By Evans Boah-Mensah

Accra has a new address: Dunkonah. Situated about 44km west of central Accra, Dunkonah — which is near Weija in the Ga-South municipality in the Greater Accra Region — has emerged as one of the places of choice for business and residential purposes.

First, the town is about to be home to the biggest shopping mall in West-Africa as West Hills Mall, a project being spearheaded by SSNIT, nears completion next year.

Again, the place had been the location of choice for the multi-billion dollar technology park, Hope City, until the project was relocated to Prampram.

Already, Shoprite has opened one of its shopping centres at the place and many renowned companies have lined up to do business in the area.

Conceptually, the West Hills Mall is a beautiful sight. The facade of the mall has been designed to sit well with the rolling hills of Aplaku and Bortianor in the background, which accentuates the beautiful edges of the mall.

According to many businessmen and homeowners who have already sited their projects in Dunkonah, the choice of Accra West for their ?luxurious? projects is based on research that revealed the hitherto huge difference in wealth between Accra East and West has significantly narrowed — which signals that the future lies n the west side of the national capital.

The well-paved roads leading to the Accra Central business district are beautiful and they showcase some elements of the abundant attractions in the town.

The location and relocation of projects to Dunkonah show that interest in the place is rising, opening up an enclave of hospitality facilities — hotels, night-clubs, eateries and bars — shopping and recreational facilities, oil, pharmaceutical and salt-producing companies.

These have created an economic boom in the area with job opportunities unending as the community appeals to investors who want to benefit from the country?s extractive resources.

And with commuter time to Accra Central much more bearable — at about 20 minutes drive due to the completion of the N1 highway– the length of time residents of Dunkonah take to get to work is one of the best in the capital.

Connection to Western Region

The discovery of oil in commercial quantities in Cape Three Points in the Western Region of Ghana has increased business opportunities in the western corridor of the country.

The enthusiasm and expectations of the oil find have helped to boost economic activities in the region, especially in the regional capital of Sekondi-Takoradi.

The boom in business activities in the twin-city has pushed demand for social services and housing up, as the population of Sekondi-Takoradi has increased by three-fold since the oil was found in June 2007 to 559,000 at the end of 2012.

The increasing presence of businesses in the Western Region has also enhanced the buying power in the city. Additionally, landlords and landowners are reaping windfalls in house rentals and pricing of land, while hotels of various grades have sprung up.

The immediacy and closeness of Dunkonah, which is also located along the world-class N1 highway, constructed as a West-Africa highway to link the western corridor to the ports of Tema and the Kotoka International Airport, has given the town an added impetus as a place of choice for businesses and people who want to participate in the emerging oil industry in Sekondi-Takoradi and still enjoy the charm and beauty of Accra.

So Dunkonah provides opportunity for oil companies to reside in the area whilst transacting their daily activities in the oil capital of Sekondi-Takoradi.

One thing is that Dunkonah is not only thriving economically — it has also got all one would want in a place to raise a family: plenty of green space, good schools, and a strong sense of community.

One of Ghana?s best educational facilities, Morgan International, is about 10 minutes drive from Dunkonah along with several other schools and colleges. The Kokrobite Beach, White Sands Beach, Bojo Beach among other exciting beaches and resorts are all within the vicinity of Dunkonah, offering places for residents to swim, picnic, and enjoy the natural beauty of a remote place.

So, certainly, Accra is moving to the west and Dunkonah provides the best fertile land and opportunities for people and businesses that care about the environment and live a life devoid of industrial activities that pollute the air — as has been witnessed in suburbs in mainland Accra.

Therefore, whether one?s focus is on commerce, education, culture, recreation or just a great place to settle down, Dunkonah — known locally as the edge of smoke — is rising and has created an identity of its own. No doubt, it is becoming the new centre of Accra.

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