View Full Version : Traffic…Please MOVE!

26th June 2011, 12:29 PM
By Justin Borom

Do you have free time during your week or weekend? Why not go out and take a journey throughout Accra? Go stroll throughout the downtown area where you can go and visit shops. In the outlying communities of Nima, Legon, or Achimota, you can walk amongst the different markets and buy those necessities or gifts for relatives. Or perhaps you’ll venture on to the campus of the University of Ghana at Legon, where you’ll see campus life. While out, you’ll get a chance to see why Accra is considered a growing, vibrant international city that is experiencing incredible growth throughout its many neighbourhoods and communities.

Throughout the downtown area you’ll have a chance to see new skyscrapers being built that will reach high into the air. Within a matter of weeks or months these buildings will be complete with businesses, apartment, or hotels for those visitors who are coming to witness the possible future hub of commerce and politics in Africa.

In the outlying communities you’ll see markets full of shoppers looking to get the best bargain of their daily necessities. Going through the campus of the university, you’ll see students everywhere, pacing from one building to another to get to class. They are yearning to gain knowledge that will help them advance their country.


Before you make ANY plans to actually get into the city, I suggest that you take a walk outside your house, office, or wherever you may be and see how the traffic looks that day.

Over the past four weeks I have been visiting Accra from America, and have experienced what I can say could possibly be some of the worst traffic that I have ever been in my entire life. During my time here I have been staying at the University of Ghana at Legon, just a few miles from downtown Accra. By being only a few miles from the downtown area, I expected when I arrived to Accra that I would be able to go back and forth easily in a taxi or ‘tro tro’, increasing the amount of time that I would have to see the monuments, and entertainment that it has to offer.

This expectation that I could travel speedily around the city escaped quickly from my mind. Immediately on my first day arriving I realized that travelling to different destinations around the city would be one of the hardest things to do while here.

Throughout the city, roads are filled with potholes, entire lanes are ripped up to make bigger lanes or improvements, drivers go in an out of lanes, buses go under the speed limit, accidents occur often due to bad drivers, and the amount, or the lack of, of roads that actually lead to the centre of the city hinder the ability of traffic to go at a normal pace causing hours long traffic. Because of the conditions of the roads, I have to always plan my events around what could be the flow of traffic that day, and if traffic is worse then I’ve expected for that day, cancel my plans all together. I have already cancelled numerous trips into the city.

Only just a few days ago I had to call off of work because of the conditions of traffic in the morning. After sitting in a bus without moving one inch on the main road by the University of Ghana at Legon for 35 minutes, I jumped out of the bus and started to walk home. The traffic was insane. No one was moving, cars were trying to weave in and out of lanes, blocking even more traffic. I even heard from friends who had left two hours before me that they had only travelled a few miles to the Accra mall. The traffic in this city, in my opinion, is not only hindering my travel abilities, but also the growth of this city into becoming an important hub on the continent. For myself to have to call into work already while only having been here for 4 weeks, I have to wonder what this traffic is doing to Ghana’s development now, and how it is risking Ghana’s future development.

The authorities of Accra, in my opinion, need to review their roads, and survey how they can make the roads more efficient. By clearing up the roads in this city, they will not only help their city exponentially grow, but lower traffic times, and in return increase the amount of work hours in a day upping productivity output.

Justin Borom is an Intern at ‘The New Statesman’. He is a student from Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona. He will be at the ‘New Statesman’ until the end of June.

26th June 2011, 01:55 PM
Hmmmmm this traffic issue us really out of hand.....smh