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Upper East Region

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Upper East Region

The Upper East Region is the smallest of 10 administrative regions in Ghana, occupying a total land surface of 8,842 square kilometers or 2.7 per cent of the total land area of Ghana. In terms of population, it is the ninth most populated region with a population of 920,089 in 2000, accounting for 4.9 per cent of Ghana’s total population. The regional capital is Bolgatanga, sometimes referred to as Bolga. Other major cities are Bawku and Navrongo.

Geography and climate

Location and size

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 00 and 10 West, and latitudes 100 30”N and 110N. 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 region is divided into 9 districts, each headed by a district chief executive.




    Paga crocodile pond
    Gbelle game reserve
    Sombo Bat Sanctuary
    Jafiiri Sacred Royal Python Sanctuary

Recreation areas

    Tongo rocks

Historic sites

    Naa Gbewaa’s shrine
    Navrongo’s mud-built church


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.

    Gologo Festival
    Fao Festival
    Paragbiele Festival
    Willa Festival
    Zumbenti Festival
    Kobina Festival
    Kakube Festival

Other Tourist Attractions

    Bolga market



The center of population of the Upper East Region is located in its capital city of Bolgatanga. According to the 2000 census, the region had a population of 920, 089 making it the ninth most populous region.

The population is primarily rural (84.3%) and scattered in dispersed settlements. There are generally no distinct boundaries between communities as compounds in contiguous villages over lap. The rural population in 1984 was 87.1 percent. There was, thus, a 2.8 percentage point reduction in the rural share of the population between 1984 and 2000 .

With only 15.7 per cent of the population living in urban areas, the region is the least urbanized in the country. In fact, together with Upper West, they are the two regions with a less than 20 per cent urban population.

Ghanaians by birth or parenthood constitute 92.5 per cent of the population of the region. Naturalized Ghanaians constitute 5.3 per cent and the rest are non-Ghanaians. The main ethnic groups in the region are the Nabdam (30.5%), Kusasi (22.6%), Nankani & Kassena (15.7%), Builsa (7.6%), Busanga (6%) and Mamprusi (1.8%) .


The religious affiliations of the people of the Upper East region are:

    Traditional - 46.4%
    Islam - 22.6%
    Christian – 28.3%


Three National highways – N2, 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.


The political administration of the region is through the local government system. Under this administration system, the region is divided into 9 districts. Each District, Municipal or Metropolitan Area, is administered by a Chief Executive, representing the central government but deriving authority from an Assembly headed by a presiding member elected from among the members themselves.
Districts in Upper East Region Region
District     Capital
Bawku Municipal     Bawku
Bawku West     Zebila
Bolgatanga Municipal     Bolgatanga
Bongo     Bongo
Builsa     Sandema
Garu-Tempane     Garu
Kassena Nankana East     Navrongo
Kassena Nankana West     Paga
Talensi-Nabdam     Tongo

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Ghana, Africa, Ghana Articles, Upper East Region, Bolgatanga, Bolga, Bawku, Navrongo

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