Akosombo Dam, also called Volta Dam is a dam on the Volta River in Ghana, constructed to provide hydroelectric power for the Accra-Tema region. The Akosombo is an earth-filled dam, 640 m (2100 ft) in length and 74 m (243 ft) above water level. The reservoir impounded by the dam, Lake Volta, has an area of about 8482 sq km (about 3275 sq mi) and a length of about 400 km (about 249 mi). The dam has an installed generating capacity of about 912 megawatts.
Proposals to dam the Volta date from 1915. Construction of the Akosombo Dam was begun in 1961, and the dam was inaugurated in 1966. The cost, $228 million, was underwritten by the World Bank and the governments of Ghana, the United States, and the United Kingdom. The creation of the reservoir displaced about 80,000 people. Because of fluctuations in the reservoir level, energy production has been unreliable. Some major industrial consumers have had to adjust their production accordingly, and agreements to export electricity to Togo and Benin have been affected. Plans to irrigate the Accra Plain have also been curtailed because of the water level, and transportation on Lake Volta remains poorly developed. Akosombo Dam and Lake Volta are part of the Volta River Project, which also includes a dam at Kpong, an aluminum smelter, a port, and irrigation projects.