State: Northern Region. This region covers 31% of Ghana but is home to only 2 million people.
Universities: University of Development Studies
Tamale is the capital city of the Northern region of Ghana mostly inhabited by the Mole-Dagomba linguistic group. The city is home to about 350,000 people. It is a nodal city that serves as convergence zone as well as the commercial capital of the three northern regions.
It is one city in Ghana where one can find an architectural blend of traditional slum and modern buildings with a hospitable people with a great respect for their traditional political system. The settlers brought this political system over four hundred years ago when they first crystallized in the mid land of the north. In Tamale, one can be treated to both local and exotic cuisines in any of its 2 or 3 star hotels like Gariba Lodge, Mariam Hotel etc. The city happens to be the cereal, Yam and Meat breadbasket of the country so these sell cheaply in the local markets.
Tamale is reputed to be one of the fastest growing cities in West Africa. Even though limited in natural resources, seasonal farming is the major occupation of the natives who receive strangers with open arms. With its mostly flat terrain, one secures a good look of the city on any three or four-storey building. In the heart of the city are the traditional palaces of the Gulkpe Naa and the Dapkema where one can catch a glimpse of pure traditional architecture. All the intra city roads in Tamale are tarred with the central dual-lane double road lit in the night.
Being close to the Sahara Desert (in comparison with other major cities in Ghana), one has the opportunity to enjoy a true tropical sunbath in Tamale. The hamattan season presents two extreme weather conditions each day. There is the extreme cold temperature of the early dawns and morning and the very warm afternoon. There is a suburb called Education Ridge in the northwestern part of the city covering an area of about 3km sq where one can find over 20 schools crammed together ranging from Kindergartens through junior secondary and senior secondary schools, teachers training colleges, a polytechnic to the Central administration of the only university in the northern part of Ghana. Tamale secondary school and Bagabaga Training colleges that have produced the current Vice president (Alhaji Aliu Mahama) and a past head of state (Dr. Hilla Limann) respectively are located within this area. The numerous trees especially Mahogany lining up the streets in this part of the city gives it a tropical rainforest outlook.
There are also a considerable number of international Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) like the Catholic Relief Services (CRS), CARE International, ActionAid, World Vision etc. having their offices in Tamale but mostly work in the rural areas of the north. Communication with the outside world is as good as that in Accra, the capital city of Ghana.
by Issah Fuseini Abaneh