Journal of
Geography and Regional Planning

  • Abbreviation: J. Geogr. Reg. Plann.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2070-1845
  • DOI: 10.5897/JGRP
  • Start Year: 2008
  • Published Articles: 391

Full Length Research Paper

Hierarchy of market centres along the Volta Lake in Ghana: A regional development framework

Benjamin D. Ofori1* and Alex B. Aseidu2
1Institute for Environment and Sanitation Studies, University of Ghana. 2Department of Geography and Resource Development, University of Ghana.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 18 October 2013
  •  Published: 31 October 2013


This study developed a hierarchical structure of the 43 market centres along the Volta Lake in Ghana using their essential characteristics and functional attributes. The functional composite indices used for classifying the market centres were computed using weighting techniques which were applied to resident population, access roads, marketing periodicity, some services of centrality and selected surrogates of market participation. Twenty eight (28) of the market centres fell in the lowest (6th) level of the market centre hierarchy and were located at varying intervals along the lakeshore.  The two 1st and 2nd highest order markets were strategically located in the north of the lake region.  The only market centre in the 3rd order was located in the south whereas the two markets of the 4th rank were in the midsection of the lake region.  The study emphasized the importance of the market centres as service centres for the Volta Lake Region whose economy is essentially based on agriculture and fishing.  The market centres were considered as ‘naturally’ occurring service centres capable of stimulating growth impulses in their catchment areas. The study recommended the adoption of the hierarchical order of the market centres as a workable framework for planning the development of the Volta Lake Region.

Key words: Market hierarchy, market centre, service centre, growth pole.