By: Dr Gad Akwensivie
For the first time, this article unveils the best neighborhoods to live in Accra based on quantitative and qualitative analysis of a number of factors. These factors include: crime rate; safety; emergency response; utility services; spatial planning; building architecture; pride in ownership; pollution levels and night life, amongst others.
Accra, the capital of Ghana, is the 10th wealthiest city in Africa after Johannesburg, Cairo, Cape-Town, Lagos, Nairobi, Luanda, Durban, Pretoria and Casablanca. Accra is also among the top 10 preferred relocation destinations on the continent.
And, did you know that Accra is home to 2,300 millionaires and 100 multi-millionaires (no billionaires though)? That is according to AfrAsia Bank Wealth Report 2017 and the New World’s Worth’s 2017 Report which provide a comprehensive review of the continents’ wealth sector, including luxury trends for the period 2006 to 2016.
Anyway, to find the best places to live in in Accra, we surveyed the entire city, collated and analysed data on factors affecting the quality of neighborhoods to arrive at the best neighborhoods. This report is based on analysis of factors deemed essential to support the estimation of a neighborhood’s quality.
Having carefully considered all factors we present below, the best places to live in Accra as follows:
1st – Cantonments Residential Area:
Cantonments is meticulously well planned with tarred roads. Pollution – both air and noise levels – are low, except for the occasional aircrafts.
Cantonments has ancillary users such as medical facilities, good basic schools and is in close proximity to Osu which harbours all the major banks, shops and eateries. Cantonments is 15mins drive from the Kotoka International airport and home to very senior politicians, public servants, diplomats, businessmen and a number of consulates, including the American Embassy. Therefore, security is of utmost importance to government with the average emergency response time for Police and Fire being 9 minutes.
However, Cantonments is not for everybody because land and property values there are among the highest in Ghana. Refer to table for more details on ranking.
2nd – Airport Residential Area:
Airport Residential Area takes the 2nd place in our ranking of the finest places to live in Accra. It is a preferred destination for many foreigners and is about 10mins drive from the Kotoka International Airport. It is generally quiet, secure and clean with tarred roads. A number of distinguished Ghanaians, including former President J. A. Kuffour, live there. There are a host of leading hotels and serviced apartments to choose from. Shops, banks, schools, medical facilities, restaurants are available. Like Cantonments, Airport Residential is not for “boys” because property values are very high. See chart for more information.
3rd – Ridge Residential Area:
Ridge takes the 3rd place in our ranking of the best places to live in Accra. Ridge bears a lot of similarities with Cantonments. Divided into North and South, Ridge has a strong residential character. It is safe and secure with low crime rate. It is close to the Government’s ministries, agencies and departments, Parliament House and the Central Business District. It is home to many prominent Ghanaians, public servants and a number of consulates, including the British and Canadian embassies.
Ridge has good basic schools, medical facilities, sports and recreational centers and is also within easy reach from Osu and the Central Business District. Refer to the chart for the indicators.
4th – East Legon Residential Area:
Located to the north of the city, East Legon takes the 4th position in our ranking of the best places to live in Accra. High earners are enticed to the range of stylish properties and ancillary users including a Mall, Sporting/fitness centers, children’s play areas, good basic schools, banks, hotels and medical facilities. There are fine pubs and eateries to choose from. Residents take very high pride in ownership. East Legon is home to Ghana’s top businessmen, retired public servants, entrepreneurs, musicians, politicians, pastors and expatriates. Refer to table for more information.
5th – Trassacco Valley:
Located east of East Legon is Trassacco Valley the leading gated community in Ghana and West Africa. It is the most sought-after gated community for the rich because it is very safe. Trassacco Valley has the best luxurious properties one can imagine. It has a layout and is very well planned. It is 10minutes from East Legon where one can access an array of good basic schools, medical facilities, sports and leisure centers, eateries, banks and shops including a Mall. Pollution levels (noise/air) are relatively low and residents take pride in ownership. It is home to Ghanaians abroad, international footballers, international businessmen, expatriates, celebrities, politicians and pastors. Refer to the chart for more particulars.
6th – Roman Ridge Residential Area:
Roman Ridge takes the 6th place in our ranking of the best places to live in Accra. It is sought-after due to easy proximity to many parts of Accra. It is well planned, with tarred roads. Pollution and crime are low. Residential ancillary users such as good basic schools, shopping centers, eateries, medical facilities, hotels and serviced apartments are available and within walking distances. There are a host of outdoor activities. It is home to many public servants, businessmen, politicians and the middle to upper class. For more details, see table.
7th – North Legon Residential Area:
North Legon ranks 7th. It is located north of the University of Ghana and is bordered by Haatso. North Legon Residential Area has a layout and is pedantically planned with tarred roads. As a result pollution is low and so is crime. Utility services such as electricity, water and garbage collection are regular. Residential ancillary users such as crèches and good basic schools, medical facilities and pharmacies, leisure and shopping places are available. North Legon is home to mostly retired public servants, politicians and the rich. See table for more details.
8th – East Airport Residential Area:
Also referred to as Airport Hills, East Airport is home to middle and upper classes but the dynamics is fast changing due to improved infrastructure including a new network of roads. The relocation of high profile politicians there is set to raise the profile. East Airport is within reach to residential ancillary users such as medical facilities, eateries, sports & leisure centers and one of the largest shopping Malls in Ghana, the Palace Mall. Refer to chart for more details.
9th – West Legon Residential Area:
Taking the 9th position in our ranking of the best places to live in Accra is West Legon. It is also known as West-Lands. It is near the University of Ghana and GIMPA. West-lands is well planned but many roads are yet to be tarred. There are lots of serviced apartments for beginners and international students. Residential ancillary users such as crèches, medical facilities, shopping places and good basic schools and some banks are available. West Legon is home to many politicians, retired public servants, businessmen and pastors. See table for more specifics.
10th – Labone Residential Area:
Labone takes the 10th position in our ranking of the best neighborhoods to live in Accra. Labone has a layout which is well planned and accessible by network of tarred roads. Labone is home to senior public servants, politicians, many expatriates, businessmen, politicians, celebrities, middle to upper class. Residential ancillary users are available and within walking distances. They include crèches, basic schools, shops, banks, pubs and eateries. It is also 10mins from Osu. For the statistics refer to table.
11th – Dzowulu Residential Area:
Dzowulu ranks 11th in the best places to live in Accra. It is boarded by Airport Residential and Roman Ridge. Dzorwulu is well planned and has a blend of residential and office accommodation. Residential complementary services such as good schools, medical facilities, pharmacies, leisure/sporting avenues and shops are available. It is just about 20mins drive to the Accra Mall (off peak). In the same class of Labone and Tesano, Dzowulu has a layout with tarred roads and is a preferred base for expatriates and international businessmen. Refer to table for more niceties.
12th – Osu:
Osu, one of Accra’s oldest settlements, takes the 12th position in our ranking of the places to live in Accra. Although not very well planned, all the streets, including the popular Oxford street, are tarred. The suburb has an array of shops, pubs, medical facilities, a mall, entertainment places and 24-hour public transportation. All the major banks have a branch there. Osu has a collection of Thai, Chinese, Italian, English, French and Mexican cuisines. There are good crèches and basic schools nearby. Osu has the best night life by far but, noise and pollution levels are high. Osu is home to all classes. The chart illustrates further.
13th – Tesano Residential Area:
Taking the 13th place in our ranking of the best places to live in Accra is Tesano. Residents take pride in ownership. Ancillary users such as hotels, leisure centers, good basic schools, shops and medical facilities are available. Tesano has a layout and is accessible by a network of tarred roads. It is clean, quiet and is home to businessmen, politicians, retired public servants and the rich. Refer to chart for more details.
We found that, these suburbs together harbor 55-65 percent of Ghana’s most prominent and richest personalities. With this information, wouldn’t you rather move?
AfrAsia Bank Africa (2017) Africa Wealth Report
The author is a Landed Property Investment Advisor. (Land Administration, Valuation and Estate Agency, Appraisals and Viability Studies). Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Website: www.gadakwensivie.com. Telephone 0244 843 997