There are 6 (six) new regions in Ghana and their capitals spread across the country; Savannah Region – Damango, North-East Region – Nareligu, Bono East Region – Techiman, Ahafo Region – Goaso, Oti Region – Dambai, Western North Region – Sefwi Wiawso and Oti Region – Dambai. This adds up to the original 10, making sixteen (16).
They’ve always been an agreement to decentralize, create opportunities and pathways for development all around the nation in order to bring government closer to citizens.
Therefore, after a wider consultation from all relevant stakeholders of the need for this creation, the proposed new regions were approved.
A landslide referendum on 27 December 2018 paved the way for the creation of six new regions. Buckle up and let’s dive into the list of all the 16 regions of Ghana and their capital towns.
Table of Contents
The 16 Regions in Ghana and their Capitals Cities
Below is a list of all regions in Ghana (both new and old) and their capitals from the north to the south;
- Upper West Region – Wa
- Northern Region – Tamale.
- Savannah Region – Damango
- North-East Region – Nareligu
- Upper East Region – Bolgatanga.
- Bono East Region – Techiman
- Ahafo Region – Goaso
- Brong Ahafo Region – Sunyani
- Oti Region – Dambai
- Volta Region – Ho.
- Eastern Region – Koforidua.
- Western Region – Sekondi.
- Western North Region – Sefwi Wiawso
- Central Region – Cape Coast.
- Ashanti Region – Kumasi.
- Greater Accra Region – Accra
All 16 Regions of Ghana and their Capitals towns Reviewed
1. The Northern Region – Tamale
The Northern Region is one of the old ten regions of Ghana from which the Savannah Region and North East Region were carved out. Its capital is Tamale.
It has always been the largest region of Ghana in terms of its surface area encompassing 70,384 square kilometers and 31% of Ghana’s land area before the creation of the new regions.
The 2021 population census data says it is the fifth largest population of the country in terms of the population accounting for 2,310,943 people.
The census data also acknowledged that the current Northern Region observed the largest change in population with an almost 50% increase over its population in 2010.
The region is adjacent to the newly created Savanna Region to the west and Upper West Region in the northwest, the new Northeast Region and Upper East Region to the north and the Oti Region to the southeast.
The Northern Region no longer has the Brong-Ahafo Region in the southwest; that area is now covered by parts of the Savanna Region. And there is no contact with the Ivory Coast in the west but still, have Togo in the east.
The region is divided into 26 districts.
2. The Upper West Region – Wa
According to the 2021 census data, 904,695 people are living in the region. The Upper West region has an area of 18,476 square kilometers.
With its capital as Wa, Upper West is one of the ten original regions of Ghana.
While the Upper West is the seventh-largest region in terms of area, it is the tenth most populous region, overtaken by the Ahafo Region as the least populated region in Ghana – a record they held in all the previous post-independence censuses.
The Upper West represents the second most sparsely populated region.
The Upper West region lies in the northwestern part of Ghana with the Savanna Region to the south, the Upper East and North East Regions to the east, and Burkina Faso in the north and west with two customs entry points at Hamale and Kapulima.
The region is divided into 11 districts and has cattle raising and agriculture as the main sources of income of these beautiful people.
3. The Upper East Region – Bolgatanga
Upper East is now a neighbour to the newly created North East Region (which was carved out of the Northern Region) in the south, Upper West Region in the west, Togo in the east and Burkina Faso in the north.
This region covers about 8,842 square kilometers of land, accounting for 2.7% of Ghana’s total land area.
Once a member of the ten regions of Ghana, it garnered about 1,301,221 people in the 2021 census data, making it the eighth-largest region in the country by numbers. It consists of 13 different districts and its regional capital Bolgatanga or Bolga for short. There are some beautiful towns in this region. I was in Bawku in 2005 and it still feels like yesterday.
At Navrongo, you’ll find a 100-year old Catholic Church built by the French which was made from mud with some beautiful wall paintings and frescoes.
Don’t forget the Virgin Mary grotto.
4. The Savannah Region – Damango
After broader consultation and stakeholders engagement in the Northern Region, the Gonja traditional council proposed the creation of the new Savanna region. Spearheaded by the Yagbonwura Tumtumba Boresa Jakpa I, the referendum recorded a 99.7% YES vote.
The Savannah Region has Dagomba as its capital and is divided into 7 districts; Bole, Central Gonja, North Gonja, East Gonja, Sawla/Tuna/Kalba, West Gonja, North East Gonja and 7 Constituencies; Bole/Bamboi, Damongo, Daboya/Mankarigu, Salaga North, Salaga South, Sawla/Tuna/Kalba and Yapei/Kusawgu.
On the day of the launch, everybody who mattered in the Gonjaland – young and old were in attendance to witness this joyous occasion. Past and present government appointees were also in attendance.
5. The Bono Region – Techiman
The Brong Ahafo Regional was created by Dr. Kwame Nkrumah after it was separated from the Ashanti Region for administrative purposes. Its capital is Sunyani.
As one of the original ten regions of Ghana, Brong-Ahafo, now Bono region has given birth to 2 additional regions (Bono East and Ahafo Regions).
It is the ninth-largest population in the country and is no longer the second-largest region in terms of area.
The official census results of 2021 say, 1,208,965 people are residents in this region.
The region is neighbor to the Savanna in the north, Bono East to the East, Côte d’Ivoire in the west and the Ahafo and Ashanti Regions to the southwest and southeast respectively. With respect to the previous regional borders, Brong Ahafo had contact with the Western, Northern, Eastern, and Volta Regions but no more.
It is a welcoming place, especially the beautifully designed Sunyani township. Some notable tourist attractions are the Monkey Sanctuary, several waterfalls and regarded as the ‘bread basket’ of Ghana. A lot of farming activities happen here producing crops such as cotton, cola nuts tobacco and cocoa.
6. Bono East Region – Techiman
Also carved out of the old Brong Ahafo is the Bono East Region.
The Bono East Region is bordered on the north by Northern Region, the east by the Volta Lake, west by Bono Region, and the Ashanti Region on the south. The region covers a total land area of 39,557km2 and is a major part of the vegetation belt of Ghana.
With Techiman as its capital, Bono East has eleven Municipal and District Assemblies (MDAs) under its jurisdiction.
7. The Ahafo Region – Goaso
One of the six new regions, Ahafo is the smallest region in Ghana today and its capital is Goaso.
Ahafo region is in the southeastern part of the erstwhile Brong Ahafo region. Of course, Ahafo has been carved out and separated from the Bonos however, the Ahafo’s have always seen themselves as Asantes and still hold allegiance to the golden stool. That’s a bit of history there. Notable areas and towns in the Ahafo regions are Bechem, Kenyasi, Ahafo Mim, Techimantia, Duayaw Nkwanta, etc…
Bordered on the north with the Bono Region, the east by the Ashanti Region, the west by the Bono East Region and south by the Western North Region, the Ahafo Region covers a total land area of 5,193km2 and a population of 599,852.
There are six Municipal and District Assemblies (MDAs) under its jurisdiction.
8. The North-East Region – Nareligu
The North-East Region has 6 Municipals and District Assemblies (MDAs) under its jurisdiction and Nalerigu as its capital.
This new region shares borders with Upper East Region in the north, Togo in the east, the Upper West Region in the west and the Northern Region in the south.
There was an overwhelming Yes vote in the 27th December 2018 referendum that creation of the North East region. Out of 205,804 people who cast their ballots in the referendum, 255,424 voters YES which was an emphatic 99.67%.
9. The Oti Region – Dambai
Oti is one of the newest regions carved out of the Volta region.
The Oti Region is bordered on the North by the Northern Region, on the East by Togo, on the West by Bono Region, on the North-West by the Savannah Region and the South by Volta Region.
Oti Region has its capital as Dambai and has 8 Municipal and District Assemblies (MDAs) under its jurisdiction.
The referendum which sought to bring the government closer to citizens was supported with a resounding 98.64% YES vote in the Oti Region.
10. The Volta Region – Ho
The Volta Region with its regional capital as Ho has a unique history. Formerly known as the Trans-Volta Togoland, it was combined with part of the Eastern Region and Northern Territories to form the Volta Region.
IT is one of the original ten regions of Ghana and comes with great prospects, sceneries and landmarks. The Volta region used to cover an area of about 20,570 square kilometers before Oti was created which makes it much smaller now.
The Volta Region is the seventh most populated region of Ghana in terms of numbers.
According to the 2021 census data, there are 1,649,523 people living in the region.
Volta is adjacent to the Oti Region to the north, Togo to the east, the Eastern Region to the immediate west, the Atlantic Ocean to the south and Greater Accra Region to the southwest. After the new regions were formed, the Volta region no longer has the Brong-Ahafo Region as a neighbour.
Some notable landmarks are the Afadjato Mountain, which is the highest point of the country and several waterfalls scattered around the region. Is it a great place to visit for relaxation and finding yourself? The region is divided into 25 districts.
11. The Western Region – Sekondi
The Western Region which was part of the original 10 has been divided into the Western North and Western Regions.
According to the official census results of 2021, 2,057,225 living in it which makes it the country’s sixth-largest population in terms of population.
The Western Region is the fourth-largest region of the country in terms of the area covering an area of 13,842 square kilometers and its capital remains the Sekondi-Takoradi often referred to as the twin city.
For its neighbours, the region has no contact with the Brong-Ahafo and Ashanti regions anymore but has a boundary with the new Western North Region in the north, the Central Region in the east, the Atlantic Ocean in the south, and the Ivory Coast in the west.
Most of the regions in the south boast of many idyllic beaches, historic forts and coastal villages due to the trans-Atlantic slave trade during the colonial era. This region has contributed its quota to Ghana in many ways. Apart from the tourist attractions, ports and harbours, it is the birthplace of Ghana’s first President, Osagyfo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah. There are 22 districts in the Western region.
12. The Eastern Region – Koforidua
As the third most populated region in Ghana with about 2,917,039 in the 2021 census data, Eastern Region is one of the old ten regions of Ghana with Koforidua as its capital.
According to the latest 2021 census data, the region accounts for about 2,633,154 people and covers an area of about 19,323 square kilometers making it the sixth-largest country in terms of area.
For its boundaries, the region has no contact with the Brong-Ahafo Region as it used to have but the Bono North Region in the north now, Ashanti Region to its west, Volta Region in the east, Central Region in the southwest and Greater Accra Region in the southeast.
The region literally powers the country with the Akosombo Dam.
Again, the man-made lake Volta runs along its eastern border, the Volta region.
It consists of 26 districts.
13. The Central Region – Cape Coast
With its regional capital as Cape Coast, this is one of the main ten regions of Ghana before the referendum.
According to the 2021 census data, there are 2,859,821 people living in the Central region making it the fourth most populous region.
It is the seventh-largest country in terms of area with 9,826 square kilometers.
Its neighbors are the Eastern Region in the northeast, Ashanti Region in the northwest, Western Region to the west, Greater Accra Region to the east and the Atlantic Ocean to the south.
The tourism heartbeat of Ghana. It’s called the Central for several reasons and I also believe it is the centre of attraction for many people.
Cape Coast, the capital of the central region which was seat of the British colonial administration up until 1877 is world-famous for its slave forts and castles.
The coastline is famous for its ancient buildings by early European traders, and three of them at Elmina, St. Jago and Cape Coast have been identified as World Heritage Monuments by the World heritage Foundation under UNESCO.
14. The Western North Region – Sefwi Wiawso
Western North Region dominated by the Sefwis has its capital as Sefwi Wiawso.
The region is known to be one of the food baskets of Ghana because of its rich and fertile soil and comes with several unique characteristics such as the highest rainfall in Ghana.
The region is bounded by the Ashanti, Ahafo, Bono East and Bono regions in the north, the Central region in the southeast, the Ivory Coast (Comoé District) on the west, and the sea in the south.
The region has nine Municipal and District Assemblies (MDAs) under its jurisdiction.
The MDAs in the region are Sefwi Wiawso Municipal, Juaboso District, Bia West, Bia East, Sefwi Akontombra District, Aowin Municipal, Bodi District, Suaman District, Bibiani/Anhwiaso/Bekwai District.
15. The Ashanti Region – Kumasi
Formerly the Asante Empire which spread across most parts of Ghana pre-colonization era still remains what it was even after the creation of Brong Ahafo from it. Still formidable, unique and culturally sound.
With Kumasi as its capital, Ashanti now ranks second to the Greater Accra region as the most populous region in Ghana – a position it held since 1970.
With a population of about 5,432,485 people accounting for 19.4 percent of Ghana’s total population according to the latest 2021 census data.
Covering 24,389 km2 (9,417 sq mi) and accounting for 10.2% of its total land area, Ashanti is the third-largest region in Ghana.
The Ashanti region came about as an administrative division post-independence on April 4, 1959. However, Asante has been in existence even before Ghana.
Ashanti is only a mispronunciation of the name Asante.
Notable about the people in this region is how they still hold on to their rich and elegant culture and its values.
Known by many as the cultural capital of Ghana, Ashanti can also count the production of large quantities of gold bars and cocoa as some of its contributions to the Ghanaian economy. Kumasi is the second-most populous city after Accra and the regional capital of Ashanti.
The Ashanti region is adjacent to the Brong-Ahafo Region in the north and northeast, the newly created Ahafo and Western North Regions in the west and southwest, the Western and Central Regions in the south and the East Region in the east.
The region is divided into 47 districts.
16. The Greater Accra Region – Accra
Greater Accra Region is now the most populous region in Ghana, overtaking the Ashanti Region which has been the most populous region since 1970.
However, it still remains the smallest of Ghana’s 16 administrative regions covering a total land surface area of 3,245 square kilometers
According to the 2021 census data, 5,446,237 people are living in the region. Accra is its regional capital and the region serves as the national capital of Ghana.
The region is adjacent to the Central Region in the west, the Volta Region in the east, the Eastern Region in the northeast, and the Atlantic Ocean to the south. The region is divided into six districts.
Over the years, Greater Accra as the capital of Ghana has seen lots of progress and remains the most developed region in Ghana today. Urban and western lifestyle is taking over the city of Accra increasing the standard of living drastically.
Again, rural-urban migration due to unemployment and failed decentralization measures by various governments over the years have caused this. The region is gradually becoming overpopulated if city authorities don’t keep a close eye on this development.
The 6 New Regions of Ghana and their Capitals: The Referendum
Located in the west of the African continent, Ghana was the first country to gain independence in sub-Saharan Africa. With about a 31million people as recorded in the 2021 population census and covering a land area of about 228,533 square kilometers, Ghana has been a pacesetter in many facets of life and a beacon of peace in Africa.
Before 2018, Ghana consisted of ten regions and now has a total of 16 regions. 6 more regions were added in a referendum which recorded an overwhelming ‘YES’ vote.
Originally, Ghana’s regions were divided into 216 districts in 2015 with each region being managed by a regional minister who represents the President locally.
The Ministry of Regional Reorganization and Development is one of the newly created ministries of the Akuffo government. Under the auspices of its Minister, Hon. Dan Botwe, the ministry was charged with executing plans for the creation of the new regions.
In March 2017, the ministry drafted a blueprint regarding the geography of a country for the Council of State. The council met more than 36 times between the initial blueprint’s submission and the August 2017 deadline.
In December 27 2018, Ghana organized a referendum by the people within the catchment for the creation of the six new regions.
In the referendum, new regions were accepted with a high vote rate of about 95% in all forty-seven (47) districts selected to be part of these new Regional creations.
In accordance with the new structure, the new regions that were to be created were Western North, Oti, Ahafo, Bono East, Savannah, and North East.
These regions were carved out of 4 already existing Regions (Volta, Brong Ahafo, Northern, and Western) which increased the number of regions from ten to sixteen.
Let’s look at the breakdown of the division.
From the Brong-Ahafo region came the Ahafo region and Bono East region.
The North-East Region and the Savannah Region were carved out of the Northern Region.
Further, Oti Region and Western North Region were created from the Volta and the Western Regions respectively.
In Ghana, the regions are the highest administrative division and therefore need regional capitals to work from. Thus, all the newly created regions have regional capitals or towns assigned to them.
History of Ghana’s Administrative Setup and Creations
The former 10 regional boundaries were officially established in 1987 when the Upper West Region was inaugurated as the state’s newest administrative region.
After independence, there was a campaign by the Brong Kyempem movement for recognition of the Bono people as a separate ethnic group from the Ashantis in their own region.
The Brong Ahafo Region Act No. 18 of 1959 came into being and on 4 April 1959, the Ashanti Region was officially split into the Ashanti and Brong-Ahafo Regions.
Remember, there were initially five regions. It took the combination of the then Eastern Region, the Trans-Volta Togoland and Northern Territories to form the Volta Region. This was when the Northern Territories, Trans-Volta Togoland and the Gold Coast had come together to form Ghana in 1957.
And lastly, Western and Central Regions were split in the period between the second republics, forming eight regions in total. This transpired before the 1970 population census. In 1971, Sekondi and Takoradi were merged to form Sekondi-Takoradi, the new capital of the Western Region.
In conclusion, it’s important to take a moment and learn about Ghanaian culture. The country has a rich history, one of which this article has barely scratched the surface. Ghana is made up of 16 regions, all with their own unique culture. If you’re interested in learning more about Ghanaian culture or would like to visit the country yourself, these are some of the regions that it is most worth visiting.