tax revenue base, the districts in the Central Region may not receive substantial revenue from the District Assembly Common Fund which is tied among other factors, to the internally generated funds of the districts.
HOUSING AND COMMUNITY FACILITIES
Housing stock, household per house, population per house
A total of 233, 239 housing units were listed in the Central Region. The district with the highest number of housing units is Assin (14.9%) which also happens to be the district with the largest population. Gomoa (11.6%), Mfantsiman (9.2%) and Awutu-Efutu-Senya (8.8%) follow in that order. An interesting phenomenon is that Cape Coast, the regional capital, unlike other regional capitals does not have the highest number of structures. It is even among the districts with relatively few houses. The districts with the least number of houses have about 6.0 per cent each. These include Asikuma-Odoben-Brakwa (5.8%), Cape Coast (6.0%), Abura-Asebu-Kwamankese (6.2%) and Ajumako-Enyan-Essiam (6.4%). It is also significant to note that Asikuma-Odoben-Brakwa, which is the district with the lowest population, also has the least number of houses.
Excepting Cape Coast (2.2) and Agona (2.1), the average number of households per house is less than 2, ranging from 1.2 in Assin to 1.9 in Awutu-Efutu-Senya. The average number of people in a house in the region is 7.1. There are five districts with figures above this. Cape Coast has the highest figure of 8.7 followed by Awutu-Efutu Senya with 8.6 percent, while Assin has the lowest of 5.9. This implies that even though Assin has the largest population in the region it has a corresponding large number of houses to go with it.
Type of ownership
Majority of houses (78.5%) are owned either by a household member (58.3%) or a relative who is not a household member (20.2%). An additional 0.7 per cent are under an arrangement for purchase. Housing units not owned or being purchased by household members or a relative are either owned by private individuals (16.3%), employer (1.8%), private agency (0.4%) or public/government (1.6%) who have rented these out to the occupants. Cape Coast has a proportion (30.6%) that is thrice as those renting from private individuals in Ajumako-Enyan- Essiam (9.5%).
private employers own 1.8 per cent of dwelling units, but in Ajumako-Enyan-Essiam (3.2%), Assin (3.0%), Twifo-Hemang-Lower Denkyira (3.6%) and Upper Denkyira (2.6%), the proportion is about 3 per cent. Although Government owns 1.6 per cent of houses in the region, in Cape Coast it is 6 per cent.
Materials for floor
Various materials used for the floors of buildings include earth and concrete. Majority (82.4%) of households in the region live in houses in which the floor is made of mainly concrete or cement. Only four districts; Asikuma-Odoben-Brakwa (68.9%), Assin (71.3%), Twifo-Hemang-Lower Denkyira (70.4%) and Upper Denkyira (79.2%), fall below the 80 per cent mark.
Less than a sixth (15.5%) of households live in housing units in which the floor is made of earth. There are however three districts, Asikuma-Odoben-Brakwa (30.3%), Assin (27.4%) and Twifo-Hemang-Lower Denkyira (29%), in which the proportions are twice as much. As expected, in Cape Coast, only 3.6 per cent of households live in housing units which have earth used in constructing the floor.
Very few (2.1%) of households live in housing units in which the floor is made of material other than concrete or earth. In Cape Coast, 2.5 per cent of households live in housing units with floors made of terrazzo/marble, while in Awutu-Efutu- Senya 1.2 per cent of dwelling units have floors made of wood.
Materials for roof
Just as there are different materials for constructing floors, the materials used for roofing also vary. More than four-fifths (82.0%) of households live in housing units with roofs made from corrugated metal sheets (60.9%) and slate/asbestos (21.1%). In three districts, the combined proportions is about 90 per cent or more. These are Mfantsiman (89.8%), Ajumako-Enyan-Essiam (90.7%) and Agona (93.4%). In Asikuma-Odoben-Brakwa, Assin, Twifo-Hemang-Lower Denkyira and Upper Denkyira however, significantly higher proportions of households live in housing units whose roofs are made from thatch.
Two other materials, bamboo (3.4%) and concrete/cement (2.4%), are also used in fairly substantial quantities. Bamboo is used for a significant proportion of housing units, particularly in Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abirem (9.2%) and Twifo-Hemang-Lower Denkyira (7.3%) as roofing material, while Cape Coast has (12.4%) of housing units with concrete.
The other materials (mud, wood, and roofing tiles) are hardly used. Roofing tiles, which are a new phenomenon in the building industry is the cities, are not yet widely used in the region, where only 0.2 per cent of dwelling units are roofed with tiles. The relatively greater use in Awutu-Efutu-Senya (0.6%) may be due to the siting of two roofing tile factories in the district.
Materials for walls
A little over a half (56.1%) of households in the region live in houses with walls made of mud/mud-brick/earth. Seven of the twelve districts have at least three-fifths of households living in houses with walls made of these materials, the highest being in Twifo-Hemang- Lower Denkyira (83.3%). Households in the region that live in houses with walls made of concrete constitute 35.4 percent, with Cape Coast (59.5%) and Awutu-Efutu-Senya (62.1%) having the highest proportion. Very few households live in houses with walls made of stone (0.1%) and bamboo (0.2%).
Number of rooms
About half (49.4%) of the houses in the region have single rooms. This means that those rooms serve as both bedrooms and living rooms. It is only in Ajumako-Enyan-Esiam and Assin that the proportions are well below half. In addition, about a fifth of the houses in the districts have two rooms with the exception of Mfantsiman with a proportion slightly below 20 per cent. Also, about a tenth of all houses in all districts have three rooms. As the number of rooms increases the percentage distribution also reduces until nine or more rooms when the percentages increase. However, the increment is more pronounced in Mfantsiman (6.5%) and Ajumako-Enyan-Esiam (5.9%).
International norms dictate that any room occupancy greater than 2 persons per room is an indication of overcrowding, which has both health and social implications. The regional average of population per sleeping room is 2.3, is the same as the national average. Of the twelve districts, 10 have sleeping room occupancy higher than 2 while 8 have levels equal to or higher than the national average. The highest is in Twifo-Hemang-Lower Denkyira (2.7) and the lowest in Ajumako-Enyan-Essiam (1.7) and Mfantsiman (1.8).
Generally, the more urbanized a district, the higher the population per sleeping room. A value of 2.3 for Cape Coast is therefore not surprising. It is however unusual that a rural district like Twifo-Hemang-Lower Denkyira has the highest population per sleeping room in the region. This could be because the district attracts several migrant farmers and farm labourers to its cocoa and oil palm plantations, and these migrants tend to share rooms either with the host farmers or farmer employers while seeking permanent accommodation. Overcrowding in sleeping rooms appears to be a major problem in the region, and needs to be addressed with a sound and viable housing policy. People, particularly in the rural areas, should be educated on house construction regulations and specifications, and these should be enforced within the limits of the realities on the ground.
A relatively high proportion of the region’s population was captured outside the home. This includes institutional population (hospitals, hotels, camping parties) and floating population (in transit at train, lorry stations, in the street, etc). One-eighth (12.6%) of the national figure (60,687) is from the region, compared to its share of total national population of 8.4 per cent. As a proportion of the regional total population, this non-house population is 0.5 percent, which is higher than the national average of 0.3 per cent. The total of 169 households, constituting 0.5 per cent of all households in the region, were not in a regular home or dwelling structure.
The problem of “homelessness” does not appear to be a major problem as yet, ranging from 2 households in Awutu-Efutu-Senya to 47 in Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abirem and 39 in Cape Coast. These relatively low figures however should not blind district assemblies and the regional administration into complacency, since the ideal situation should be that in which no household is homeless. Moreover, with increasing urbanization, the problem is likely to grow if no proactive measures are taken to address the current situation and prepare for any future developments.
The main sources of lighting in the region are electricity (40.1%) and kerosene (58.9%), with kerosene being used more widely. In Cape Coast (83.0%) and Mfantsiman (51.6%) electricity is more widely used than kerosene. In 3 of the 12 districts, Assin (81.2%), Asikuma-Odoben-Brakwa (71.6%) and Upper Denkyira (70.1%), more than 70 per cent of households use kerosene as source of lighting.
Pipe borne water, one of the main sources of potable water, is enjoyed by only half of the households in the region even though only 9.4 per cent have the facility in the home. Cape Coast (37.7%) has the highest proportion of households with the facility at home while Assin (0.4%) has the lowest. Of the districts where households have pipe-borne water outside the home, Komenda-Edina- Eguafo-Abirem (61.1%), Gomoa (60.9%) and Agona (60.5%) have the highest proportions with Assin the lowest (4.6%). Most households in Assin rather depend on borehole (39.9%), well (28.7%) and river/stream (19%). Other districts where there is significant use of borehole as source of drinking water are Upper Denkyira (41.7%), Twifo-Hemang-Lower Denkyira (39%), Asikuma-Odoben-Brakwa (37.4%) and Abura-Asebu-Kwamankese (33.2%).
The two main sources of pipe-borne water in the region are the Kwenyaku water supply system which serves the eastern districts of the region and the Brimso water supply system which serves Cape Coast and other southern districts. In recent times, the capacity of the Brimso Dam has fallen considerably due to poor environmental practices and obsolete machinery. This has created serious water problems in the surrounding districts. Notwithstanding the relatively high proportion of households with access to pipe-borne water, these problems of water supply may deny real access to households if effort is not made to stabilize the water delivery system in the region and diversify the sources.
An important facility needed by households is a toilet. The distribution of toilet facilities in the region is given in. Some of these facilities, within the house, are water closet, pit latrine, KVIP and bucket/pan latrine. Among these, the one mainly used is the pit latrine (25.1%). Among the districts, it is mainly used in Twifo-Hemang-Lower Denkyira (47.8%) and least used in Cape Coast (7%); few households use the KVIP (7%).
The only district with a slightly higher percentage is Awutu-Efutu-Senya (11.4%). Even fewer households use buckets (2.8%) although the percentages for Cape Coast (5.2%) and Awutu-Efutu-Senya (5.9%) are higher. The water closet, which is considered the most modern of toilet facilities, is used by barely 5 per cent of households in the region. It is only in Cape Coast that it is used by a quarter of households (24.5%). This facility needs water and it has already been pointed out earlier that water is scarce in the districts, including even Cape Coast.
Most households which do not have toilet facilities in their homes, use public toilets (37.6%). The figures range from 28.8 per cent in Assin to 48.5 per cent in Asikuma-Odoben-Brakwa. There are some households which use toilet facilities in other houses (4.4%). This is more common with households in Asikuma-Odoben-Brakwa (5.7%), Ajumako-Enyan-Essiam (8.2%), Assin (8.6%) and Lower Denkyira (9.5%). This facility is used to a less extent in Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abirem (1.9%) and Gomoa (1.9%).
It is significant to note that nearly a fifth (18%) of the region’s households do not have any toilet facility at all and use the bush, beach or the fields for the purpose. The situation is most serious in the coastal districts of Awutu-Efutu-Senya (24.3%), Abura-Asebu-Kwamankese (27.5%), Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abirem (28.6%), Gomoa (28.9%) and Mfantsiman (33.3%).
Housing toilet facilities are shared between households occupying the house and/or with households from other houses. Only about a third of the facility is owned exclusively by household members. This pattern is also seen in the districts with the exception of Upper-Denkyira where a high proportion (40.8%) of households exclusively use their toilet facility; Agona (22.0%) and Gomoa (22.3%) have the lowest proportions.
A third of the households (34.8%) in the region have a room exclusively used for cooking. An additional 13.8 per cent have a room purposely for cooking but shared with other households. There are some districts that have a higher proportion of separate rooms exclusively used by households than the regional average but it is more significant in two districts (Upper Denkyira 50% and Assin 52%). In the case of rooms shared by other households, there are more of such facilities in Agona (21.1%) and Upper Denkyira (19.5%).
A fifth (21.7%) of households in the region cook in the open space, as an alternative to the kitchen. For 8 of the districts, the open space is the main or a significant second cooking facility for households. The districts where it is the main cooking facility are Mfantsiman (29.5%), Gomoa (33.3%) and Awutu-Efutu-Senya (34.1%).
Another cooking space used quite often is the veranda. Since most households have a single room or at best two rooms, a number of households cook on their veranda. Cape Coast (17.6%) and Awutu-Efutu-Senya (15.3%) have more households that do their cooking on verandas than any other district. Related to the use of verandas as cooking space is the use of bedrooms/halls also. Nearly 2 per cent of households in the region use bedrooms/halls for cooking. Cape Coast has the highest proportion (3.8%).
About a tenth of households in Agona (10.2%) and Ajumako-Enyan-Essiam (9.7%) cook in structures with roof but without walls. Barely 2 per cent of households in all districts cook in enclosures without roof.
7 per cent of households in the region do no cooking at all, ranging from 5.4 per cent in Twifo-Hemang-Lower Denkyira to 9.3 per cent in Abura-Asebu- Kwamankese.
The main sources of fuel used for cooking in the region are wood (60.9%) and charcoal (29.2%) making them the cooking fuel used by 90.1 per cent of households. The use of wood as cooking fuel is lowest in Cape Coast (12.0%) while it is less than half in Mfantsiman (41.5%), Awutu-Efutu-Senya (44.2%) and Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abirem (48.5%). In the forest districts of Upper Denkyira (75.8%), Asikuma-Odoben-Brakwa (84.7%), Ajumako-Enyan-Essiam (82.1%), Assin (84.5%) and Twifo-Hemang-Lower Denkyira (83.6%) the use of wood as cooking fuel is very high.
In the case of charcoal, three districts have proportions similar to that of the region, Abura- Asebu-Kwamankese (28.3%), Gomoa (26.2%) and Agona (25.1%). In five other districts, use of charcoal as cooking fuel is below 18.0 percent, while in 4 others it is more than 40 per cent of households, with highest usage being in Cape Coast (63.5%).
Gas, which is currently being promoted, is the third most used fuel, (3.1%) in the region. It is used more in Cape Coast (13%) than in any other district. Other districts in which significant proportions of households also use gas are Awutu-Efutu-Senya (5.2%) and Agona (3.7%), probably because they are more urbanised.
Kerosene is used by 1.7 per cent of households in the region. Although the same proportion of households in most districts use Kerosene, it is less used in Twifo-Hemang-Lower Denkyira (0.9%), while in Cape Coast it is used by 3.5 per cent of households. Other sources of fuel (coconut husks and electricity) are hardly used in the region as each is used by less than one per cent of the households. Coconut husks are however used by nearly 2 per cent of households in Mfantsiman and electricity by 2.4 per cent of households in Cape Coast. A small proportion (3.7%) of households do no cooking, though the proportion is relatively higher in Agona (6.1%) and Cape Coast (5.1%).
The analysis of bathing facilities distinguishes between the availability of a separate room for bathing in living quarters, a cubicle for bathing in the house, a public bath house and other forms of bathing space. Bathing facilities in the districts are mostly shared (60.2%) with other households. A third (31.2%) of households in the region share a separate bathroom with other households. Other households also share bathing facilities, which are an open cubicle.
This is used by a fifth (21.0%) of households in the region. The open cubicle is more common in Awutu-Efutu- Senya (26.4%) and Twifo-Hemang-Lower Denkyira (28.0%) and least common in Upper Denkyira (15.1%). Households which share bathing facilities in another house constitute 8 per cent of households in the region. The practice is most common in Gomoa (12.6%) and least in Cape Coast (4.8%).
Apart from the bathing facilities discussed above there are those that are by nature public and therefore shared, such as the open space, public bathhouses and riverside. Some households (7.2%) use the open space around the house. With the exception of Cape Coast (2.9%) and Twifo-Hemang-Lower Denkyira (4.5%), in all the districts at least 5 per cent of households use this type of facility.
There are some households that have bathrooms in their houses exclusively used by household members (19.3%). Apart from three districts: Abura-Asebu-Kwamankese (14.7%) Mfantsiman (16.8%) and Agona (13.6%) all the districts have about a fifth of their households with this facility. The proportion is even higher in Upper-Denkyira where a quarter of households have this facility. A little less than a tenth (8.6%) of households in the region also have a private open cubicle. The open cubicle is least used in Cape Coast (3.7%) followed by Agona (5.6%) and most used in Assin (16.4%).
Nearly 4 per cent of households in the region use public bathhouses, mostly in Komenda- Edina-Eguafo-Abirem (11.2%), Abura-Asebu-Kwamankese (9.0%), Cape Coast (7.4%) and Mfantsiman (7.3%). Households in Assin (0.4%) and Asikuma Odoben-Brakwa (0.4%) hardly use this facility.
Other bathing facilities include the riverside and the lake/pond, used by less than one per cent of households in the region. In the districts, it is only Mfantsiman and Twifo-Hemang-Lower Denkyira that have one per cent of their households using the river, lake or pond as a bathing facility.
Solid waste disposal
Solid waste is disposed of in several ways but the main way is dumping either at a public dumpsite (69.3%) or elsewhere (19.9%). Disposal of solid waste at a public dumpsite varies between 50.1 per cent in Twifo-Hemang-Lower Denkyira and 84 per cent in Ajumako- Enyan-Esiam. Dumping solid waste elsewhere is mostly in Upper-Denkyira (30.7%), Assin (32.5%) and Twifo-Hemang-Lower Denkyira (41.5%). Ajumako-Enyan-Esiam has the least proportion (9.5%) of household disposing solid waste elsewhere.
Some households in the region (6.4%) burn their waste but there is one district in which the percentage is quite high. This is Awutu-Efutu-Senya (14.4%). Burying of waste is also another means of getting rid of solid waste. Although the proportions may not be high, Assin (4.7%) and Twifo-Hemang-Lower Denkyira (4.6%) have the highest proportions of households which use this method of solid waste disposal.
There is a growing tendency for private and public organisations to collect waste from house to house but since this is a recent phenomenon, less than one per cent of households in the region enjoy this facility although in Cape Coast (1.9%), Awutu-Efutu-Senya (1.2%) and Agona (2.1%) the proportion of households which have their waste collected exceed one per cent.
Liquid waste disposal
The three most commonly used method of disposing of liquid waste are the street, the gutter and the compound. Of these, the most common is the street accounting for 41 per cent of methods in the region and used mostly in Mfantsiman (50.8%), Gomoa (51.8%), Asikuma-Odoben-Brakwa (53.4%) and Ajumako-Enyan-Essiam (59.4%). In Cape Coast, the proportion is only 14.1 per cent.
Next in importance for disposal of liquid waste is the compound of the house, which is used by 35.5 per cent of households in the region. This method is the most common means of waste disposal for the following districts Awutu-Efutu-Senya (49.4%), Assin (48.1%) and Twifo-Hemang-Lower Denkyira (60.6%). The gutter, which is the third most commonly used channel by which liquid waste is disposed of in the region, is hardly used in Twifo- Hemang-Lower Denkyira (8.9%) while it is widely used in Cape Coast (52.1%).
Only an average of 2 per cent of households in the region have a proper sewerage system. Cape Coast, which houses the regional capital, has a higher percentage of 8.6 followed by Awutu-Efutu-Senya (4.2%).
The advent of information and communication technology (ICT) has revolutionalised and transformed the communication industry. Presently individuals, businesses, ministries, departments and agencies are increasingly relying more and more on the internet and mobile phones to communicate and transact business rather than the conventional means like the post offices and fixed telephone lines.
Nevertheless, poverty levels and inadequate supply of electricity have made most communities continue to patronize the post offices and fixed telephone lines. Currently, some districts like the Twifo-Hemang-Lower Denkyira have established ICT centres to assist residents have access to ICT. The census collected data on post offices and telephone facilities.
Post offices and telephone facilities
Very few communities in the region have post offices. According to the Regional Office of Ghana Post, there are only 30 post offices and 54 postal agencies in the region. Agona district has the largest number of post offices. Putting post offices and postal agencies together, however, Gomoa (13), Agona (12), Assin (12) and Lower Denkyira (11) have the largest number of postal systems.
Telephone facilities The distribution of telephone facilities is not different from that of post offices. With the exception of Cape Coast, less than 10% of localities in the other districts have telephone facilities within the communities. The situation is worse in Agona (0.6%), Asikuma-Odoben- Brakwa (0.7%), Assin (0.1%), Twifo-Hemang-Lower Denkyira (0.5%) and Upper Denkyira (0.2%).
Apart from Assin (21.6%), Twifo-Hemang-Lower Denkyira (24.2%) and Upper Denkyira (18.6%), between 30 and 80 per cent of communities in the other districts are located within 10 kilometres of a telephone facility. Another observation is that Upper Denkyira is the district with the highest proportion (43.0%) of communities with a telephone facility within 11-20 kilometres, while Awutu-Efutu-Senya has the lowest proportion (13.9%) of such communities. Similar to what obtains for post offices, districts such as Cape Coast and Mfantsiman do not have any community located beyond 20 kilometres of a telephone facility.
The teledensity for the region is very low (0.3 per 100 persons), compared with the national average of 0.7 and 3.2 for Greater Accra. The mobile or cell phone, as a telecommunication facility has assumed considerable importance in telecommunication in Ghana in recent times. The Central Region is covered by the three major providers, Scancom, Millicom and Ghana Telecom. Scancom, which operates the spacefon system provides the region with the widest coverage from transmission facilities located at 11 of the company’s 76 locations nationwide.
The locations, with corresponding districts in parenthesis, are Anomabo (Mfantsiman), Assin Foso (Assin), Cape Coast (Cape Coast municipality), Dunkwa-on Offin (Upper Denkyira), Elmina (Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abirem), Ituma, Kissi (Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abirem), Mankessim (Mfantsiman), Saltpond (Mfantsiman), Winneba (Awutu-Efutu-Senya) and Agona Swedru (Agona.) Millicom, operators of the Mobitel mobile telephone system, covers only the Cape Coast township. Other providers of cell phone facilities are KASAPA and Ghana Telecom’s One Touch.
Good health is necessary for the development of any nation. Among the factors that promote good health are good sanitation, health facilities like hospitals, clinics, health centres/health posts and qualified health personnel like doctors, nurses and other paramedics. Statistics available from the Central Regional Health Administration show that the region, as at 2001, had 128 health facilities made up of 17 hospitals, 54 clinics and 57 health centres/health posts.
Cape Coast, Agona, Assin, Awutu-Efutu-Senya, Komenda- Edina-Eguafo-Abirem and Upper Denkyira were the most endowed districts with 10 or more health facilities. Ajumako-Enyan-Essiam and Lower Denkyira are the only districts without a hospital. The Central Region is fortunate to have one of three highly equipped ultra modern hospitals (Cape Coast Regional Hospital) built in the country recently (the others are the Ho Regional Hospital and the Sunyani Regional Hospital).
There are very few localities, which have hospitals. Apart from Cape Coast (11.4%) Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abirem (4.6%) Awutu-Efutu-Senya (2.0%), Mfantsiman (1.7%) and Gomoa (1.2%) the remaining districts have less than one per cent of their localities with hospitals. For communities without hospitals, between 41.1 per cent and 63.2 per cent of those in Asikuma-Odoben-Brakwa, Agona, Abura-Asebu-Kwamankese, Awutu-Efutu-Senya, Gomoa, Mfantsiman and Cape Coast are within 1-10 km. of a hospital facility. However, some communities in Asikuma-Odoben-Brakwa (22.6%), Ajumako- Enyan-Esiam (52.6%), Assin (55.9%), Lower Denkyira (36.6%) and Upper Denkyira 37.2%) are over 20 km. away from hospitals facilities.
Cape Coast is the only district with no community situated beyond 20 kilometres of a hospital facility. For the following districts, Ajumako-Enyan-Esiam (26.9%), Assin (30.3%), Lower Denkyira (25.7%) and Upper Denkyira (19.7%), many localities are at least 31 kilometres. away from hospital facilities.
The proportion of localities with clinic facilities is higher than that of hospitals for all districts. About a fifth (20.3%) of localities in Cape Coast, for instance, have clinic facilities while the proportion for hospitals is 11.4 per cent. For communities without clinic facilities, the majority are located within 10 kilometres of a clinic facility, except for in Assin (41.6%) and Upper Denkyira (47.5%).
The Central Region has a total of 76 doctors, of which 59 are in the public sector and 17 in the private sector. Cape Coast has the largest proportion (71.1%), but the remaining doctors are fairly evenly distributed in all the other districts. All the districts have doctor-population ratios far above the regional figure (1:20,971), except Cape Coast, which has one doctor to about 2700 people.
The total number of doctors in the whole country as at November 2003 is 2,008 (Human Resource Division, Ministry of Health, Government of Ghana, 2002, and the Ghana Medical Association 2003). Central Region’s share is only 3.8 per cent. Assin district, with the highest population in the region, has only one doctor to a population of 196,457. The entire district of Ajumako-Enyan-Essiam has not a single doctor for the entire population of 91,965. The nearest hospitals with doctors will therefore be the facilities at Breman Asikuma in the Asikuma-Odoben-Brakwa District, or Saltpond and Mankessim in the Mfantsiman District.
In a population where orthodox medical practitioners are few, the role of the traditional healer in primary health care delivery in the region becomes very important and should engage the full attention of planners, policy makers and implementers. Indeed, it is quite possible that they contribute considerably to the unusually high child survival rate in Twifo- Hemang-Lower Denkyira, a district with only one orthodox doctor but 166 traditional practitioners.
The region has 1,207 primary schools, 856 junior secondary schools and 49 senior secondary schools. It boasts of some of the best secondary schools in the country and is endowed with two universities.
Between 26.2 and 79 per cent of localities in the coastal districts namely; Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abirem, Cape Coast, Abura-Asebu-Kwamankese, Gomoa, Awutu-Efutu-Senya and Mfantsiman have primary schools. The proportion for the other districts ranges from of 7.8 per cent in Asikuma-Odoben-Brakwa to 19.9 per cent in Ajumako-Enyan-Esiam. With the exception of Ajumako-Enyan-Essiam and Assin almost all communities in the districts which do not have primary schools are within a maximum distance of 10 kilometres from a primary school.
Junior secondary schools
Mfantsiman has the highest percentage (65.7%) of communities with JSS facilities. This is followed by Cape Coast (53.2%), Gomoa (43.0%) and Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abirem (31.8%) with Upper Denkyira (8.6%), Asikuma-Odoben-Brakwa (5.6%), Assin (5.1%) and Agona (4.2%) having proportions lower than 10 per cent. Just as with primary schools, localities without JSS are almost all located within a travelling distance of 1-10 kilometres to the nearest JSS facility.
Senior secondary schools Very few localities have senior secondary schools (SSS) within the locality. Only Cape Coast (12.7%) has a proportion of its localities with more than 10 per cent having SSS. The remaining districts all have less than five per cent of their localities with SSS. For localities without SSS, Cape Coast has the highest percentage of 57 per cent followed by Gomoa (36%) and Abura-Asebu-Kwamankese (30.9%) which are within 1-5 km. from SSS facilities. Three districts namely; Assin, Twifo-Hemang-Lower Denkyira and Upper Denkyira have less than 10 per cent of their localities within 1-5 km. from SSS facilities.
The rest of the districts have percentages between 19 and 30 per cent. The distribution of SSS within 6-10 km. is not so skewed. Here, the percentages range from 15.2 per cent in Cape Coast to 44.2 per cent in Mfantsiman. Ajumako-Enyan-Esiam has the highest percentage (26.3%) of communities within reach of 11-15 kilometres from an SSS facility. Four other districts, namely, Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abirem (22.1%), Awutu- Efutu-Senya (23.8%), Agona (21.9%) and Twifo-Hemang-Lower Denkyira (24.9%) have percentages between 20 per cent and 25 per cent.
The other districts have less than 20 per cent but more than 10 per cent within this distance. Another important feature is that unlike the primary and JSS facilities between 11 per cent and 36 per cent of all localities in the districts are within 16-20 kilometres from an SSS facility. Four districts, namely, Asikuma-Odoben-Brakwa, Ajumako-Enyan-Esiam, Assin and Twifo-Hemang-Lower Denkyira have about 13 per cent of localities within this distance and Awutu-Efutu-Senya has slightly lower percentage (11.1%). For the remaining six districts, the percentages are below 10 per cent. Again Assin (48%), Twifo-Hemang- Lower Denkyira (37.2%), Upper Denkyira (23.6%) and Asikuma-Odoben-Brakwa (19.9%) are the only districts with a significant proportion of their localities situated more than 20 km. from SSS facilities.
It should be emphasized, however, that since most of the SSS in the country are boarding schools, affordability counts more than the physical distance of a facility from a community. The Central Region has some of the best quality secondary schools in the country, so candidates from the region have to compete with the best students in the country. This therefore tends to limit the enrolment of candidates from the region. For the communities to benefit from the facilities the quota system should be enforced. In addition, the better endowed schools should admit more day students.
The results show clearly that the region’s demographic structure has important consequences on the quality of life of the inhabitants.
The age structure in the districts exhibits the normal structure typical of a growing population, with a higher proportion of children under five years, which tapers at each successive higher age. This is an indication of high fertility. In fact, the declining but still large proportion of young people aged less than 15 years in all the districts should be a cause for concern for policy makers. For such a young age structure, the population will continue to grow in all districts even if fertility declines. In the interim also, resources need to be channelled to cater for the children, particularly in the area of education.
There are more females than males in all the districts, except Twifo-Hemang-Lower Denkyira where the proportion is almost equal. This may be the result of male out-migration to other regions. Generally, there is male predominance in all districts for all ages from 5 to 19 years. From age 20 years, the pattern changes except in Assin, Twifo-Hemang-Lower Denkyira and Upper Denkyira. These are the three major cocoa and oil palm growing areas that are likely to attract male migrations.
At birth, there are more males than females and male out-migration usually starts close to the end of the teenage years. It is usually after the teenage years that males migrate for various reasons including seeking greener pastures.
As a result of the youthful nature of the population, there are fewer people in the working age group. In five out of the districts, dependency ratios exceed 100. Since the working age group (15-64 years) includes the unemployed, students, homemakers and other persons, who are not economically active, the dependency ratio will naturally be greater than what is reported. It means therefore that on the average, each working person will be supporting more than one person who is not working. What is even more worrying is that there are some people who are expected to be working but are either underemployed or earn inadequate incomes to support these dependent persons.
Fertility and child survival
Currently, about 80 per cent of women below 20 years in all the districts have had at least a child, contributing to the region’s population growth rate which has increased from 1.8 per cent between 1970 and 1984 to 2.1 per cent between 1984 and 2000. There is the need to seriously revisit aspects of the National Population Policy relating to fertility factors and intensify female education at all levels, not only with the view to reduce the fertility but to provide avenues to women for better career prospects and more participation in decision making.
The child survival rate of about 80 per cent in all the districts implies that close to a fifth of the children born to women of childbearing-age do not survive. The expansion of health facilities and their accessibility will go a long way in improving the child survival rate. It is hoped that as governance and development are brought closer to the people in the districts, the districts will cease to experience net out-migration and people, especially the youth, will stay to contribute to the development of their districts.
There is indication that more communities in the region are becoming urbanised. Cape Coast, Awutu- Efutu-Senya and Agona are the most urbanised districts in the region with over 60 per cent of their population living in urban areas. The remaining districts apart from Mfantsiman are typically rural. Ajumako-Enyan-Esiam, Assin and Twifo-Hemang-Lower Denkyira for instance have more than 80% of their population living in rural settlements.
There is evidence that the rate of out-migration from the region is declining but out-migration is still a problem especially among the males. For the few in-migrants within the period of five years before the census, there were more males than females.
More than half (56.0%) of the population in all the districts with the exception of Cape Coast, are in some form of marital union, while those who have never been married form about two fifths. The proportion of persons who have never married in Cape Coast is greater than any other district. For all the districts, the proportion of female divorcees exceeds that of males.
Nearly 40 per cent of the residents in all the districts except Cape Coast are illiterate. Cape Coast, with the regional capital, has the least proportion of illiterates because it has more educational facilities than the other districts. The situation is such that Cape Coast has more students especially in second cycle schools. However, significant proportions have never been to school. In addition, relatively high proportions do not attend SSS. This implies that in spite of the fact that the region boasts of some of the best schools in the country and home to two universities, very few people are able to access the facilities. There are more female than male illiterates since the former constitutes less than 50 per cent of the student population. The opportunities exist for people to take advantage of the presence of the numerous schools.
The districts are encouraged to pay greater attention to their education policies. The setting up of educational funds by the District Assemblies and traditional authorities (as some chiefs in other parts of the country have done), would help to improve the situation. Females should be assisted in sourcing the fund when they are set up. Moreover, there is need for a policy that would allow young mothers to be re-admitted to school to enable them pursue their educational careers. Another way to close the male-female gap in education is for female organisations like the Federation of African Women Educators (FAWE) and others to continue to sensitise parents (especially the uneducated) to become more aware that the girl child is equally important as the boy child. At such fora, female role models from these areas could be presented to these parents to tell their own stories.
One of the major reasons parents have difficulty educating their children is poverty. Parents would therefore prefer sending their children out to work to earn some income for the family. The Government should therefore intensify its efforts at reducing poverty. Since the responsibility of a child’s education rests with both parents, wealth creation programmes should be aimed at both sexes to enable parents educate their children to the highest possible level. In this regard, the efforts of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports and the Ministry of Women and Children’s Affairs are laudable and should be sustained.
Primary school enrolment is about 77 per cent on the average. Four districts, however, have enrolment rates that are more than 80 per cent. Generally at the primary level, there are more females than males. In the region and for all the districts, however, there are more enrolled males than females. This may imply that in this region, females are not being encouraged to enroled in school. Policy measures therefore have to be put in place to ensure that the higher proportions of females of school going age is reflected in actual enrolment rates.
In the case of secondary school enrolment, it is only Cape Coast that has 30 per cent enrolment for males. Female enrolment is even lower, the average being 15.6 percent, with all districts apart from Cape Coast having similar percentages. This should be a cause for concern because education is an important factor in national development and the influence and benefits of education do not begin to show until after the secondary school level.
Unemployment is more of a problem in Mfantsiman, Cape Coast and Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abirem than in the other districts. Females in the districts are more likely to be unemployed than their male counterparts. In addition, the distribution of the unemployed affects mostly the 25-44 years age group in all districts. Different strategies should be used in addressing the issue of unemployment because of the age-sex differentials.
Very young children instead of being in the classroom are engaged in economic activities and this should be a cause for concern for all stakeholders. Many children aged 7-14 years are engaged in one form of activity or another. The data show that about 4.0 per cent are employed and an additional 13.6 per cent of this age group are looking for work. The establishment of micro-financing projects for the women especially, is likely to make them put their children in schools instead of sending them to the job market.
In addition, establishing more apprenticeship training centres especially for the females will go a long way in solving the problem. Those in the small-scale enterprises should also be encouraged to team up and pool their resources together to expand and create more employment opportunities.
Occupation and industry
Agriculture and related work (this includes animal husbandry, forestry, fishing and hunting) is the predominant occupation in all the districts apart from Cape Coast. The agricultural sector employs between a third and two-thirds of the labour force in all districts, except Cape Coast (9.2%). The pattern is not different for the sexes except that manufacturing is second to agriculture for males, while wholesale/retail trade comes second to agriculture for females. This is not different from what pertains at the national level, as Ghana is predominantly an agricultural country. With income levels generally low in the agriculture sector, coupled with a large private informal sector of over 80 per cent in most of the districts, the ability of the districts to use “internally generated funds” for projects is limited.
The potential of the coastal districts to expand and modernise the salt and fishing industries exists in addition to the establishment of agro-processing industries in the forest districts.
Access to electricity in the region is poor. Only Cape Coast and Mfantsiman have over 50 per cent of households enjoying electricity. Assin (18%), Upper Denkyira (29.3%), Twifo-Hemang-Lower Denkyira (32.2%), Gomoa (31.0%) and Asikuma-Odoben-Brakwa (27.2%) are the least endowed districts. The private formal sector, which normally requires abundant and cheap supply of electricity, will find it difficult to locate in these districts. There is the need to extend electricity to these districts.
Wood and charcoal constitute about 90 per cent of cooking fuel in all the districts except Cape Coast. The dependence on wood for cooking is likely to have an adverse effect on the already fragile forest resource. Even if some trees are planted it will take a long time to replace them. In addition, it is most unlikely that they will be replaced at the same rate as they are being cut down. Nevertheless, the Forestry Services Division should encourage and assist communities to plant more trees.
For cooking fuel, the promotion of the use of gas and energy saving coal-pots should be intensified and made more accessible especially in the rural areas.
Material for outer walls
More than half of households in the region live in houses with walls made of mud/mud-bricks/earth. Seven out of twelve districts have at least 60 per cent of households living in houses with walls made of these materials, except Awutu-Efutu-Senya (62.4%), Cape Coast (60%) and Komenda-Edina- Eguafo-Abirem (54.7%) where over half of households live in houses with concrete walls. This may be due to the fact that concrete/cement is not affordable to many people, particularly in rural areas.
The mud/mud-bricks/bricks also have a short lifespan and are subject to the vagaries of inclement weather. The use of burnt bricks should therefore be encouraged as they are durable and the region has large deposits of clay to sustain the burnt brick industry.
Number of rooms
About half (49.4%) of the households in the region occupy a single room. It is only in Ajumako- Enyan-Esiam and Assin that the figures are well below 50 per cent. This means that these serve as both bedrooms and living rooms. In addition, about a fifth of the households have two rooms with the exception of Mfantsiman with a figure slightly below 20 per cent. The average household size is 4.4 and average number of persons per sleeping room is 2.3. This implies that there is marginal overcrowding in the region and many districts. With most households having no more than 2 sleeping rooms, it means that parents and children as well as siblings of mixed sexes may share the same bedroom with consequential loss of privacy. Generally, housing has been provided through individual initiatives, and government organisations, such as the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) and the State Housing Corporation.
In recent times, private real estate developers have also been involved in the provision of houses. Low rents and inability to purchase houses outright have made it impossible for the various providers to meet housing needs of the population. There is the need therefore for Government and financial institutions to be more involved than they have been by establishing loan schemes for workers to build their own houses. The Ministry of Works and Housing, Town and Country Planning, the District Assemblies as well as the Ghana Real Estates Developers Association (GREDA) should team up to provide an estimate of shortfall of houses. In determining housing needs, these bodies must make allowance for the deterioration of the stock of housing, the replacement and the upgrading of existing ones.
Access to safe water
Pipe-borne water is enjoyed by only half of the households in the region although as many as 40.6 per cent do not have it at home. This situation is more serious in the following districts: Assin, Twifo- Hemang-Lower Denkyira, Asikuma-Odoben-Brakwa, and Upper Denkyira. Even in Cape Coast the district with the highest percentage of households. With regards to access to pipe-borne water in their houses, the percentage is only 37.7 per cent. It must also be noted that some households have water from tanker services.
Although these could be included in pipe-borne water they are obtained indirectly. The two districts that benefit most from this source are Gomoa (17.5%) and Awutu-Efutu- Senya (20.9%). Access to good potable water is a pre-requisite to good health, such that in its absence, people are susceptible to water-borne diseases such as diarrhoea and typhoid. As has been mentioned earlier, even the existing infrastructure for the provision of potable water is totally inadequate to meet the needs of the general public. There is therefore the need for a major expansion and diversification of the sources of potable water.
Nearly 40 per cent of households in the region use public toilets. The situation is similar among the districts with the exception of Assin and Twifo-Hemang-Lower Denkyira where most households use pit latrines. Water closet, which is considered the most modern of toilet facilities, is used by barely 5 per cent of households, mainly in Cape Coast (24.5%). The absence of toilet facilities has led to the indiscriminate disposal of human waste in many undeveloped plots as well as the desecration of beaches, which are important sources of tourist attraction. This is likely to affect growth in the tourism sector.
Human waste disposal is a very critical issue especially in the urban areas. It is therefore important that Ghana’s housing policy not only state that adequate provision of toilet facilities be made for all houses but must also be enforced. For example, before a building permit is given, the District Assemblies must ensure that adequate provision is made for toilet facilities.
Disposal of solid and liquid waste
Nine out of 10 households in the region dispose of their solid waste either at a public dumpsite or elsewhere. There are 3 main ways of disposing of liquid waste in the region namely; street, gutter and compound. Of these, the street is mainly used. It is used mainly in four districts: Mfantsiman, Gomoa, Asikuma-Odoben-Brakwa and Ajumako-Enyan-Esiam where at least 50 per cent of households dispose of their liquid waste. Only two per cent of households in the region have a proper sewerage system. Lack of disposal facilities for both liquid and solid waste added to lackof toilet facilities would hasten the destruction of our environment and also pose health hazards.
On the issue of solid waste disposal, District Assemblies and other bodies charged with waste disposal must ensure efficient collection of solid waste from houses, collection from the designated public dumping sites and proper treatment and processing of the waste material. With regard to liquid waste disposal, it has become difficult for gutters to be constructed at certain residential areas due to the haphazard manner in which houses have been built.
The Town and Country Planning in collaboration with the District Assemblies should ensure that developers adhere to laid down plans for whichever area they intend to develop. The ideal situation may be for places to be well laid out with all utilities in place before any construction takes place. In the long term, there must be a national and regional effort at constructing a sewerage system for the disposal of liquid waste. In the interim, households must be educated against using gutters as the method for waste disposal, and to construct soak-away systems in homes for liquid waste disposal.
There is not much difference in the distribution of post offices and telephone facilities. There are slightly more telephone facilities than post offices within localities. This may be due to the fact that while no new post offices are being built, telephone facilities are being extended. Although we may still depend on post offices for communicating, the use of the telephone is faster and cheaper and needs to be expanded to reach all communities, as this can reduce human movement and reduce time spent moving about which could be put to some other use. The establishment of ICT centres by districts like Twifo-Hemang-Lower Denkyira is laudable and must be emulated by all the other districts.
The closest source of medical facilities in localities are the traditional ones as almost all of them are within 5 kilometres. This means that it may be the main source of providing primary health care delivery for most districts. Since in the short term, clinics and hospitals cannot be provided for all communities, traditional health providers should be provided regular refresher training and adequately resourced to offer the needed assistance to the communities.
Most districts have primary and JSS within 10km from their locality and as such may not have to move long distances to receive some education. With SSS, however, in many districts some schools are at least 31 kilometres from the localities. There is the need for the districts in conjunction with religious bodies to establish more SSS within close distances from localities to improve access to education.
The TFR is lowest in Cape Coast (2.4) and highest in Asikuma-Odoben-Brakwa (5.0) and Assin (5.0). Cape Coast is the most urbanised district followed by Awutu-Efutu-Senya and Agona while Twifo- Hemang-Lower Denkyira, Assin, and Ajumako-Enyan-Esiam are the least urbanised. Two in every three (57.1%) persons 15 years and over in the region are literates. There are more literates in Cape Coast (75.1%) than any other district. The district with the least proportion of literates is Abura-Asebu-Kwamankese (45.1%). There are more male than female literates. While on the average about 70 per cent of males are literates, the percentage for females is 46 per cent. While Cape Coast has the highest percentage of male (83.6%) and female (67.1%) literates, Abura-Asebu- Kwamankese has the lowest for both males (59.0%) and females (34.2%). With the exception of Cape Coast (39.2%), about 50 per cent of adult (15 years and older) males and females are in some form of marital union. In all districts, there are more married females than males.
In the case of divorcees also, there are more females than males in all the districts. About 4 per cent of children aged 7-14 years in the region are engaged in economic activity of one kind or another. Cape Coast has the least proportion of children in employment (1.7%). Nine per cent of the economically active adult population in the region is unemployed. Unemployment is highest in Mfantsiman and lowest in Ajumako-Enyan-Esiam. Generally, there are more female than male unemployed in the districts, except in Gomoa, Agona and Twifo-Hemang-Lower Denkyira.
The two main materials used for roofing are corrugated metal and slate/asbestos. The district in which corrugated sheet is most common is Agona (92.3%) while it is least used in Cape Coast (30.1%). In the case of asbestos, it is most commonly used in Cape Coast (51.2%) and least used in Upper Denkyira (1%). Other notable observations are that access to safe water, adequate toilet facilities and electricity are a big problem in Assin, Twifo-Hemang-Lower Denkyira, Asikuma-Odoben-Brakwa and Upper Denkyira. Gas as cooking fuel is mainly used in Cape Coast and, to a lesser extent Awutu-Efutu-Senya and Agona. Wood and charcoal continue to be the predominant cooking fuel in all districts.