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Pros and Cons of Life in Accra

February 3, 2022

Pros and Cons of Life in Accra

Accra has become a popular destination for expats from Africa and all over the World. With beautiful sceneries, impeccable culture, and lovely people, it’s a peaceful city you can choose for your destination. Its name is derived from the Akan word, “Nkran” because of the many anthills that are seen in the city (don’t go around counting how many anthills you can find, lol). Just like many large and vibrant capital cities, Accra is the center for trade and industry and the seat of governance in Ghana. From overly populated marketplaces to beaches and beautiful landscapes, here are some pros and cons you can expect when choosing life in Accra.

Pro: Hospitable and Friendly People

Accra is home to most locals from different regions in Ghana, with distinct characters and behaviors. Many of them have been taught to be nice to people. Walk around the city and you will feel the warmth and welcome from the locals. Oh, the kids love non-natives! Catherine Bruckner attests to this fact as she writes in her journal on her visit to Accra, Ghana on March 6, 2007. “When I first came to Ghana in January 2007, I did not know what to expect. I was aware that it is one of the more politically stable African nations, and from what I had read, people were very friendly and hospitable. On the flight to Accra, the capital city, I realized that certainly, the latter was true. The people can sometimes be overwhelmingly friendly – the children frantically calling “Obruni!” (white person) and wanting to shake your hand. Others want your contact details, to be your friend.” You could imagine what she meant, right? Well, if you are looking forward to living in Accra, you can expect to meet nice and pleasant people who will treat you quite well and make you feel right at home!

Con: An Expensive Place to Live

Might I say that living in Accra is not so cheap? You would not talk about life in Accra with no mention of how expensive it is. Electronic Transaction levy (E-levy), a tax applied on transactions made on electronic or digital platforms is in the pipeline, working to draw about 1.75 percent tax on transactions. With an alarming increase in taxation, you would spend more money on imported products that would cost less overseas.

Accommodation in Accra costs an arm and a leg. Houses and apartments could go in their top dollars. While seeking a comfortable and exciting experience in Accra, try as much as possible to minimize expenses. Be courteous about the little monetary change you get, they can go a long way to sustain you. You could also learn to DIY some things, try to make up stuff yourself. Buying the materials and making them yourself might be less costly than buying the particular item, already made. And you get to learn a skill too! Getting the labor force in Accra is not too expensive. This means that you can afford to hire a housekeeper, chauffeurs, gardeners, etc.

Pro: Fun and Exciting Activities

Accra has always been known to be a lively place. Everywhere is filled with activities one can try. Visiting art scenery, movie theatres, musical concerts, street carnivals, malls, and other fun places, there is never a dull moment in Accra. Beaches such as Labadi Beach, Kokrobite Beach, Bojo Beach, and others offer one the ideal spot for relaxation. With sunglasses on and coconut in hand, you can have the experience of a lifetime. Amazing tourist sites such as the Osu Castle, Kane Kwei Carpentry Shop, Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum, among many others will blow you away. Nightlife in Accra also offers you a wide range of places you can go to and enjoy yourself (here’s a hint: visit Osu Oxford Street at night).

Con: Hectic Driving around the City
You would find it a pain in the neck driving around Accra if you come from a country where most drivers pay attention to road safety signs. Some roads do not have clear-cut road signs and traffic signals, with some pedestrians being unthinkably stubborn. Imagine a pedestrian who decides to cross a very busy road when there is an overhead walkway right above his or her head! You would always have to keep your eyes peeled when driving.

Traffic situations are not the best! Much of it is caused by erratic drivers, who sometimes refuse to obey the laws of the road especially during rush hour times, and not enough road lanes to contain a good number of vehicles. You can stay in traffic for several minutes, or even hours when the actual distance might take a few minutes to cover. At least to soothe your frustration over the traffic situation, there are hawkers who sell basic delicacies in traffic jams. Get some of those biscuits and munch away!

Pro: English as an Official Language
Being the capital city and the center for business, trade, and industry in Ghana, Accra boasts of having English as a widely used language, with Twi, a common local dialect coming next. With English as a lingua franca, you’d find it easier to communicate with others. But hey, you can still learn a few basic words in Twi just in case, such as “good morning” and “thank you.” It would make the locals more comfortable and even impressed with you.

Con: Bad sanitation
In as much as I hate to say it, some communities in Accra can be dirty. Keeping the environment clean is sometimes a problem. It is estimated that Accra produces about 3000 metric tonnes of waste in a day? How much of this waste is recycled? Only about 500 tonnes. The rest lies around in piles and piles, untouched and forgotten. Most gutters in Accra are choked due to the plastic waste it has been filled with. The quality of air in Accra as well is not encouraging. According to the 2020 World Air Quality report, Accra was Africa’s third most polluted city. Air pollution is on the rise as smoke is continually released from factories, vehicles, and some homes. We would all love to breathe in fresh air which helps to clear the head off stress and relaxes the body. But anyhow, you can still survive.

Pro: Peace and Tranquility
From a quote I just made up, “a city free from war, is a city open for more.” Sounds good right? It is actually true. Its tranquility breeds a strong and vibrant business environment, which in turn makes it a perfect destination for investors. With a thriving economy and stable democratic governance, Accra ranks as the 16th most peaceful city in Africa. But you know, inasmuch as Accra is peaceful, there are a few bad nuts. There are instances of burglary, pickpocketing, and other nuisances. With a little extra care on your part, you will be just fine.

Everyone can agree that the Pros of life in Accra outweigh its Cons. From stepping foot on the borders or arriving at the Airport to living in Ghana’s most sought-after city, you are on your way to having a whole lot of experience. ZeaHomes has made it easy for people to book short stays, rent apartments and houses and buy houses by putting all our inventories in one place, zeahomes.com. You can also contact us anytime for more information, collaboration, or consultation.

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