Ghana has experience rapid urbanisation over the past four decades, spanning 23.0 per cent in 1960 to 43.8 per cent in 2000, the Population Division of the UN Department for Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) has said.
By 2010 the urban and rural population was at par and it is projected that by 2025 the proportion of the population in urban communities would have increased to as high as 62.9 per cent.
The report said at this prevailing rate of increase, urban areas in the country are expected to absorb more than half of the country’s population growth over the coming years through a natural increase while at the same time, drawing in some of its rural population.
The proportion of the world’s population living in the urban areas according to the report crossed the 50 per cent mark in 2009 and it is estimated that 57 per cent of the people will live in urban areas by 2025.
In Ghana, the situation is not different with approximately 51.5 per cent of the country’s population in 2010 living in urban areas.
In a globalising world, urbanisation is seen as an opportunity and recommended that policy makers in the country need to have appositive attitude towards urbanisation.
It therefore noted that strategies to implement the policy objectives in the National Population Policy which seeks to achieve a more even distribution of population between rural and urban areas needs to be re-examined.
The Social Security and National Insurance Trust needs to be encouraged to invest into residential housing for workers to help manage slum and squatter settlement while private investment into residential accommodation should be facilitated by the state, the report said and added that slum upgrading programmes should to be prioritised as majority of Ghanaians are expected to live in urban areas.
This rapid rate of urbanisation in Ghana presents tremendous development opportunities and poses serious challenges for economic and social progress.