New spaces in Accra: Transnational houses

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25 Scopus citations


Accra has been Ghana's primate city since the British moved their administrative headquarters there in 1877. The city took shape under British site planning and like many colonial cities, it developed a spatial layout that distinguished different neighborhoods, such as the old core, the European section, and the Muslim zongo or stranger area. Accra's Sabon Zongo ("new zongo") was founded in the first decade of the 20th century, as a refuge for migrant Hausa who had been living in the original zongo in the city's core. House ownership continues to confer status in the community but there is little room left for building. Hausa transmigrants from Sabon Zongo have been going abroad and remitting money back home, largely to build homes in the new peri-urban margins of Accra. This paper focuses upon the latter phenomenon - the new styles of houses they are building, the process this involves, and how these styles may accommodate worldview, lifestyle and behaviors different from those with which these men were raised in Sabon Zongo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)59-86
Number of pages28
JournalCity and Society
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2003


  • Ghana
  • Housing
  • Transmigration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Urban Studies


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