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Tema is an artificial port found in Ghana in West Africa. The port was constructed by the government of Ghana so as to handle the increasing volumes of trade and to reduce congestion at the port Accra which was the major port by then.

The port was opened up n 1962 and over the years, it has become a major industrial port as well as a major industrial area.

The site where the port is located was selected due to the various factors like the gentle relief of the area that enabled the construction of the port
facilities, nearness to the Akasombo power station which was a supply for the HEP, availability of building stones from the Shai hills, and the deepness of the waters which reduced the dredging needed.

To enhance the fast growth and development of Tema, road, and railway connections were constructed connecting Tema to other major towns of Ghana like Accra, Sekondi, Takoradi, Tamale, Sunyani, Kumasi, and many others.


The presence of deep waters of the Atlantic ocean fovored the development of Tema

Such deep waters of the Atlantic allowed large ocean vessels to anchor or dock.

This, therefore, increased the cargo that was being handled by the port which resulted in more revenue being collected by the port authority.

This was used in the expansion of the port facilities.

The port’s deep waters also gave it a competitive edge over other ports like Sekondi and Takoradi making it handle more cargo.

The strategic location of Tema also led its growth and development

The port is located in West Africa off the Atlantic ocean which ocean commands various shipping lanes from different parts of the world for example North Africa, Western Europe, North America, the far east that’s Asia, and the others.

This, therefore, increases the volumes of cargo being handled.

The gentle relief or the flat landscape of the area also favored the growth and development of the port.

Such gentle relief favored the construction of various port facilities for example dock, warehouses, ship repair yards, parking areas, and many other facilities.

In addition, the gentle relief also favored the construction of transport routes for example roads and railway lines connecting Tema to other parts of Ghana and thus widening its hinterland.

The favorable climatic conditions of the area where the port is located also led to its growth and development.

Ghana is found in the tropics and therefore it is ice-free throughout the year.

This means that shipping activities can go on uninterrupted throughout the year leading to more cargo being handled and thus increased revenue for the growth and development of the port.

The presence of a low tidal range experience at Tema has led the ports growth and development.

There is no marked difference between the low and high tidal levels and
therefore this has led the port to be more operational throughout the year allowing large ocean-going vessels to easily anchor at all times of the year.

The presence of the building materials from the nearby Shai hills also made the construction of the port facilities were easy and cheap as the building materials were sourced locally and at a cheaper cost.

The presence of the hard basement rocks also favored the growth and development of Tema

The site where the port is located has hard basement rocks which offered a firm foundation for the construction of the port and various port facilities for example warehouses, docking areas, and many others.

The sparse population also favored its growth and development.

The population being sparse created room for the growth and development of the port since few people were to be displaced and therefore compensation was not that expensive.

The sparse population has also made the expansion of the port relatively easy.

The presence of the sheltered waters at Tema also led to the growth and development of the port

Being an artificial port, an artificial harbor was created thereby sheltering the port from the open waters of the Atlantic ocean and therefore this created a sheltered harbor where the vessels can easily anchor for loading and offloading without disturbances from the Atlantic ocean currents and tidal waves.

The presence of an extensive and rich hinterland also favored the growth and development of Tema

The port serves a wider hinterland of eastern Ghana, central and northern parts of the country together with the neighboring countries like Togo and Burkinafaso.

Such a productive hinterland comprising of agricultural products like coffee, cocoa, palm oil as well as minerals like gold, diamonds, bauxite, and others have led to more cargo being handled by the port resulting in increased revenue for its growth and expansion.

The overcrowding and congestion at Accra as well as Takoradi has also favored the development of Tema

It was the overcrowding at Accra with its resultant congestion and
delays that led to the government to look for a new port so as to decongest Accra and thus provide efficient cargo handling.

The favorable government policy of Ghana

Government policy has been supportive after acknowledging the congestion and slow clearance of goods at Accra.

Therefore the government decided to open up a new port and therefore funded its construction and maintenance until when Tema authority started obtaining revenue for its maintenance and expansion.

The government also opened up road and railway links to other parts of the country like Tamale, Kumasi, Sunyani, Koforindua, and others thereby creating a wider hinterland for the port.

The government has also maintained security for life and property thereby attracting more investors into the port area.

The proximity of Tema to Accra also favored its growth and development.

Tema is only 17 miles from Accra and this allowed the easy overflow of cargo from Accra to Tema whereby making the port handle more cargo.

This proximity also allowed easy transportation of manpower as
well as construction materials from Accra to Tema.

Availability of power also favored the growth and development of the port.

Power is mainly got from the nearby Akasombo power station and the power is used to carry out various port facilities like loading and offloading using crane electronic weighing scales, processing of cargo as well as general computerization of all port facilities and activities leading to efficient cargo handling.

The well developed transport and communication network.

The port is well-linked with a network of roads and railway lines to other ports and towns of Ghana for example Accra, Kumasi, Achimoto, Tamale, and others.

This has widened the port hinterland leading to more cargo being handled and thus increased revenue for its growth and development.

The rapid industrial development at Tema

Many industries have been set up in the port areas for example agro-processing, aluminum, smelting, fish processing, oil refineries, petroleum chemical industries, and many others.

Such industries usually import raw materials and export manufactured products through Tema thereby increasing the volume of cargo being handled by the port.

The industries have also attracted people into the area leading to the expansion of the port.

Political instability

Ghana has been politically stable for a long period of time and this stability made the construction and development possible together with the attraction investments inform of industries and others.

Such stability has also created a conducive atmosphere for carrying out shipping activities in the area which has made Tema to become a major port “call” in the area.

Rapid population growth at Tema

The port city`s population has been increasing over the years and with an increase in population comes with an increase in demand for various services for example schools, recreation facilities, and many others.

The provision of such facilities to the increasing population has led to the growth and expansion of the port.

The use of modern technology has also favored the growth of the port

The port uses automatic on and offloading cranes, marine navigation radar so as to direct the incoming and outgoing vessels as well as computerization of all port facilities with an electronic weighing system which has made cargo handling relatively easy and efficient.

availability of skilled labour

Availability of labor especially skilled labour like engineers, technicians, managers, accountants, ship captains and many others have been used at different stages of the port stages leading to efficient cargo handling services and thus increased revenue of the port

Availability of capital

Initial capital was provided by the Government of Ghana leading to the
setting up of the port and its various facilities of recent capital is being provided by the Tema port facility as well as expansion of the port.

Continuous research carried out by the Tema growth authority.

Research is carried out on the best ways of cargo handling, how to approach the harbor areas as well as general needs by the
ship merchants.

This, therefore, has led to the provision of fairly made packages as well as efficient cargo handling services making the port a much sought-after port in Ghana.

A long period of operation has led to growth and development of Tema.

Through such experience in cargo handling as well as various port facilities, the port has become more efficient thus attracting more vessels leading to increased revenue as a result of cargo being handled.


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