Accra’s beauty is defiled by posters. It is difficult to miss the numerous posters on walls, poles, buildings, and interchanges that advertise everything from political campaigns to concerts, jobs, and religious activities as one strolls around Accra’s streets.
These promotional materials somehow portray an eyesore that has detracted from the attractiveness of the city with their gaudy colors and aggressive typography.
The Greater Accra Metropolitan Area (GAMA), which includes the nation’s thriving capital city of Accra, is home to over 4.5 million people. It is a thriving center of culture and trade.
Accra’s beauty is defiled by posters.
One cannot help but notice how these hastily slapped posters are defacing walls and significant structures in the city amid the hustle and bustle. The World Population Review predicts that 2.5 million business travelers arrive daily.
Although many of the posters are posted without authorization from the government, in violation of the city’s by-laws, they still aim to promote the interests of numerous groups and individuals.
According to the 2017 cleaning bylaws of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly, no one is allowed to post advertisements or bills on any walls, signs, trees, or other structures unless they are on their own property or the property of someone they are renting or leasing.
Churches, advertisers, filmmakers, educational institutions, and members of the public who display banners and posters in Accra were given a 14-day deadline by the city’s appropriate legislatures in 2019 to remove all such marketing materials from ceremonial roadways and other significant areas in the city.
Despite the warning, the practice continues, with the posters frequently remaining for months or even years if they are able to withstand the elements and competing materials. This leads to an accumulation of ugly clutter.
According to Samuel James Nii Adjei Tawiah, the Chief Executive of the Korle Klottey Municipal Assembly, the placement of posters across the city without permission is a nightmare for the assembly.
He claimed that the assembly had initiated campaigns and spent a lot of money removing all illegal posters and issued a warning that anyone or any organization found sticking posters without authorization would face legal repercussions.
They do it at night and are still there in the morning, so we spend a lot of money paying people to take down these posters. For us, it is a daily problem, and we are working with the Advertising Association of Ghana (AAG) and other stakeholders to put an end to it.
You realize that some of the advertisements belong to trustworthy companies because we recently had to remove some from the AU Roundabout, Mr. Tawiah stated.
Registered advertisers may be engaged to manage campaigns for businesses and people using posters, but they can only do this with the proper licences from the local government.
Mr. Tawiah added that while posters that were lawfully put were done responsibly in locations approved by the authorities, the majority of posters that were illegally pasted were done by anonymous people at night.
Adding that “it is time for all stakeholders, including the authorities, individuals, and groups to come together and find a lasting solution to this problem,” he stated that the defacing of Accra through illegal posters was a vital issue that needed to be handled immediately.
Gilbert Ankrah, the Accra Metropolitan Assembly’s (AMA) Head of Public Affairs, said the assembly recently undertook an inspection and monitoring exercise and discovered that several banners and posters were placed in locations that had not been authorized by the assembly.
According to him, the materials were taken down, and the owners of advertising materials with expired permissions were given instructions to follow the byelaws of the assembly.
He stated that in accordance with the assembly’s out-of-home advertising policy, advertisers were required to renew their licenses annually and expressed the hope that they would do so.
However, Mr. Ankrah claimed that the engagement with advertising and the designation of specific zones had eased the issue.
According to Andrew Ackah, the president of the AAG, the group is extremely concerned about the illegal placing of posters throughout the city.
He claimed that despite strict legislation to control it, the situation has gotten worse over time, according to a yet-to-be-published audit undertaken by the AAG.
The analysis, which was created using a digital map, demonstrates the degree to which advertising restrictions were routinely broken, which decreased customer pleasure.
According to Mr. Ackah, the 12.7 km long Spintex Road in Accra has so far been the target of the most abuse in terms of the mounting and pasting of commercial items.
He claimed that the association was currently working nonstop to resolve the problem.
Afi Amoro, the CEO of Jandel Limited, expressed her love for beautifying the city and emphasized that it also improved cleanliness and order.
She claimed that areas of the city that had been painted were hardly ever trash because most people valued beauty.
“You realize that there is less littering at places that are decorated like the recently renovated Police Headquarters, where the entire area has benefited from that extra beauty added to the building, and the landscaping has transformed the entire stretch,” she said.
Ms. Amoro urged prominent Ghanaians to support the beautification of the city in all of its manifestations.
An entirely owned Ghanaian business, Jandel Limited, specializes in gardening, restorations, and interior and external décor.
impact on the environment
According to Joyce Bawuah, a British-Ghanaian environmentalist living in Barking, East London, the impact of the posters went beyond visual pollution and might also harm infrastructure due to the glue used to attach them corroding surfaces over time.
I’m She did, however, warn that it might be expensive and time-consuming for the authorities to remove those signs. Accra’s beauty is defiled by posters.