Tamale

Is the capital of the Northern Region of Ghana. Located on the crossing of three ancient trade routes, Tamale started to grow as a commercial city centuries ago. The North-South road from Paga and Bolgatanga to Salaga and Kumasi saw raiders with their slaves passing, whilst other merchants brought their goods into the little town. Salt came from Daboya, to the North-West of Tamale, and followed a road that continued to Yendi. A third road linked Gushegu and the northern part of what is now the country of Togo to the capital of the Gonja kingdom, Damongo. The present locations of the central market and the palace of the Gulkpe naa, opposite Barclays Bank and near the library, mark the junctions of the ancient roads.

Around this palace, a residential neighborhood began to grow. It is now known as Dagbangdabi-phong (the name means “oldest Dagomba men area”). This was followed by Changli, Belipiela and Bolanaphong (“gods’ area”) further to the South. Each neighborhood got its own local chief. As the distances to the market place grew, people started to settle elsewhere around the crossing, so that the quarters of Tishigu and Abu-Abu came up. An influx of Northerners from present-day Burkina Faso led to the building of Moshi Zongo. In the same time, the remote village of Vitteng came into existence.

The colonial period brought western thinking about garden cities to Tamale and at the back of Sakasaka grew Kalpuhin Estates, even now a pleasant neighborhood with plenty trees, big gardens and small houses which are not fit for the traditional extended or polygamic families. In the 1970s, urban extensions like Zogbeli, Lamakara and Lamashegu were built, neighborhoods characterized by checkboard planning of square house plots and orthogonal streets and alleys. Since the year 2000, Tamale seems to grow more rapid than any metropolis in Africa, so that the whole district of Tamale is now urban agglomeration.

 

Facts

City: Tamale
Country: Ghana
Population: 537,986 (as of 2012)
Calling Code: 037
Time zone: UTC

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