Akosombo Stories: The Volta River Project, Modernity, and Nationhood in Ghana


ACLS Fellowship Program




The study examines Ghana’s most ambitious development project, the Volta River Project completed in 1966, and its importance for the process of nation building. In Ghana, the name “Akosombo” has multiple meanings: the dam across the Volta, the Akosombo Township built as a model city, electrical power, cloth produced by the company Akosombo Textile Ltd., and the experience of migration and resettlement due to the flooding. This study unpacks these different meanings and explores their cultural, social, and political implications. The study looks at the history of Akosombo’s representations in popular culture and shows how ordinary Ghanaians have related the phenomenon of Akosombo to their understanding and imaginging of development, modernity, and nationhood.