n Institute of African Studies Research Review - Land use and environment in early Accra (1300 TO 1800 AD)

Supplement 7
  • ISSN : 0855-4412



Documentary evidence and oral sources of information describe the Accra Plains as a traditional vibrant economy as early as in the 13th century. Exposure to the outside world through early slave merchants, missionary work, and other commercial interests including colonisation created not only an added impetus for trade, but also resulted in the intensification of environmental resource utilisation namely, food crop production and rearing of domestic animals, hunting bush meat, iron mining and metal works, vivacious local architecture that went along with settlement expansion, and improving fishing technologies. <br>This article looks at the major land use patterns in early Accra around the 14th to the end of the 18th centuries. It relates land use practices to both natural endowments as well as technologies around that time, and argues that Accra was already a competitive place and commanded an honoured place among its neighbours. The likely impact of these land use patterns of the environment is explored, giving indications that land degradation was quite minimal. It concludes with a note that unlike present day Accra, where urban developments have overshadowed Accra's potential for food production, the area was a food basket for its people as well as its neighbours.

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