IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

The Role of Small Towns in Regional Development and Poverty Reduction in Ghana




Ghana, like many other countries in sub‐Saharan Africa, lacks a clearly articulated urban development strategy. Urban growth has been rapid but largely uncontrolled. Ghana's adoption of a decentralization programme in 1988 focused some attention on small towns. The country's more recent adoption of the Millennium Development Goals and other specific poverty reduction strategies requires more concerted state promotion of small towns. Improved service provision and delivery through small towns is a necessary component of any successful poverty reduction or regional development strategy. Résumé Le Ghana, comme de nombreux autres pays de l’Afrique subsaharienne, manque de stratégie d’aménagement urbain claire et explicite. L’expansion urbaine a été rapide et généralement non maîtrisée. Le Ghana ayant lancé un programme de décentralisation en 1988, les petites villes ont bénéficié d’un certain intérêt. L’adoption plus récente des Objectifs du Millénaire pour le Développement, ainsi que d’autres stratégies de réduction de la pauvreté, implique davantage de concertation dans la promotion gouvernementale des petites villes. Une amélioration de la mise à disposition des services dans les petites villes constitue un élément nécessaire à toute réussite en matière de réduction de la pauvreté ou de stratégie de développement régional.

Suggested Citation

  • George Owusu, 2008. "The Role of Small Towns in Regional Development and Poverty Reduction in Ghana," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(2), pages 453-472, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ijurrs:v:32:y:2008:i:2:p:453-472
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-2427.2008.00794.x

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL:
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jan Hinderink & Milan Titus, 2002. "Small Towns and Regional Development: Major Findings and Policy Implications from Comparative Research," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 39(3), pages 379-391, March.
    2. Fergus Lyon, 2003. "Trader associations and urban food systems in Ghana: institutionalist approaches to understanding urban collective action," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(1), pages 11-23, March.
    3. Wiggins, Steve, 2000. "Interpreting Changes from the 1970s to the 1990s in African Agriculture Through Village Studies," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 631-662, April.
    4. Samuel Agyei‐Mensah, 2006. "Marketing its Colonial Heritage: A New Lease of Life for Cape Coast, Ghana?," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(3), pages 705-716, September.
    5. Paul Courtney & Andrew Errington, 2000. "The Role of Small Towns in the Local Economy and Some Implications for Development Policy," Local Economy, London South Bank University, vol. 15(4), pages 280-301, November.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Zoomers, Annelies & van Noorloos, Femke & Otsuki, Kei & Steel, Griet & van Westen, Guus, 2017. "The Rush for Land in an Urbanizing World: From Land Grabbing Toward Developing Safe, Resilient, and Sustainable Cities and Landscapes," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 242-252.
    2. Ashfaque Alam & Binayak Choudhury, 2016. "Spatio-Functional Determinants Of Small Towns: A Case Study Of Selected Indian Small Towns," Review of Urban & Regional Development Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(2), pages 75-88, July.
    3. Jesper Bjarnesen, 2023. "THE POWER OF IMPENDING ZONING: Governance through Inaction in a Secondary City in Burkina Faso," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(1), pages 39-53, January.
    4. Kamer-Ainur Aivaz, 2020. "Considerations on Asset Management and Turnover Factorial Correlations: The Case of Dobrogea Region, Romania," Ovidius University Annals, Economic Sciences Series, Ovidius University of Constantza, Faculty of Economic Sciences, vol. 0(2), pages 68-74, December.
    5. John E. K. Akubia & Antje Bruns, 2019. "Unravelling the Frontiers of Urban Growth: Spatio-Temporal Dynamics of Land-Use Change and Urban Expansion in Greater Accra Metropolitan Area, Ghana," Land, MDPI, vol. 8(9), pages 1-23, August.
    6. Ingelaere, Bert & Christiaensen, Luc & De Weerdt, Joachim & Kanbur, Ravi, 2018. "Why secondary towns can be important for poverty reduction – A migrant perspective," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 273-282.
    7. Mohamad Rezvani & Hossain Mansourian, 2013. "Developing Small Cities by Promoting Village to Town and its Effects on Quality of Life for the Local Residents," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 110(1), pages 147-170, January.
    8. Griet Steel & Torben Birch-Thomsen & Ine Cottyn & Evelyn A. Lazaro & Hélène Mainet & Fulgence J. Mishili & P. Lindert, 2019. "Multi-activity, Multi-locality and Small-Town Development in Cameroon, Ghana, Rwanda and Tanzania," The European Journal of Development Research, Palgrave Macmillan;European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI), vol. 31(1), pages 12-33, January.
    9. Kanbur, Ravi & Christiaensen, Luc & Ingelaere, Bert & De Weerdt, Joachim, 2017. "Why Secondary Towns Can Be Important for Poverty Reduction – A Migrant’s Perspective," CEPR Discussion Papers 12193, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Aradom Gebrekidan Abbay & Roel Rutten, 2016. "Does spatial proximity to small towns matter for rural livelihoods? A propensity score matching analysis in Ethiopia," Letters in Spatial and Resource Sciences, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 287-307, October.
    2. Mårtensson, K., 2012. "Urban dimensions within rural territories: gender dynamics in the labor market in O’Higgins, Chile," Working papers 106, Rimisp Latin American Center for Rural Development.
    3. Nazaire Houssou & Michael Johnson & Shashidhara Kolavalli & Collins Asante-Addo, 2018. "Changes in Ghanaian farming systems: stagnation or a quiet transformation?," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 35(1), pages 41-66, March.
    4. Philip T. Roundy, 2019. "“It takes a village” to support entrepreneurship: intersecting economic and community dynamics in small town entrepreneurial ecosystems," International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, Springer, vol. 15(4), pages 1443-1475, December.
    5. Jytte Agergaard & Cecilia Tacoli & Griet Steel & Sinne Borby Ørtenblad, 2019. "Revisiting Rural–Urban Transformations and Small Town Development in Sub-Saharan Africa," The European Journal of Development Research, Palgrave Macmillan;European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI), vol. 31(1), pages 2-11, January.
    6. Vandercasteelen, Joachim & Beyene, Seneshaw Tamru & Minten, Bart & Swinnen, Johan, 2018. "Cities and agricultural transformation in Africa: Evidence from Ethiopia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 383-399.
    7. Yonaba, R. & Koïta, M. & Mounirou, L.A. & Tazen, F. & Queloz, P. & Biaou, A.C. & Niang, D. & Zouré, C. & Karambiri, H. & Yacouba, H., 2021. "Spatial and transient modelling of land use/land cover (LULC) dynamics in a Sahelian landscape under semi-arid climate in northern Burkina Faso," Land Use Policy, Elsevier, vol. 103(C).
    8. Kamrath, Carolin & Rajendran, Srinivasulu & Nenguwo, Ngoni & Afari-Sefa, Victor & Broring, Stefanie, 2018. "Adoption behavior of market traders: an analysis based on Technology Acceptance Model and Theory of Planned Behavior," International Food and Agribusiness Management Review, International Food and Agribusiness Management Association, vol. 21(6), July.
    9. Gerald Epstein & James Heintz, 2006. "Monetary Policy and Financial Sector Reform for Employment Creation and Poverty Reduction in Ghana," Research Report 2, International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth.
    10. Foster Opoku & David Forkuor & Kabila Abass, 2023. "Toward maximising profits from markets: an analysis of the management structure of markets in Kumasi, Ghana," SN Business & Economics, Springer, vol. 3(3), pages 1-18, March.
    11. Alison Brown & Michal Lyons & Ibrahima Dankoco, 2010. "Street Traders and the Emerging Spaces for Urban Voice and Citizenship in African Cities," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 47(3), pages 666-683, March.
    12. Haggblade, Steven & Hazell, Peter B. R. (ed.), 2010. "Successes in African agriculture: Lessons for the future," IFPRI books, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), number 978-0-8018-9503-6.
    13. Nkoyo Etim Bassey & Arnim Kuhn & Hugo Storm, 2018. "Are maize marketers averse to quality loss in supplies? A case study from Ghana," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 49(5), pages 649-658, September.
    14. Aloyce R Kaliba & Kizito Mazvimavi & Theresia L Gregory & Frida M Mgonja & Mary Mgonja, 2018. "Factors affecting adoption of improved sorghum varieties in Tanzania under information and capital constraints," Agricultural and Food Economics, Springer;Italian Society of Agricultural Economics (SIDEA), vol. 6(1), pages 1-21, December.
    15. Tegengn, Gebre Egziabher & Mula, Demeke, 2007. "Micro Enterprises in small towns, AmharaRegion, Ethiopia: Nature and performance," Ethiopian Journal of Economics, Ethiopian Economics Association, vol. 14(1), pages 111-111, May.
    16. Gabre-Madhin, Eleni Z. & Haggblade, Steven, 2004. "Successes in African Agriculture: Results of an Expert Survey," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 745-766, May.
    17. Antonín Vaishar & Milada Šťastná & Kateřina Stonawská, 2015. "Small Towns - Engines of Rural Development in the South-Moravian Region (Czechia): An Analysis of the Demographic Development," Acta Universitatis Agriculturae et Silviculturae Mendelianae Brunensis, Mendel University Press, vol. 63(4), pages 1395-1405.
    18. Jiao, Xi & Pouliot, Mariève & Walelign, Solomon Zena, 2017. "Livelihood Strategies and Dynamics in Rural Cambodia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 266-278.
    19. Tanja D. Hendriks & Rafael Verbuyst & Mayke Kaag, 2022. "Fraught with Friction: Inclusive Development for Informal Workers in Urban Ghana," The European Journal of Development Research, Palgrave Macmillan;European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI), vol. 34(5), pages 2305-2323, October.
    20. Diao, Xinshen & Hazell, Peter & Thurlow, James, 2010. "The Role of Agriculture in African Development," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(10), pages 1375-1383, October.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:ijurrs:v:32:y:2008:i:2:p:453-472. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Wiley Content Delivery (email available below). General contact details of provider: .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.