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Accra ( ) is the capital and most populous city of Ghanamarker, a nation on the coast of the western region of Africa. The city also doubles as the capital of the Greater Accra Regionmarker, and of the Accra Metropolis Districtmarker 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 Squaremarker, the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum, the Accra International Conference Centre, the fishing port at Jamestown and Makola Market.

History

Accra was founded by the Ga people in the late 1400s. 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 Portuguesemarker, who built a fort in the town, followed by the Swedishmarker, Dutchmarker, Frenchmarker, Britishmarker and Danishmarker 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 Britishmarker, Danishmarker and Dutchmarker forts and their surrounding communities: Jamestown near the British fort, Osu near the Danish Christiansborgmarker fort (now Osu Castlemarker) and Ussherstown near the Dutch Ussher fort. The four areas form the core of the modern city.

Accra was captured by the British in 1874, and, in 1877, at the end of the second Anglo-Asante War, Accra replaced Cape Coastmarker 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 Temamarker), and later a brewery, expanding into neighbouring towns.

The Accra Riots in 1948 launched the Ghanaian campaign for independence, which in part led to Ghana's independence from the United Kingdommarker and nationhood in 1957.

Government

The Accra Metropolis Districtmarker is governed by the 104-member Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), with governance over 200 square kilometers. It is further divided into 11 sub-metropoli:

  • Ablekuma Central
  • Ablekuma North
  • Ablekuma South
  • Ashiedu Keteke
  • Ayawaso Central
  • Ayawaso East
  • Ayawaso West Wuogon
  • La
  • Okaikoi North
  • Okaikoi South
  • Osu Klottey
The population of Accra itself was recorded as 1,658,937 in 2000, on an upward trend for some time.

Climate

Accra features a tropical savanna climate, with wet seasons and dry seasons. Accra actually has two rainy seasons, with the heaviest rains falling from April to July and a weaker rainy season in September and October. There is a brief dry spell in August and a more pronounced dry season from December through February. As is the case in a good portion of West Africa, the main dry season is accompanied by harmattan winds from the Sahara Desert, which between November and February can be quite strong. On average the hottest month is February; with a mean temperature of about 28°C (83°F); while August is the coolest month with an average temperature of about 25°C (77°F). However it should be noted that the "cooler" months tend to be more humid than the warmer months. As a result, during the warmer months and particularly during the windy harmattan season, it's a breezy "dry heat" and doesn't feel as warm as the more humid but "cooler" rainy season.

Economy

Ghana International Airlines has its head office in the Silver Star Tower in Airport City, Kotoka International Airportmarker. Prior to its dissolution, Ghana Airways was headquartered in the Ghana Airways House in the Airport Residential Area.

There is a percieved problem with street hawking in Accra, mainly carried out by internal immigrants from the north of Ghana. This is often to raise funds for their education. Goods sold commonly include fruit, beverages and mobile phones or accessories.

Education

Accra Conference Centre
On the outskirts of Accra there are three popular secondary schools: Achimota Secondary Schoolmarker, commonly referred to as "Motown", which was founded in 1924 and opened in 1927; the Presbyterian Boys' Secondarymarker, commonly known as "Presec"; Aburi Girls Secondary School, popularly known as (Abugiss), one of the well known girls' boarding school in Ghana; and St Thomas Aquinas Secondary School, commonly known as "Quinas".

In the vicinity of these two secondary schools is Ghana's first tertiary institution, the University of Ghanamarker. It is located 13 km north at Legon. Quite recently, another tertiary institution - Ashesi University - was established in Accra. Ghana International School (GIS), a private non-profit A-Level school founded in 1955 for children from ages 3–18 is located in Cantonments, Accra. Abelemkpe is the home of Lincoln Community School. Lincoln Community School is a private, non-profit International Baccalaureate school for students aged 3–18, and was established in 1968. American International School of Accra is also, unsurprisingly, in Accra.

Transport

Accra is served by Kotoka International Airportmarker, which has both civil and military uses. It is the centre of two of Ghana's three main railway lines: those to Kumasi and Takoradi.See Transport in Ghana for more details.

Sport

Football is the most popular sport in Accra, as in the rest of the country. The most famous football club in the city is Accra Hearts of Oak and their main rivals are Asante Kotoko of Kumasi. The Accra Sports Stadiummarker, home to the Hearts of Oak and the regular pitch of the Black Stars (the national team), in 2008 hosted 9 matches in the 2008 African Cup of Nations. Accra's most populous street, Oxford Street is lined with numerous stalls selling football jerseys of various teams.Michael Essien of Chelsea Football Club, in England, is one of the most successful footballers to come out of Ghana, (after legends like Abedi Pele) along with Steven Appiah, who is currently a free agent. Ghana also appeared in the 2006 World Cup, putting their nation on the world footballing map.

Attractions

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 Castlemarker, built by the Danesmarker in the 17th century, Golden Jubilee House, the new residence cum office of the president of Ghana inaugurated in Jan 2009, the National Theatre, Accra Centre for National Culture, a lighthouse, the Ohene Djan Stadiummarker, the Accra International Conference Centre, the W. E. B. Du Bois 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.

Sister cities

Accra is the sister city of:

References

External links




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