Tamale, Ghana

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Major City
Road in Tamale, Northern Region.
Road in Tamale, Northern Region.
Tamale is located in Ghana
Location of Tamale in Northern region, Dagbon
Tamale is located in Africa
Tamale (Africa)
Coordinates: 09°24′27″N 00°51′12″W / 9.40750°N 0.85333°W / 9.40750; -0.85333Coordinates: 09°24′27″N 00°51′12″W / 9.40750°N 0.85333°W / 9.40750; -0.85333
Country Ghana
RegionNorthern Region
DistrictTamale Metropolitan District
 • TypeMayor-Council
 • MayorSule Salifu
 • Total750 km2 (289.58 sq mi)
151 m (495 ft)
 • Total950,124
 • Density480.77/km2 (1,245.18/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC
Postal codes
NT0000 - NT2701
Area code037
Websitetamale.ghanadistricts.gov.gh [1]

Tamale (Dagbani : [ˈtamali]),[needs tone markings] officially called Tamale Metropolitan Area is the capital city of the Northern Region of Ghana. Tamale is Ghana's third-largest city and an emerging investment hotspot in West Africa. It has a projected population of 950,124 according to the Tamale Metropolitan Assembly Official Website. It is the fastest-growing city in West Africa.[2][3] It is located 600 km (370 mi) north of Accra.[4] Most residents of Tamale are Muslims and Dagombas by tribe, as reflected by the multitude of mosques in Tamale, most notably the Central Mosque, Afa Ajura Mosque (Ambariyyah Mosque), Afa Basha mosque (Nuuria mosque) and The Ahmadiyyah Muslim mission Mosque.

Tamale is located in the Northern Region of Ghana[5] and more precisely in the Kingdom of Dagbon. The local (neighbourhood) chiefs and the district chief of Tamale are subservient to the Dagomba King in Yendi.The language of the people in Tamale is Dagbani.

Due to its central location, Tamale serves as a hub for all administrative and commercial activities in the Northern Region, doubling as the political, economic and financial capital of the Northern Region. The centre of Tamale hosts regional branches of financial institutions and a considerable number of international and local nongovernmental organisations.[6]

Tamale has developed and transformed significantly in the last few years.[7] The new dimension of Tamale's development is the rush by various companies to open branches in Tamale. The hospitality industry has grown significantly, with new hotels and guest houses built around Tamale.[8] Tamale grew from a conglomeration of towns where one could find an architectural blend of traditional mud houses and more modern buildings. Tamale's new and modern facilities include the newly constructed Tamale Stadium (now Aliu Mahama sports Stadium named after late Ghana's vice-president, Alhaji Aliu Mahama), replacing the town's former principal football pitch, Kaladan Park, with a world-class venue. Indeed, many improvements to Tamale's infrastructure occurred in the period leading up to the 2008 African Cup of Nations tournament. Further improvements were made, particularly to Tamale's road system.[8] The Tamale sports stadium was renamed after the late Vice president, Alhaji Aliu Mahama in the year 2018. Upon arriving in the city, one will be quick to notice that the roads of the city are occupied with motorcycles with "mapukas" being the most patronised. This, however, does not interfere with the steady smooth flow of traffic on the major roads of the city.


Aerial view: Tamale native town and police barracks (1929)
Highway in Tamale

Tamale is located on the crossing of three ancient trade routes; it started to grow as a commercial centre for the Northern region centuries ago. The north–south road from Paga and Bolgatanga to Salaga had raiders passing, whilst other merchants brought their goods into Tamale. Salt came from Daboya, to the north-west of Tamale, and followed a road that continued to Yendi. A third road linked Gushegu to the capital and continued to the Gonja kingdom, Damongo. The present locations of the central market and the palace of the Gulkpe naa,[9] opposite Barclays Bank and near the library, mark the junctions of the ancient roads.

Around this palace, a residential neighbourhood began to grow. It is now known as Dagbangdabi-Fong (the name means "Traditional men area"). This was followed by Changli, Belipiela, and BuglanaFong ("Fetish Priest's area") further to the south. Each neighbourhood got its own local chief. As the distances to the market place grew, people started to settle elsewhere around the crossing, so the quarters of Tishigu and Abu-Abu came up. An influx of northerners from present-day Burkina Faso led to the building of Moshi Zongo. In the same time, the remote village of Vitteng came into existence.

Garden cities were brought to Tamale and at the back of Sakasaka grew Kalpohin Estates, even now a pleasant neighbourhood with plenty trees, big gardens, and small houses. In the 1970s, urban extensions such as Zogbeli, Lamakara, and Lamashegu were built, neighbourhoods characterised by checkboard planning of square house plots and orthogonal streets and alleys. Since 2000, Tamale seems to have grown more rapidly, so the whole district of Tamale is now urban agglomeration.


Tamale features a tropical wet and dry climate under the Köppen's climate classification. The metropolis experiences one rainy season from April to September or October, with a peak in July and August. The mean annual rainfall is 1100 mm within 95 days of rainfall in the form of tropical showers. Consequently, staple crop farming is highly restricted by the short rainy season.

The dry season is usually from November to early April. It is influenced by the dry north-easterly (Harmattan) winds, while the rainy season is influenced by the moist south-westerly winds. The mean daytime temperatures range from 28 (December and mid-April) to 43 (March, early April) degrees Celsius, while mean nighttime temperatures range from 18 (December) to 25 (February, March) degrees Celsius. The mean annual daily sunshine is about 7.5 hours.

Climate data for Tamale
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 40.0
Average high °C (°F) 35.4
Daily mean °C (°F) 27.9
Average low °C (°F) 20.4
Record low °C (°F) 15.0
Average precipitation mm (inches) 4
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.3 mm) 1 1 4 7 10 12 13 15 19 12 2 1 97
Average relative humidity (%) 27 32 45 61 70 77 80 79 80 74 59 40 60
Mean monthly sunshine hours 266.6 237.3 251.1 231.0 248.0 204.0 161.2 139.5 156.0 260.4 282.0 272.8 2,709.9
Mean daily sunshine hours 8.6 8.4 8.1 7.7 8.0 6.8 5.2 4.5 5.2 8.4 9.4 8.8 7.4
Source: Deutscher Wetterdienst[10]


Tamale Metropolitan District Mayor–Council Government Office and Secretary

Tamale has a mayor–council government system in which the mayor is vested with extensive executive powers. The mayor is appointed by the Ghana president and approved by the town council, the Tamale Metropolitan Assembly, although suggestions have been made by the residents of Tamale to increase accountability of the office by having the mayor elected. The current mayor of Tamale is Hon. Sule Salifu.[11] The name Tamale Metropolitan Assembly serves both for the local parliament and for the local executive. Local policies are always executed in this name, so for example, illegal constructions often show the command "remove by TMA" (meaning that the Tamale Metropolitan Assembly or its executive has ordered to remove the building as it is contrary to current urban land-use planning). As the local executive, Tamale Metropolitan Assembly is the strong arm of the mayor, his or her civil service. If mention is made of assembly women or men, however, the reference is to the elected representatives of the inhabitants of Tamale. They form the assembly properly speaking, and must decide about local by-laws before they can come into force. The name "Tamale Metropolitan District" is used in the geographical sense, to refer to the area within its borders.


Tamale is the principal centre of education in Northern Ghana. Currently, a total of 742 basic schools are within the metropolis. This comprises 94 kindergartens, 304 primary, 112 junior high, and 14 senior high schools. The rest are technical/vocational institutions, two colleges of education, a technical university and two other universities – one public and the other private.[7]

In the Education Ridge neighbourhood in the north-western part of the town and covering an area around 3 km2, 20 schools ranging from kindergartens through junior high and senior high schools, teachers' training colleges, the Tamale Technical University, and a university are located. The numerous trees lining the streets in this part of the town give it a tropical rainforest outlook. The University for Development Studies (UDS) has two campuses located in Tamale and one in nearby Nyankpala. The headquarters of the UDS is also located in Tamale.[12]

List of Primary Schools[edit]

  1. Munawara Ahmadiya E/A Primary School
  2. OLA Primary School
  3. Koblimahigu Sobriya E/A Primary School
  4. Kukuo AME Zion Primary School, Wurishe Kukuo
  5. Ansuari-Deen Islamic Primary School
  6. Anbariya Ibnitaimiya English/Arabic Primary School
  7. Amriya Islamic Primary School, Kakpagyili
  8. Aminiyat Islamic Primary School, Sawaba
  9. Amania Islamic Primary/Kg School
  10. Al-Markazia Islamic Junior High School, Zogbeli
  11. Al -Mal Islamic Basic Schools, Tamale
  12. Al-Egasa Islamic Primary School, Kasaligu
  13. Adubliyili Preby Primary School
  14. Adabiya Garibiy Islamic Kg/Primary School, Tamale
  15. Abubakar Sadoq Islamic Primary School, Vittin
  16. Aalu Ibrahim Islamic Primary School

List of Junior High Schools[edit]

  1. Munawara Ahmadiya E/A Junior High School
  2. Wurishe Kukuo Junior High School
  3. Koblimahigu Sobriya E/A

List of senior high schools[edit]

List of Colleges and Universities[edit]

  1. Bagabaga College of Education
  2. Tamale College of Education
  3. Jackson College of Education
  4. University for Development Studies

List of Driving Schools[edit]

  1. Johnson Driving School
  2. Abele Driving School


Tamale is served by Tamale Airport. Located about 11 km (6 nmi; 7 mi) from downtown Tamale, the airport is mainly used by commercial airlines such as Africa World Airlines and Passion Air which are the only operational companies currently. They run regular flights between Tamale and Accra's Kotoka International Airport, along with other regional capitals.[13]

There are Public Transports from Tamale to major citie such as Kumasi; Accra, Mim, Ahafo ; Cape Coast, Sunyani; Takoradi; Tema; Ho; Wa; Bolgatanga; Elubo; Aflao, Techiman; Public transportation in the form of taxis used to be the most convenient means of getting around Tamale for visitors to the town until the arrival of the Tri-cycles, popularly called "Mahama-Cambuu" or yellow-yellow. Mahama Cambuu is a coined name by the local people from the expression "Mahama can do". This is because these Tri-cycles (mostly yellow in color) came in the era of the former president, H.E John Dramani Mahama. It is comparatively cheaper than the Taxis and usually on the move unlike the Taxis that are regularized and stationed at a points. It is however, not very safe compared to the Taxis. The popular means of travel for the locals, however, is by motorbike. This phenomenon is helped by the existence of bike paths in the town, making it one of the most bike-friendly settlements in the Northern region. Transportation out of town is facilitated by the Tamale's bus rapid transit system, tro-tro private mini-bus system, MetroMass Bus-Based Mass Transit system, and STC Bus Lines, along with a host of charter bus companies, all of which provide transport to connect Tamale with the many other surrounding towns and cities.


Sister cities[edit]

Tamale has sister city relations with:

City Country Date Reference
United States Louisville, Kentucky United States 1979 [14]
Burkina Faso Fada N'gourma Burkina Faso 2003 [15]
Niger Commune II Niamey Niger 2007 [16]

Key Landmarks[edit]

  • Tamale Central Mosque
  • Dakpema Chief's Palace
  • Aliu Mahama Sports Stadium
  • Tamale Jubilee Park

Notable people[edit]

Ongoing Projects[edit]

Communities in Tamale[edit]

  • Lamashegu
  • Zogbeli
  • Kakpagyili
  • Zujung
  • Vitting
  • Kukuo
  • Kanvilli
  • Gumani
  • Jisonayili
  • Gurugu
  • Dungu
  • Bamvim
  • Bulpeila
  • Sabonjida
  • Sakasaka
  • Tishigu
  • malishegu
  • Nyanshegu
  • Kalpohini
  • Dabokpa
  • Choggu
  • Kalariga
  • Katariga
  • Tuutingli
  • Zagyuri
  • Sagnarigu
  • Yapalsi
  • Sognayili
  • Kpalsi
  • Wurishe
  • Changli
  • Fuo
  • Kunyevula
  • Guunayili
  • Aboabo
  • Gumbihini

Hotels and Guest Houses in Tamale[edit]

1. Picona Hotel

2. Radarch Lodge and Conference Centre

3. Miricha Hotel

4. Nim Avenue

5. Modern City Hotel

6. Sabonkudi estates

7. Regal hotel

8. Target Hills hotel

9. Pioneer lodge

10. B Sheini hotel

11. Naat guesthouse

12. Ganaa hotel

13. Global dream hotel


  1. ^ "Location & Size". Ghanadistricts.com. Archived from the original on 11 July 2011. Retrieved 24 August 2010.
  2. ^ GhanaWeb.com ghanaweb.com
  3. ^ "The largest cities in Ghana, ranked by population". Mongabay.com. 2013. Retrieved 1 May 2014.
  4. ^ Tamale, Northern Region (Ghana). icli.nl.
  5. ^ "3 Suspected kidnappers arrested in Tamale". Graphic Online. Retrieved 22 May 2021.
  6. ^ Tamale, capital of Northern region, Ghana. ghana-net.com.
  7. ^ a b Tamale Children's Home Tamale, Northern Region (Ghana). catointl.org
  8. ^ a b Tamale metropolitan
  9. ^ The Gulkpe naa is one of the seven district chiefs in the Dagbon; in rank directly under the Paramount Chief, he overlooks the local chiefs in and around Tamale.
  10. ^ "Klimatafel von Tamales / Ghana" (PDF). Baseline climate means (1961-1990) from stations all over the world (in German). Deutscher Wetterdienst. Retrieved 18 October 2016.
  11. ^ "Sule Salifu confirmed as MCE for Tamale". Citinewsroom - Comprehensive News in Ghana. 30 September 2021. Retrieved 15 November 2021.
  12. ^ Introduction to Tamale and the Northern Region. sclou.org.
  13. ^ Tamale Airport Listings. Ghanapedia.
  14. ^ Sister City International Listings – Directory Search Results – Tamale, Ghana Archived 31 August 2010 at the Wayback Machine. sister-cities.org.
  15. ^ Tamale establishes links with sister city in Burkina-Faso. ghanaweb.com. 31 December 2003.
  16. ^ TAMALE : Sister city relations should improve trade and investments Archived 14 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine. ndn.nigeriadailynews.com. 2 July 2007.
  17. ^ "Hon. Iddrisu Haruna". Parliament of Ghana.
  18. ^ "Abdul Majeed Waris". Right to Dream. Retrieved 18 September 2020.
  19. ^ "Fancy Gadam,". mobile.ghanaweb.com. Retrieved 18 September 2020.
  20. ^ "'Nothing wrong with criticizing judges constructively' – Inusah Fuseini backs Ayine". Citinewsroom - Comprehensive News in Ghana. 10 June 2021. Retrieved 16 November 2021.
  21. ^ "Dr Ibrahim Anyars Archives - MyJoyOnline.com". www.myjoyonline.com. Retrieved 16 November 2021.
  22. ^ "Tamale Interchange to be completed by end of 2021 - Contractor - MyJoyOnline.com". www.myjoyonline.com. Retrieved 23 September 2021.
  23. ^ "Ghana to start construction of phase II of Tamale Airport". Construction Review Online. 16 August 2019. Retrieved 23 September 2021.

External links[edit]