Accra is the capital, and most populous city of Ghana. The city also doubles as the capital of the Greater Accra Region, and of the Accra Metropolis District with which it is coterminous. It is the administrative, communications, and economic center of the country. Over 70% of Ghana's manufacturing capacity is located within this region district. Accra has been Ghana's capital since 1877, and contains public buildings reflecting its transition from a 19th century suburb of Victoriasborg to the modern metropolis it is today.
Among the attractions of Accra are the National Museum, with a display of exhibits that reflect the heritage of Ghana from prehistoric times to modern times, the National Theatre with its distinct modern architecture, Independence Square, the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum, the Accra International Conference Centre, the fishing port at Jamestown and Makola Market.
Accra was founded by the Ga people in the late 1600s. The word Accra is derived from the word Nkran meaning "ants" in Akan, a reference to the numerous anthills seen in the countryside around Accra. During part of its history, Accra served as a centre for trade with the Portuguese, who built a fort in the town, followed by the Swedish, Dutch, French, British and Danish by the end of the seventeenth century.
The site of present-day Accra developed into a sizable town around the original Ga town as well as British, Danish and Dutch forts and their surrounding communities: Jamestown near the British fort, Osu near the Danish Christianborg fort (now Osu Castle) and Ussherstown near the Dutch Ussher fort. The four areas form the core of the modern city.
In 1877, at the end of the second Anglo-Asante War, Accra replaced Cape Coast as the capital of the British Gold Coast colony. After the completion of a railway to the mining and agricultural interior, Accra became the economic centre of Ghana. Large areas were destroyed by earthquakes in 1862 and 1939, but the city grew around a seaport (now relocated to Tema), and later a brewery, expanding into neighbouring towns.
The Accra Riots in 1948 launched the Ghanaian campaign for independence, which led to the Ghana's independence from the United Kingdom and nationhood in 1957.
Accra is home to the National Museum of Ghana, the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Archives of Ghana, and Ghana's central library. Also of note is Christianborg or Osu Castle -- the residence of the president of Ghana, built by the Danes in the 17th century, the National Theatre, Accra Centre for National Culture, a lighthouse, the Ohene Djan Stadium, the Accra International Conference Centre, the W.E.B. DuBois Memorial Centre for Pan-African Culture and several beaches. Near the Parliament of Ghana is the Ghana-India Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence in ICT.
The Kwame Nkrumah Memorial is located in downtown Accra.
Osu is a neighborhood in the city known for its dining and nightlife options.
aged 3-18, and was established in 1968.
Ghana is very much associated with the Kente cloth, with beads and batiks. So get yourself down to Makola Market in Kojo Thompson road and try your hand at bargaining you probably won’t win – but you won’t lose much either. Find a shop and have a shirt made – don’t be afraid of wandering off the beaten tracks in Accra, it is generally a safe city. Don’t miss the Osu Night Market, where market stalls are illuminated by hundreds of lanterns and candles.
Accra also has some beaches, some more touristy than others – and at some you’ll have to pay. But the better beaches, of course are always away from the cities. Out in the suburbs there are beach parties in the evenings, so ask around.
The most touristy area of Accra is Osu. It's located quite close to the Art Centre and Independence Square. The area around there has plenty of good hotels and restaurants of all kinds. For those who prefer Ghanaian food better or would like to try it for the first time, ask for a recommendation to a good chop bar.
Accra’s nightlife is hectic. In Accra you will find bars, clubs, pubs, parties – whatever you wish, playing music – from hip hop to traditional swing – you choose, depending on the crowd you choose to mix with.
Accra is a major transport hub, home to the Kotoka International Airport and lies on railway lines to Tema, Takoradi and Kumasi. The main harbour city, Tema is connected through one of Ghana's highways.
Public transit in the city is provided by a mix of privately owned mini-buses (known as Tro-Tros), taxis and state-owned buses. Tro-Tros are usually converted Mini-buses that run a regular, well-known route. They are cheap and frequent but often in poor repair and over-crowded. In 2002, the city introduced metro bus services, which were initially met with skepticism by commuters, but have increased in popularity.
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