Formerly known as the Gold Coast, Ghana gained independence from Britain in 1957, becoming one of the first African nations to break free from colonial rule. Gold, cocoa and more recently oil form the cornerstone of Ghana's economy and have helped fuel an economic boom.
Ghana is one of the most developed countries on the African continent and consistently ranks among the top 3 for its freedom of speech and press freedom. In the past 20 years, Ghana has taken major strides toward democracy under a multi-party system, with its independent judiciary winning public trust. The country is relatively stable in terms of its politics and economics.
Over the last three decades, Ghana has experienced rapid urbanization. As Ghana’s total population more than doubled between 1984 and 2013, urban population growth outpaced rural population growth. The urban population more than tripled in this time, rising from under 4 million to nearly 14 million people.
According to a World Bank report this urban migration had positive effects on the economy of the country. It has helped to increase economic growth: a re-allocation of labour to jobs with higher marginal productivity increased growth and efficiency, and unleashed the potential benefits of agglomeration, specialization and economies of scale.
During the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in 2015 in New York, the Government of Ghana and the PSUP Country Team participated in a side event on the role of the PSUP in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Goals 1 and 11 are priorities for the Government of Ghana, which has high political commitment to localize the achievement of these goals. National consultations on SDG Target 11.1, “By 2030, ensure access for all to adequate, safe and affordable housing and basic services and upgrade slums”, to which PSUP is contributing directly, have already taken place in 2016 and resulted in institutionalization of the target within different governance and development institutions in Ghana.
PSUP Contributions and Achievements
PSUP gained the support of the government in the drafting of the National Slum Upgrading and Prevention Strategy, which will provide a platform to implement the Ghana National Urban Policy and Action Plan and promote citywide slum upgrading and prevention strategies. The Government is also committed to upgrading dilapidated housing stock, sanitation and providing land titles. It is also enhancing the capacity of youth and women through education and employment of 15,000 women and youth in Ga Mashie. The Government has shown political will to replicate the PSUP approach in more cities and has directed funding towards municipalities in order to develop city-wide slum upgrading programmes. These, together with resource mobilization strategies for upgrading slum areas, all indicate that the PSUP approach has already been institutionalized and
The Community Managed Funds (CMF), as implemented by the PSUP, seeks to empower communities to undertake and manage their own projects, which are aimed at creating employment and enhancing partnerships between communities and the local authorities. PSUP has set aside 10 per cent of available budgets to support the fund. In Ga Mashie, CMF is empowering women to improve their living standards through water and sanitation projects and alley paving. This is providing safe and clean public spaces in which a good proportion of women undertake economic activities in order to support their households. The Government has provided co-financing to UN-Habitat for the implementation of the pilot project, which shows the commitment to the program (USD 250,000 from Accra Metropolitan Assembly and the Ministry). They are also engaging the private sector and other identified multilateral donors to support PSUP and other slum upgrading projects in the Accra Metropolitan Assembly and other municipalities. PSUP has deepened participation at all levels, especially at the community level, and the country is moving from pilot projects to comprehensive programmes