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Town & District Capital
Salaga is located in Ghana
Location of Salaga in Northern region
Coordinates: 8°33′N 0°31′W / 8.550°N 0.517°W / 8.550; -0.517
Region Northern Region
District East Gonja District
Population (2012)
 • Total 25,472[1]
Time zone GMT
 • Summer (DST) GMT (UTC)
Map of Salaga, 1892

Salaga is a town and is the capital of East Gonja district, a district in th Northern Region of north Ghana.[2] Salaga has a 2012 settlement population of 25,472 people.[1]


The name Salaga comes from the Dagomba word "salgi" which means "To get used to a place of abode".[3]


View of Salaga, northern Ghana in 1892

In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Salaga served as a key market town particularly for the busy regional kola trade and controlling Salaga gave a monopoly over trade to the North and trade to the South,[4] and situated in the southernmost reaches of the Sahel, Salaga was referred to as "the Timbuktu of the south" for its cosmopolitan population and varied trade. The salaga market served as a transit point through the Dagomba towns of Kpabia and Yendi, 350 years after Greater Dagomba was established, conquered and controlled that section of North Ghana. The king of Dagomba promoted trade through Salaga and Yendi (capital of Dagomba). This resulted in transport of cattle and groundnuts from Yendi via the Salaga market.[3]


  1. ^ a b "World Gazetteer online". 
  2. ^ East Gonja district
  3. ^ a b The Evolution of War: A Study of Its Role in Early Societies By Maurice R. Davie
  4. ^ Salaga slave market.

Further reading[edit]

  • Johnson, Marion. "The Slaves of Salaga." The Journal of African History 27.2 (1986): 341–362.
  • Lovejoy, Paul E. "Polanyi's "Ports of Trade": Salaga and Kano in the Nineteenth Century." Canadian Journal of African Studies 16.2 (1982): 245–277.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 8°33′N 0°31′W / 8.550°N 0.517°W / 8.550; -0.517