About Tema

Tema History

The city of Tema was once a small unknown village known as Torman. The history of Tema dates back to the 18th century when a group of Gas settled on a stretch of land between two lagoons, Sakumono   Lagoon to the west and Chemu to the east. The inhabitants were predominantly farmers who cultivated crops such as tomatoes, gourd etc. A few of the indigenes were fishermen. The village was popular for the cultivation of gourd which was called Tor in the Ga language. The gourd was by then used as precious containers for various storage purposes. The small village therefore became known as Torman literally meaning “the land of Tor”. The name Torman was corrupted to Tema overtime by the white rulers, strangers and traders who came from the hinterland kingdoms of Asante and Akwamu to trade in the gourd and other products of the farmers.The story of Tema however changed in 1951, when the then Government decided to build a second harbour in Ghana and develop a modern town that will support the activities of the harbour. After extensive survey and considerations the small fishing village of Tema located 18 miles east of Accra, the capital of Ghana was selected for the project. In 1951, a 64sq mile of land from Nungua, Tema and Kpone stool lands was acquired for the purpose of constructing the harbour and the city of Tema. The land was acquired by the Government under the Compulsory Acquisition of Land Ordinance. The agreement to hand over the land to the Government was signed by the then Gold Coast governor Sir George Listowel Alfred for the Government and Nii Tetteh Ansah signed for the people of Tema. The 64sq miles land stretches 10 miles along the coast and extends 7 miles inland. The Tema Development Corporation (TDC) was established by Ordinance No. 35 of July 1952 and charged with the responsibility of developing Tema and the Port of Tema. That same year resettlement of the indigenes of the village to Tema Manhean or Tema Newtown about 3 miles to the east of Tema started. Other inhabitants from other parts of the country who had settled in Tema moved to stay at Ashiaman, some few metres away to the north of Tema.In 1960, Ghana’s first president Dr. Kwame Nkrumah partially commissioned the harbour and the city then comprising of Community one and parts of Community two which had then be completed. Both the city and the port have ever since grown in size and in development.

The People of Tema

Tema is located in the Greater Accra Region of Ghana whose natives are predominantly Gas. The natives of Tema were however resettled in Tema Newtown or Tema Manhean to make way for the construction of the Tema harbour and the city of Tema. The port, various industries and commercial activities in Tema has led to the influx of people from across the length and breadth of Ghana and beyond the borders of Ghana. The result is a cosmopolitan city with diverse people, cultures and languages. The dominant language spoken in Tema is Akan and Ga. Most residents however can communicate very well in English and Pidgin English. The people of Tema epitomize the renowned Ghanaian hospitality. They are very friendly, helpful and law-abiding citizens who do not miss any opportunity to have fun at the towns various entertainment spots and sandy beaches when the occasion calls. The town’s residents are peaceful and crime rate is very low due to the vigilance and professionalism of the divisional police command which works tireless in conjunction with the Metropolitan Security Council and the national security network to serve and protect the residents of Tema and visitors alike.


Perhaps the greatest attraction of the city of Tema is its location. The city is located along the coast of the Gulf of Guinea and has the Greenwich Meridian passing through the city. The Greenwich Rock which is found a few metres into the sea at the Halcrow beach is perceived to be the point where the Greenwich Meridian passes.The main part of the city comprising Communities 1 to 12 lies between two lagoons. The Chemu Lagoon to the east and to the west is the Sakumono Lagoon.Ghana’s biggest seaport is located in Tema. The country’s largest fishing harbour is also found in Tema. The fishing harbour is always buzzing with activity as fishing vessels call to discharge their catch and replenish their stocks. There is also a shipyard and drydocks area around the port which provides repair and maintenance services for vessels that call the shores of Ghana.The city can also boast of many heavy and light industries which manufacture a wide variety of products including aluminum, plastics, food and beverages, textiles, cement, furniture, petroleum products etc. Most of the industries are located in the industrial area of the city.Tema has some very good hotels and guest houses which facilities that meets international standards. The restaurants and chop bars in the town serve both continental and local cuisines.Along the coast of Tema are nice sandy beaches which are pleasant for relaxation with friends and family. The most popular is the Titanic Beach located at where the Sakumono Lagoon joins the sea. The Tema beach road separates the beach from the lagoon and it is a spectacular sight where people come to fish and watch birds.There are several other attractions out of town. This includes the animal forest at Shai Hills, The Katamanso War Forest Reserve at Dodowa, nice beaches along the coastal stretch from Sakumono to Ningo and Prampram, the Volta River Estuary at Ada etc.

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