Upper East Region

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Upper East Region, Dagbon
Rock formation in the Tongo Hills near Gorogo
Rock formation in the Tongo Hills near Gorogo
Location of Upper East Region in Ghana
Location of Upper East Region in Ghana
 • Regional MinisterPaulina Patience Abagaye[1]
 • Total8,842 km2 (3,414 sq mi)
 • RankRanked 9th
 (2021 Census)[3]
 • Total1,301,226
 • RankRanked 9th
 • Density150/km2 (380/sq mi)
 • Year2013
 • Per capita$5,150
GDP (Nominal)
 • Year2013
 • Per capita$2,500
Time zoneGMT
Area code039
ISO 3166 codeGH-UE
HDI (2017)0.520[4]
low · 8th

The Upper East Region is located in northern Ghana[5] and is the third smallest of the 16 administrative regions in Ghana. It occupies a total land surface of 8,842 square kilometers or 2.7 per cent of the total land area of Ghana. The Upper East regional capital is Bolgatanga, sometimes referred to as Bolga. Other major towns in the region include Navrongo, Paga, Sandema, Bawku, and Zebilla.


Location and size[edit]

The Upper East Region is located in the north-eastern corner of Ghana and bordered by Burkina Faso to the north and Togo to the east. It lies between longitude 0° and 1° West, and latitudes 10° 30′N and 11°N. The region shares boundaries with Burkina Faso to the north, Togo to the east, Upper West Region to the west, and the Northern Region to the south. The Upper East Region is divided into 15 districts, each headed by a district chief executive.


Recreation areas[edit]

Historic sites[edit]


The region plays host to many festivals throughout the year, most of which are either to bring a good planting season or celebrate the harvest.

Other tourist attractions[edit]



The center of population of the Upper East Region is located in its capital of Bolgatanga.

The population is primarily rural (79%) and scattered in dispersed settlements. The rural population was 87.1 percent in 1984 and 84.3% in 2000. There was, thus, a 2.8 percentage point reduction in the rural share of the population between 1984 and 2000 and a further 5.3 percent reduction between 2000 and 2010.[3]

With only 21 per cent of the population living in urban areas, the region is the least urbanized in Ghana. In fact, together with Upper West, they are the two regions with a less than 20 per cent urban population.

Ghanaian citizen by birth, childhood or parenthood constitute 92.5 percent of the population of the Upper East region. Naturalized Ghanaian citizen constitute 5.3 percent.

Upper East Region has a total population of 1,301,221 in the 2021 Population and Housing Census (PHC) conducted by the Ghana Statistical Service indicate that the Upper East Region representing 4.2 percent of Ghana’s population.

The region shows a total of 631,963 males and 669,963 representing 48.5 and 51.5 percentages respectively[7]


Three national highwaysN2, N10, and N11 – and a few Regional highways such as the R113, R114, R116 and R181, serve the region.

The N10 originates from Yemoransa in the Central Region and connects through Kumasi in the Ashanti Region and terminates at Paga in the Upper East Region. The national capital of Accra is also connected to the region by the N2 which terminates in Kulungugu in the Upper East Region. Both these national routes are connected by the N11 which links the regional capital of Bolgatanga to Bimpiela, also in the region.

Administrative divisions[edit]

The political administration of the region is through the local government system. Under this administration system, the region is divided into 15 MMDA's (made up of 0 Metropolitan, 4 Municipal and 11 Ordinary Assemblies).[8] Each District, Municipal or Metropolitan Assembly, is administered by a Chief Executive, who represents the central government but deriving authority from an Assembly headed by a presiding member elected from among the members themselves. The current list is as follows:

Old Map of the Districts of the Upper East Region (2016)
Districts of the Upper East Region[9]
# MMDA Name Capital MMDA Type Population
1 Bawku Bawku Municipal
2 Bawku West Zebilla Ordinary
3 Binduri Binduri[10] Ordinary
4 Bolgatanga Bolgatanga Municipal
5 Bolgatanga East Zuarungu Ordinary
6 Bongo Bongo Ordinary
7 Builsa North Sandema Municipal
8 Builsa South Fumbisi[11] Ordinary
9 Garu Garu Ordinary
10 Kassena Nankana East Navrongo Municipal
11 Kassena-Nankana West Paga Ordinary
12 Nabdam Nangodi Ordinary
13 Pusiga Pusiga[12] Ordinary
14 Talensi Tongo Ordinary
15 Tempane Tempane Ordinary


Senior high schools[edit]

Tertiary Institutions 1). Bolgatanga Technical University 2). St. John Bosco's College of Education 3). Gbewaa College of Education, Pusiga 4). C.K.Tedam University of Technology &r Applied Sciences.

Hotels and Guest Houses[edit]

The Upper East Region can boast of some the best hotel and resting places in Northern Ghana. Some of the best places to rest in the Upper East region to serve both the locals as well as foreign visitors to the region. Some of the well known hotels include the following

  • Akayet Hotel
  • Ganass Hotel
  • Extee Crystal Hotel
  • Golden Horse Hotel
  • Tap Hotel
  • Golden Horse Hotel

Notable native citizens[edit]

Notable native citizens of Upper East region
# Citizen Settlement
1 Joseph Kofi Adda Navrongo
2 Roland Agambire Sirigu
3 Roger A. Agana Soe
4 David Atanga Namoo
5 Theresa Lardi Awuni Winkongo
6 Adam Kwarasey Navrongo
7 Abedi Pele Paga
8 Mark Woyongo Navrongo
9 Hawa Yakubu Kulungungu
10 Stephen Yakubu Binduri
11 Adabere Adabre Donald Bolgatanga


  1. ^ http://www.ghana.gov.gh/index.php/governance/regional-ministers [dead link]
  2. ^ "Upper East Region". Ghanadistricts.com. Archived from the original on 2011-07-11. Retrieved 2010-10-15.
  3. ^ a b "Upper East Region – Population" (PDF). statsghana.gov.gh. Retrieved 2013-01-20.
  4. ^ "Sub-national HDI - Area Database - Global Data Lab". hdi.globaldatalab.org. Retrieved 2018-09-13.
  5. ^ "Upper East Region: Group pushes for sex education to reduce teenage pregnancies". Citinewsroom - Comprehensive News in Ghana. 2021-05-18. Retrieved 2021-05-18.
  6. ^ "Festivals in the Upper East Region - Ghana Embassy Berlin". Ghanaemberlin Germany. Retrieved 19 April 2018.
  7. ^ "2021 PHC results: Upper East constitutes 4.2% of Ghana's population - A1 Radio Bolgatanga". Radionline. 2021-09-22. Retrieved 2023-09-16.
  8. ^ "Upper East". GhanaDistricts. Archived from the original on 18 January 2013. Retrieved 15 January 2013.
  9. ^ Upper East Region – Districts
  10. ^ "Ghana Districts - A repository of all districts in the republic of Ghana". GhanaDistricts. Archived from the original on 2012-10-18.
  11. ^ "Ghana Districts - A repository of all districts in the republic of Ghana". GhanaDistricts. Archived from the original on 2012-10-18.
  12. ^ "Ghana Districts - A repository of all districts in the republic of Ghana". GhanaDistricts. Archived from the original on 2012-10-18.