Human Resource constitutes a huge potential for policy formulation and manpower development. The analysis below illustrates the size of the district population and growth rate.
Population Size and Growth Rates
The population size of the district is estimated at 85,936 (2006). Between 1984 and 2000, the population of the district increased from 44,799 to 71,952 (2000 Population and Housing Census). This gives a relatively annual growth rate of 2.96%. If this growth rate is used to calculate the population projected figures for 2006, it is 85,936. Despite this lower rate, steps must be taken to reduce the growth rate to the barest minimum as resources are always limited in supply.
Spatial Distribution – Settlement Pattern
Spatial pattern of development and population is an important stage in the planning process because development policies, programmes and projects manifest themselves in space to benefit mankind. Therefore, the distribution of settlement in terms of population size and service provision were critically examined. The district has more male population than females.
The Population density of the district is 151 persons per square kilometre using the projected population for 2006 of 85,936. Total land area for the district is 571 square kilometres. The need to increase productivity to tap the vast potential resources to contain the population cannot be overemphasized. Off farming activities must therefore be encouraged to shed labour from farming to minimize future possible pressure on the lands; (such as processing, craft etc).
Settlements and Population
The district has 20 major settlements. However, there are about 1867 hamlets and villages with a population less than 100 people. Majority of the settlements in the district are hamlets, villages and towns and only one urban centre. Out of the total projected population of 85,936 (2006), only 16,513 (19.2%) live in urban centre.
Even though none of the settlements except Tepa (District Capital) has a population size up to 5000 (that is using 5000 people as the lower cut-off point for urban population, but using major settlement or town with its immediate villages and hamlets, then by that process there are more than ten (10) settlements which are of urban status but lack urban facilities. Again, it must be emphasised that Ashanti Region is one of the densely populated regions in Ghana after Greater Accra and the Ahafo Ano North district is the smallest or least populated district in the Ashanti region with just 2.0% of the total share of the region’s population.
There are about 1887 localities in the district. Tepa, as already indicated is the only settlement with over 5000 population, with Asuhyiae, Anyinasuso, Akwasiase, Mabang, Abonsuaso, Manfo and Betiako, which have population falling within 2000 to 5000. The rest of the settlements have a population below 2000. The table below shows the number of settlements and their population figures in the district.
The average household size in the district is 5.7 and the average household distribution is 2.48 per house. The room occupancy is 2.15, which is lower than. This implies that the housing problem is more of qualitative than quantitative as a result of poverty. The room occupancy rate for the district is 2.25 persons. Again, the poor qualities of houses especially in the hinterlands have been worsened by excessive erosion resulting from rainfall and the fact that most settlements do not have any drainage facility to protect their houses.
The household size was also estimated at 4.64 persons. In addition, most of the houses in the district lack facilities such as toilet and water. Again, with this poor housing condition, any severe rainstorm could cause unrepairable damage, there is therefore the danger for future disaster should storm or severe wind hit any of the rural settlement.
Given the district estimated population of 85,936, a further analysis of the age group has been done. This structure or composition indicates that notwithstanding the relatively low population growth rate and the population size, majority (54.0%) of the population are in the working age group, which is a resource potential for the district. Again, 41.0% of the district population are children below 15years. The implication for development planning is that there must be adequate provision of social amenities such as education, health, recreational centres and other needs for children.
Labour Force Projections
The population in the potential labour force (15 - 64) constitutes 54% of the projection population. This constitutes a potential resource, which can be tapped for development. The implication is that recruiting labour will not be a problem for the district especially unskilled labour. The table below show the projected labour force.
The main occupation of the people is farming as a result of the vast land available which is very fertile for farming. It employs about 83% of the total labour force, both direct and indirect. The second sector is Commerce, which also engages about 13% and industry (small scale) takes the remaining 4%. Some are also engaged in the local industry like basket weaving, soap making, and pottery. It must be emphasized however that the pottery industry has completely died out due to the introduction of plastic and silver wares into the system.
About 38.1% of the district population are immigrants. They are mainly farmers who migrated into the district during the cocoa boom of the 1970s. Out migration from the district especially with the youth, in search for job opportunities in urban centres like Accra, Kumasi, Tema and others is on the ascendancy. Others go to the Western Region for more suitable land for Cocoa production as the productivity level of the district land for cocoa has been declining.
Steps must therefore be taken to halt this trend else the district would lose its energetic youth. Off-farm activities, diversification of the agricultural sector and other means need to be provided to generate jobs. Economic, Social and Technical facilities like potable water, electricity, entertainment, banks, schools, good roads need to be provided and other youth retention programmes embarked upon to retain the youth in the district in order to help in the transformation of the socio-economic structure of the district and to benefit from the effective mobilisation of youth initiatives and innovations in order to utilize the vast but under-utilised resources of the district currently.
Rural – Urban Split
Apart from Tepa, which by demographic and social infrastructure characteristics, could be considered a town, (population more that 5000), the rest of the district population comprise small settlements. According to the 2000 Population Census of Ghana, about 32% Ghanaians live in urban areas. In the Ahafo Ano North District, only about 19.22% of the population live in the one urban centre – Tepa. The rest, i.e. 80.78% live in small settlements scattered over the district. Such a distribution makes it difficult to meet population threshold for the provision of services.
In the table above, the labour bracket, which comprises the ages between 15 and 64, are 45910 making 54.0% of the total projected population. This implies a dependency ratio of 1:0.8 that is every ten people in the working age group would have about 8 people to cater for. Again, with the active population of 45,910, about 95.4% of them are engaged in any form of employment (working) and the rest 4.6% are not working. About 73.7% of the working population are in Agriculture related industry and 7.1% in manufacturing and the rest 4.8% engage in wholesale and retail trade
Implications for Development
The characteristics of the population of the district have the following implications:
- The increasing population is likely to put great pressure on the available limited socio-economic resources in the District and for that matter steps must be taken to reduce the growth rate to the barest minimum. Off-farm activities must also be encouraged to shed labour from farming to minimize pressure on the lands; (such as processing, craft etc)
- The density of 125 persons per square kilometre implies relatively high pressure on resources. There is the need to increase productivity to tap the vast potential resources to contain the population
- The implication of the small size of the numerous settlements is that provision of basic services such as water, schools, clinics etc. becomes difficult especially when population threshold is considered. Again, this also emphasises the need to upgrade some settlements to urban centres to ensure equitable distribution of services.
- The housing situation in the district is more of quantity than quality as a result of poverty.
- Analysis of the religious background of the population revealed that 75% are Christians, 18% Moslem and the rest 6.2% practice traditional religion. The policy implication is that the religious bodies will facilitate easy dissemination of information and social mobilization of people such as HIV/AIDS campaign
- Again, 40.10% of the district population are children
- The implication for development planning is that there must be adequate provision of social amenities such as education, health, recreational and other needs of children.
- The labour force of 51.92% implies a dependency ratio of 1:0.8 that is every ten people in the working age group would have about 8 people to cater for. Again with the low level of their skills, they can only be effectively engaged in manual jobs.
The District is doing well in the provision of water and sanitation. Out of about 1826 settlements (mostly villages and hamlets) in the district, about 140 have been provided with either Hand dug wells with pumps or Boreholes and the district capital is supplied with pipe borne water, although it is not adequate. There are 16 KVIPs in the district located at Tepa, Akwasiase, Manfo, Mabang, Twabidi, Anyinasuso, Abonsuaso, Subriso, Asuhyiae, Dwaaho, Betiako etc. Out of the 16 KVIPs, 5 have been converted into Aqua-privy toilets and the rest are to be converted later.
However, with the government and Assembly policy to encourage household toilets, the Assembly has embarked on a comprehensive programme to encourage house owners to have their own toilet in their respective houses. This policy is yielding encouraging results especially for Tepa, Akwasiase, Mabang, and Asuhyiae etc. The most common type of toilet facility used in the district is the Mozambique and rectangular type.
Date Created : 11/15/2017 1:42:07 AM