Partners | Challenges | Projects | Initial Results


The Ghana Land, Services and Citizenship (LSC) programme aims to:

> Support national and local policy dialogue to promote sustainable urbanisation, ensure the empowerment of local governments, and reinforce the importance of active community participation.

> Strengthen the capacity of local government to inclusively plan and manage urban growth.

> Empower organisations of the urban poor to actively engage in local development.

> Create a national urban agenda with a particular focus on the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area (GAMA).



By the Numbers


• Over 50% of Ghanaians live in cities.

51% of urban residents live in slums.

• Cities produce 60% of Ghana's national output.

• Accra's population of 4 million will likely double in 5 years.

• There are 11 municipalities in Greater Accra.





The Government of Ghana is implementing LSC through the Urban Development Unit (UDU) and the Institute of Local Government Studies (ILGS), both under the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD).

Local partners include:

> The Ghana Federation of the Urban Poor

> People’s Dialogue

> Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST)


These partners are supported by international organisations including:

> Agence Française de Développement (AFD)

> Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)

> Habitat for Humanity International (HFHI)

> Shack/Slum Dwellers International (SDI)

> UN-Habitat

> The World Bank

Funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Ghana LSC programme is facilitated and supported by Cities Alliance.





Today, more than half of Ghana’s population lives in its cities, which produce some 60 percent of the country’s national output. Yet, over the years national development in Ghana has been seen primarily through a rural lens, and growth has effectively outpaced urban planning.

But that is changing, and increasing attention is being paid to urban issues including:

> Ever-expanding formal and informal settlements that have no basic services and that are impacting the city’s sanitation and drainage, making neighbourhoods vulnerable to destructive flooding year in and year out.

> Problems of governance, in which mayors and other local authorities are appointed rather than elected and thus accountable to the central government instead of the people

> A tradition of civil society in Ghana that has left many people—especially the poor—without an understanding of their rights and responsibilities as citizens and also not being engaged by their governments in the day-to-day management of the cities

> Planning problems, with an under-resourced planning department that lacks capacity to effectively plan for the city and relies on the national government to implement their recommendations.

> Severe traffic congestion that hampers mobility and economic growth, especially in Accra.





Development of an Inclusive National Urban Agenda

Sustainable Urban Local Government Capacity Buildinga

Preparation for the State of Ghanaian Cities Report

Building the Capacity of the Urban Poor for Inclusive Urban Development

Ghana Urban Voice Radio Program

Development of an Integrated Environmental Sanitation Strategy for Greater Accra

Improving and Expanding Sanitation in Greater Accra Workshop



Initial Results

National, inclusive dialogue established. Several National Urban Forums have been held, bringing all stakeholders together and giving them a chance to share views and develop a national approach to urbanisation.

Leveraged investments.  The Country Programme in Ghana is supporting the multi-stakeholder metropolitan planning process that will result in the design of a sanitation and water programme to be funded by a US $150 million loan from the World Bank.

National urban policy launched. President John Mahama has openly championed the continental urban agenda and launched Ghana's first-ever national urban policy in March 2013. 

Awareness of urban issues raised. An advocacy initiative has raised the profile of urban issues and is generating debate in an inclusive and constructive way. 

Changing view of slums. The National Government has changed the way it refers to slums—as settlements of the urban poor instead of illegal settlements. Alternative solutions to forced relocation of large settlements are also being sought.

Settlements mapped and profiled in four districts. Peoples' Dialogue has profiled and mapped 18 settlements so far (10 in Ashaiman and 8 in Tema), and the process is underway in 20 settlements in Lekma and Adenta.

Slum dwellers mobilised. 28 new saving groups have been formed in Ashaiman and Tema, with plans to form an additional 76 new groups throughout the four districts (Ashaiman, Tema, Lekma and Adenta).



Check this out


'Fixing the Urban Mess' - Video series documenting Accra's urbanisation challenges. It aired on the Ghana Business Report in 2012.


Part 1

• Part 2

Part 3

Part 4