City on the move: Tamale, Ghana

The area surrounding Tamale has strong agricultural potential.

The area surrounding Tamale has strong agricultural potential.

Tamale, the capital city of Ghana’s Northern Region, is ripe with opportunity, particularly for entrepreneurs and investors wanting to establish businesses in agro-processing or hospitality.

This is according to Kofi Nketsia-Tabiri, founder and CEO of XpressGas, one of the main players in the country’s competitive liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) industry. He maintains there is still plenty of room for development in terms of hotel accommodation. The city’s proximity to all three of Ghana’s neighbouring countries (Côte d’Ivoire in the west, Burkina Faso in the north and Togo in the east) provide a ready supply of business travellers. “Tamale also has a well-resourced airport,” he adds.

Another sector where the city and the immediate surrounding area can compete is agriculture and agro-processing, says Nketsia-Tabiri. “Tamale is unique in the sense that it services such a huge region and is very flat. The city is quite concentrated and then you have all of this arable land around it.”

He mentions tomatoes and mango as two crops that could provide processing potential. “Tomatoes is a burgeoning industry; however, the existing farmers produce a lot and much of it goes to waste as there is no functioning processing plant. There was a plant but it has not been utilised for some time,” he explains.

“Thanks to the sheer volume of available land and the fact that the government has been developing dams to lure investors with all-year water supply for their crops, some mango farms are being developed,” says Nketsia-Tabiri, adding that with the African free trade agreement in place, there is a sizeable opportunity to export these processed goods to neighbouring countries.