Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Accra, population 1,661,400 (2001), is the capital of Ghana. It is Ghana's largest city and its administrative, communications, and economic center. The chief manufactures are processed food, lumber and plywood, textiles, clothing, and chemicals.
Accra was founded by the Ga people in the fifteenth century 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 British and Dutch forts: Jamestown the British district and Ussherstown the Dutch, the two areas forming the core of the modern city.
At the end of the British-Asante Wars , Accra became the capital of the British Gold Coast colony. After the completion of a railroad to the mining and agricultural hinterland, Accra became the economic center 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.
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 , built by the Danes in the 17th century, the National Theatre , Accra Centre for National Culture , a lighthouse, the National Sports Stadium , the W.E.B. DuBois Memorial Centre for Pan-African Culture and several beaches.
On Accra's outskirts are Achimota School, the country's leading secondary school and, 13km north at Legon, the University of Ghana. The Defense Commission of the Organization of African Unity has its headquarters in Accra.
Today, Accra is a 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 the only highway in Ghana.
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