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Coordinates: 5°33′N0°12′W / 5.550°N 0.200°W / 5.550; -0.200 Coordinates: 5°33′N0°12′W / 5.550°N 0.200°W / 5.550; -0.200
CountryFlag of Ghana.svg  Ghana
Region Greater Accra Region
Settled15th century
  Accra Metropolitan173 km2 (67 sq mi)
61 m (200 ft)
 (2010) [2]
  Accra Metropolitan5,055,900
Demonym(s) Accran
Time zone UTC+0 (GMT)
Postcode districts
Area code(s) 030

Accra ( /əˈkrɑː/ ; Twi : Nkran; Dagbani : Ankara; Ga : Ga or Gaga) is the capital of Ghana covering an area of 225.67 km2 (87.13 sq mi) with an estimated urban population of 4.2 million as of 2020. [3] It is organized into 12 local government districts – 11 municipal districts and the Accra Metropolitan District, which is the only district within the capital to be granted city status. [4] [5] [6] "Accra" usually refers to the Accra Metropolitan Area, which serves as the capital of Ghana, while the district under the jurisdiction of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly is distinguished from the rest of the capital as the "City of Accra". [7] In common usage, however, the terms "Accra" and "City of Accra" are used interchangeably.


The intersection of the Lafa stream and Mallam junction serves as the western border of Accra, the Great Hall of the University of Ghana forms Accra's northern border, while the Nautical College forms the eastern border. The Gulf of Guinea forms the southern border.

Formed from the merger of distinct settlements around British Fort James, Dutch Fort Crêvecoeur (Ussher Fort), and Danish Fort Christiansborg as Jamestown, Usshertown, and Christiansborg respectively, Accra served as the capital of the British Gold Coast between 1877 and 1957 and has since transitioned into a modern metropolis. The capital's architecture reflects this history, ranging from 19th-century colonial architecture to modern skyscrapers and apartment blocks. [8]

Accra is the Greater Accra Region's economic and administrative hub, and serves as the anchor of the larger Greater Accra Metropolitan Area (GAMA), [9] which is inhabited by about 4 million people, making it the thirteenth-largest metropolitan area in Africa. Strategic initiatives, such as transportation, are coordinated between the local government authorities, while the Accra Metropolitan Assembly, based in West Ridge, is responsible for the administration of the 60 km2 (23 sq mi) City of Accra only.[ citation needed ]

Accra is the most densely populated city in Ghana. The central business district of Accra contains the city's main banks and department stores, as well as an area known as the Ministries, where Ghana's government administration is concentrated. Economic activities in Accra include the financial and commercial sectors, fishing, and the manufacture of processed food, lumber, plywood, textiles, clothing, and chemicals. Tourism is becoming a thriving source of business for those in arts and crafts, historical sites, and local travel and tour agents. The Oxford Street in the district of Osu has grown to become the hub of business and nightlife in Accra.[ citation needed ]

In 2020, the Globalization and World Cities Research Network think tank designated Accra as a "Gamma −" level global city, indicating a growing level of international influence and connectedness. [10]


The word Accra is derived from the Akan word Nkran meaning "ants", a reference to the numerous anthills seen in the countryside around Accra. [11] [ self-published source? ] The name specifically refers to soldier ants, and was applied to both the town and people by the Twi speakers. [12] [13]

The name of Accra in the local Ga language is Ga or Gaga, the same name as that of the Ga people and a cognate with Nkran. The word is sometimes rendered with the nasalised vowels as or Gãgã. Historian Carl Christian Reindorf confirmed this etymology, proposing a link between the martial qualities and migratory behaviour of the local ants and those of the Ga people. The link between the ethnonym and ants was explicitly reflected in the recognition of anthills as sacred places. Often ringed by sacred fences (aklabatsa), the tall red mounds dotting Accra's hinterland were seen as microcosms of human community and as nodal points between the known world and the world of the dead. [12]

While the Ga used the reference to the invasive species of dark-red swarming ants to connote military prowess and their ancient conquest of Guang speakers residing in the Accra Plains, the Akan-speaking appropriation and translation of this metaphor had a less than generous meaning. Instead of viewing Ga speakers as a formidable military force, the Akan-speaking term "Nkran" cast Ga peoples as pests or nuisances to be controlled or exterminated. [14]

The name Ga is actually a cognate of the name Akan, one of a few words in which [g] corresponds to [k] in Akan. [15] Ga also gave its name to the Ga districts surrounding Accra. [16] [ self-published source? ]

The spelling Accra was given to Nkran by Europeans. [16] An earlier spelling used by the Danes was Akra. [17] [18]


A contemporary drawing of the Danish empire fort, Fort Christiansborg, now Osu Castle. The outpost to the right is Fort Provestenen Christiansborg Castle2.jpg
A contemporary drawing of the Danish empire fort, Fort Christiansborg, now Osu Castle. The outpost to the right is Fort Prøvestenen

The main Ga group known as the Tumgwa We led by Ayi Kushie arrived by sea. When the Guan (Lartehs) on the coast saw them on their canoes at sea, they looked like ants. Hence, the Lartehs refer to them as Nkran (ants). Nkran was later corrupted by the Danes to Akra, then to present-day Accra. Nkran in the Ga language is Gaga, thus they also started calling themselves Ga. Due to their sheer numbers, the indigenous Lartehs thus relocated to the Akuapem ridge. The Ga are also part of the main Guan group that started the initial migration from the Nubia Empire. [19]

Initially, Accra was not the most prominent trading centre; the trade hubs of the time were the ports at Ada and Prampram, along with the inland centres of Dodowa and Akuse. The Dutch built the nearby outposts of Ussher Fort while the British and the Swedes built James Fort and Christiansborg castles, respectively. By the 17th century, Portugal, France and Denmark, had constructed forts in the city.[ citation needed ]

Britain gradually acquired the interests of all other countries beginning in 1851, when Denmark sold Christiansborg (which they had acquired from the Swedes) and their other forts to the British. The Netherlands was the last to sell out, in 1871. In 1873, after decades of tension between the British and Ashantis, the British captured Kumasi, destroying portions of the city. The British then captured Accra in 1874, and in 1877, at the end of the second Anglo-Asante War, Accra replaced Cape Coast as the capital of the British Gold Coast. This decision was made because Accra had a drier climate relative to Cape Coast. Until this time, the settlement of Accra was confined between Ussher Fort to the east and the Korle Lagoon to the west. [20]

As the newly established Gold Coast's administrative functions were moved to Accra (1877), an influx of British colonial administrators and European settlers grew around the Christiansborg (modern Osu, Ministries, Ridge, Labone, and Cantonments) began, and the city began to expand to accommodate the new residents. Victoriaborg was formed in the late 19th century as an exclusively European residential neighbourhood, located to the east of the city limits of the time. The boundaries of Accra were further stretched in 1908. This expansion entailed the creation of a native-only neighbourhood, intended to accommodate members of the native population as a means of relieving congestion problems in the overcrowded city centre. Adabraka was thus established to the north of the city. [21]

A main street of central Accra sometime between 1885 and 1908 HauptstrasseAccra18851908 300dpi.jpg
A main street of central Accra sometime between 1885 and 1908

One of the most influential decisions in the history of the city was that of building the Accra-Kumasi railway in 1908. This was to connect Accra, the country's foremost port at that time, with Ghana's main cocoa-producing regions. In 1923, the railway was completed, and by 1924, cocoa was Ghana's largest export.

The colonial era heavily influenced the shape that Accra took during this period. For example, the segregation of European and African neighbourhoods was mandated by law until 1923, and all new buildings were required to be built out of stone or concrete. Despite these regulations, European settlers in the Gold Coast were very hesitant to invest any large amount of money into the city to maintain its infrastructure or improve public works. This did not change until the governorship of Sir Frederick Gordon Guggisberg during which period the three separate settlements (Osu, La and Jamestown) merged to become modern Accra. Guggisberg's administration laid out the present grid networked neighborhoods of Tudu, Adabraka and Asylum Down.

Among the achievements of Guggisberg was the building of a bridge across the Korle Lagoon in 1923, which opened the land west of the lagoon for settlement. Guggisberg also oversaw the building of a major hospital (Korle-Bu) and secondary school (Achimota). Such improvements led to an increase in Accra's population due to the migration of rural dwellers into the city, and the immigration of increasing numbers of British businessmen and administrators.

After World War II

Jamestown Lighthouse in Jamestown/Usshertown Jamestown lighthouse.jpg
Jamestown Lighthouse in Jamestown/Usshertown

In the years following World War II, the neighbourhoods of Ridge and Cantonments were planned as low-density developments for Europeans, while many rural migrants settled in neighbourhoods which had not yet been incorporated into Accra's municipal boundary, such as Nima and surrounding areas. Thus, the development of these neighbourhoods was unregulated by the government, creating a crowded and jumbled shanty-town landscape.

Another area of Accra that took shape at this time was the central business district (CBD). More administrative buildings were built on High Street, forming a massive judicial/administrative complex. Additionally, the expansion of the economy led to many more commercial buildings being built in the CBD.

In 1944, Accra's city planner Maxwell Fry devised a town plan, which was revised in 1958 by B.D.W. Treavallion and Alan Flood. Although the Fry/Trevallion plan was never followed through, it illustrated the British vision of how Accra should develop.

Fry/Treavallion plan

In the Fry/Treavallion plan, a reorganisation of the CBD was called for, as well as the development of the coastal region of the city. To reorganise the CBD, the planners decided to superimpose a tight street grid north of Fort Ussher.

To the east of this newly organised CBD, the planners hoped to preserve a broad, open space for a restaurant, country club, and polo and cricket fields. Additionally, the British planners intended to build large numbers of public squares, fountains, and ornamental pools and statues throughout the city, as well as a vast Parliament Complex in the city centre. Lastly, the Fry/Treavallion plan included plans to make the coastal region an extension of the exclusive European neighbourhood of Victoriaborg, and to create a recreational preserve for the elite. However, the British Gold Coast ended before the Fry/Treavallion plan was enacted.

Nkrumah Plan

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Black star Square

When Kwame Nkrumah became Ghana's first postindependence Prime Minister in 1957, he created his own plan for Accra's development. [22] Instead of creating spaces to serve the elite, Nkrumah sought to create spaces to inspire pride and nationalism in his people and people throughout Africa.

Rather than creating ornamental fountains and a large Parliament complex, Nkrumah decided to build landmarks such as Independence Square, the State House, and the Organisation of African Unity building, and to refurbish Christianborg Castle. Nkrumah decided to leave the Atlantic coastal region undeveloped, so as to not detract attention from the Community Centre or Independence Square, lending both spaces symbolic significance. The Nkrumah plan did not emphasise order nearly as much as the Fry/Treavallion plan did; whereas the British plan strove to lessen crowding in the commercial district and help relieve the overcrowding of neighbourhoods bordering the CBD, the Nkrumah plan allowed for continued compression of commercial establishments into the CBD, as well as increased migration into Jamestown.

The modern city is centred on the original British, Danish, and Dutch forts and their surrounding communities: Jamestown near the British James Fort, Osu near the Danish fort of Christiansborg (now Osu Castle), and Ussherstown near the Dutch Ussher fort.

Tourist attractions include the National Museum of Ghana, the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Archives of Ghana and Ghana's central library, the National Theatre, the Accra Centre for National Culture, and the Jamestown Lighthouse.

The Parliament, Supreme Court of Ghana, Black Star Square and the Bank of Ghana are also located in Accra.

The city is also a transportation hub, home to the Kotoka International Airport, and railway links to Tema, Sekondi-Takoradi and Kumasi. Accra has become a location for national and international business conferences, such as the BarCamp Ghana series, organised by GhanaThink Foundation. [23]


Climate chart (explanation)
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation totals in mm
Source: BBC Weather [24]

Owing to its location in the Dahomey Gap, where the coast runs parallel to the prevailing moist monsoonal winds, Accra features a very marginal hot semi-arid climate (Köppen climate classification: BSh) that borders on a tropical wet and dry climate (Köppen climate classification: Aw). The average annual rainfall is about 730 mm, which falls primarily during Ghana's two rainy seasons. The chief rainy season begins in April and ends in mid-July, whilst a weaker second rainy season occurs in October. Rain usually falls in short intensive storms and causes local flooding in which drainage channels are obstructed.

Very little variation in temperature occurs throughout the year. The mean monthly temperature ranges from 25.9 °C (78.6 °F) in August (the coolest) to 29.6 °C (85.3 °F) in March (the hottest), with an annual average of 27.6 °C (81.7 °F). 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, the city experiences a breezy "dry heat" that feels less warm than the "cooler" but more humid rainy season.

As a coastal city, Accra is vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and sea level rise, with population growth putting increasing pressure on the coastal areas. [25] Drainage infrastructure is particularly at risk, which has profound implications for people's livelihoods, especially in informal settlements. Inadequate planning regulation and law enforcement, as well as perceived corruption in government processes, lack of communication across government departments and lack of concern or government co-ordination with respect to building codes are major impediments to progressing the development of Accra's drainage infrastructure, according to the Climate & Development Knowledge Network. [26]

As Accra is close to the equator, the daylight hours are practically uniform during the year. Relative humidity is generally high, varying from 65% in the midafternoon to 95% at night. The predominant wind direction in Accra is from the WSW to NNE sectors. Wind speeds normally range between 8 and 16 km/h. High wind gusts occur with thunderstorms, which generally pass in squalls along the coast.

The maximum wind speed record in Accra is 107.4 km/h (58 knots). Strong winds associated with thunderstorm activity often cause damage to property by removing roofing material. Several areas of Accra experience microclimatic effects. Low-profile drainage basins with a north–south orientation are not as well ventilated as those oriented east–west.

Air is often trapped in pockets over the city, and an insulation effect can give rise to a local increase in air temperature of several degrees. This occurs most notably in the Accra Newtown sports complex areas.

Climate data for Accra (Accra International Airport) 1961–1990, extremes 1936–1997
Record high °C (°F)35.8
Average high °C (°F)32.1
Daily mean °C (°F)27.3
Average low °C (°F)23.4
Record low °C (°F)15.0
Average precipitation mm (inches)10.9
Average precipitation days1256101597873275
Average relative humidity (%)77787980818584838182808081
Mean monthly sunshine hours 210.8206.2213.9219.0210.8141.0145.7155.0171.0226.3237.0241.82,378.5
Mean daily sunshine hours
Source 1: World Meteorological Organization (average high, low and precipitation) [27]
Source 2: Deutscher Wetterdienst (extremes, humidity 1952–1967, mean temperature 1941–1994, and sun) [28]


The administration of Accra occurs at two levels. Strategic initiatives, such as the urban transportation project, are coordinated between district authorities, [29] while local administration is carried out by local government authorities, which are responsible for most local services, such as local planning, local roads and refuse collection within their area of jurisdiction.

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Aerial photograph 7 November 1929

Accra is divided into 12 separate local government districts, all governed as municipal assemblies with their own town hall and a municipal executive appointed by the president of the republic. Each municipal assembly is responsible for most local services, such as local planning and refuse collection. The City of Accra, coterminous with the Accra Metropolitan District, once comprised the entirety of Accra until the Ledzokuku, Krowor, La-Dadekotopon, Ablekuma North, Ablekuma Central, Ablekuma West, Ayawaso North, Ayawaso Central, Ayawaso West, Okaikwei North, and Korley Kottey districts were carved out as separate municipal districts. Accra covers an area of 225.67 km2 (87.13 sq mi), of which the City of Accra covers 60 km2 (23 sq mi).


Accra Metropolitan District (City of Accra)

The Accra Metropolitan District is one of the 12 local government districts that contains the historic center and the primary central business district (CBD) of Accra. To promote efficiency in the administrative machinery and also meet the ever pressing demands for amenities and essential services, the district is divided into the Ashiedu Keteke, Okaikoi South, and Ablekuma South sub-metropolitan districts. [30]

The Accra Metropolitan Assembly, which governs the City of Accra within the boundaries of the Accra Metropolitan District, is led by a Metropolitan Chief Executive who is appointed by the President of the Republic of Ghana. The Mayor of Accra is Mohammed Adjei Sowah, who was appointed by President Nana Akufo-Addo and approved unanimously by the AMA on 23 March 2017. [31]

The Ablekuma South sub-metropolitan district covers an area of 15 km2 (5.8 sq mi) and is bordered by the Ablekuma Central and Ablekuma North Municipal Assemblies, and the Ashiedu Keteke sub-metropolitan district. [32] It includes 5 electoral areas: Korle Gonno, Korlebu, Chorkor, Mamprobi, and New Mamprobi.

Communities within the Okaikoi South sub-metropolitan district include Darkuman, New Fadama, Kaneshie, Bubiashie, and Avenor. [33] The sub-metro has 8 electoral areas namely Awudome, Goten, Kaatsean, Mukose, Bubuashie, Bubui, Avenor and Kaneshie.

The Ashiedu Keteke sub-metropolitan district covers the Central Business District (CBD) and as such the hub of major commercial activities within the Metropolis. Majr markets include Makola, Agbogbloshie, and Kwasiodwaso. There are 8 electoral areas namely Ngleshie, Mudor, Kinka, Nmlitsagonno, Amamomo, Korle Wonkon, and Korle Dudor. [34]

Ledzekuku Municipal District

The Ledzekuku Municipal District, with its administrative capital at Teshie, covers an estimated area of 47.57 km2 (18.37 sq mi). [35]

Krowor Municipal District

The Krowor Municipal District was carved out of the Ledzokuku-Krowor Municipal District in 2018. Its administrative capital is Nungua. [36]

La-Dadekotopon Municipal District

The La-Dadekotopon Municipal District, with its administrative capital at La, was carved out of the Accra Metropolitan District in 2012. [37] The Kotoka International Airport, Airport City, Accra Mall, and the US Embassy are located within the district, which covers an area of 36 km2 (14 sq mi) [38] Other communities within this district include Cantonments, Labone, and Burma Camp.

Ablekuma North Municipal District

The Ablekuma North Municipal District was carved out of the Accra Metropolitan District in 2018 with an administrative capital at Darkuman Kokompe. [39]

Ablekuma Central Municipal District

The Ablekuma Central Municipal District covers a total land area of 11.5 km2 (4.4 sq mi). [40] Its administrative capital is Lartebiokorshie.

Ablekuma West Municipal District

The Ablekuma West Municipal District was carved out of the Accra Metropolitan District in 2018 and its administrative capital is Dansoman. [41]

Ayawaso North Municipal District

The Ablekuma North Municipal District was carved out of the Accra Metropolitan District in 2018 and its administrative capital is Accra Newtown. [41]

Ayawaso Central Municipal District

The Ayawaso Central Municipal District was carved out of the Accra Metropolitan District with an administrative capital being Kokomlemle. [42]

Ayawaso West Municipal District

The Ayawaso Central Municipal District was carved out of the Accra Metropolitan District and its administrative capital is Dzorwulu.

Okaikwei North Municipal District

Korley Kottey Municipal District

The Korley Klottey Municipal District was carved out of the Accra Metropolitan District in 2019 and covers an area of 12 km2 (4.6 sq mi) [43] Some of the communities within the district include Osu, Ringway Estates, Asylum Down, North Ridge, West Ridge, Ministries, Gold Coast City, North Adabraka, and Tudu. There are 9 electoral areas namely Osu Doku, Ringway Estates, Kinkawe, Osu Alata, Asylum Down, North Adabraka, Tudu, Odorna/Sahara, and Official Town.


Accra Central

The Ring Road, extending from the Korle Lagoon in the west, north to Kwame Nkrumah Circle, following east to the juncture of Independence Avenue, and continuing on to Osu, forms a ring around the oldest districts of Accra, and separates central Accra from the outlying suburbs.

Central Accra includes the CBD, which consists of the historic districts of Usshertown, Tudu, Victoriaborg, West Ridge, and East Ridge, as well as the historic residential districts of Jamestown, Adabraka, Asylum Down, North Ridge and Christiansborg/Osu.

Although satellite business districts such as the Airport City have been established across the city, Central Accra remains the administrative and cultural centre of Accra, hosting government ministries, hotels, businesses, and financial institutions.

Central Accra's principal attractions include the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum, the National Museum, Independence Square, the National Theatre, and the Ohene Djan Stadium.

Accra North

Northern Accra is a residential and business district. The area contains the "37" Military Hospital, The Flagstaff House, several foreign embassies, Achimota School, Achimota Golf Park, and the University of Ghana's Legon campus, which serves as Accra's northern boundary.

Geographically, the areas north of Ring Road West and Central, east of Winneba/Graphic Road, west of Liberation Road, and the districts just north and south of the Kwame Nkrumah motorway are regarded as Northern Accra. Some areas North of Accra include, Ashongnman, Madina, Haatso, North and West Legon and others

Accra East

Eastern Accra is largely residential and geographically north of Ring Road East, stretching as far north as Kwame Nkrumah Motorway; the district is bordered to the west by Liberation Road.

Accra West

Western Accra is largely a residential and business area. Whilst geographically less expansive than the northern and eastern reaches of the city as a result of the large saltponds of Tettegu and Aplaku, it nonetheless boasts one of Accra's most important landmarks, the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital.

Geographically, the areas west of Ring Road West, extending as far west as the saltponds and south of Graphic Road, are considered Accra West. [44]


The period between 1960 and 1970 saw rapid industrialisation and expansion in Accra's manufacturing and commercial sectors. This contributed to high rural-urban migration to the city, and consequently a high population growth rate. [45] The stagnation of the Ghanaian economy during the 1970s slowed the growth of Accra's population, as shown by the falling growth rate of the 1970–1984 intercensal years. Later, however, the decline in agriculture in rural communities in Ghana and rising industrialisation in urban regions, coupled with the late-1980s boom in the service sector, once again propelled immigration to Accra. The primacy of the Accra Metropolitan Area as the Greater Accra region's administrative, educational, industrial and commercial centre continues to be the major force for its population growth, with immigration contributing to over 35% of the Accra's population growth.

Distribution and density

The gross density of population for the Accra Metropolitan Area in 2000 was 10.03 persons per hectare, compared to 6.23 per hectare in 1970. The highest densities were recorded in the Accra Metropolitan Assembly, with an overall average of 69.3 persons per hectare. At the community level, densities exceeding 250 persons per hectare occurred mostly in the immigrant and depressed areas in the oldest parts of Accra, such as Accra New Town, Nima, Jamestown and Usshertown. In higher-income areas, densities ranged between 17.5 and 40 persons per hectare.

Population distribution by age and gender

Accra's population is a very youthful one, with 56% of the population being under 24 years of age. This predominance of young people is not expected to decline in the foreseeable future. Fifty-one percent (51%) of the population are females, and the remaining 49% males. This gives a males-to-females ratio of 1:1.04. The greater number of females is a reflection of the nationwide trend, where the estimated ratio of males to females is 1:1.03. [46]


Decentralisation is expected to reduce the migration rates in Accra. An assessment of the extent of migration to Accra, based on present locality and gender, reveals that 45% of residents in Accra are African immigrants from countries across the African continent.


Parts of Central Accra comprise a mixture of very low-density development with under-used service infrastructure on the one hand, high-density development and overstretched infrastructure services on the other. The growth of Accra has led to the neglect of some of the old settlements, whilst efforts are being made to provide the newly developing suburban areas with services and infrastructure to cater for the needs of the middle-income earners. Peripheral residential development in Accra barely has sufficient infrastructure to support it. There are also large numbers of uncompleted houses, interspersed with pockets of undeveloped land, which are often subject of litigation, due to the inability of organisations and individuals who own them to complete or develop them due to lack of funds. Housing can be grouped into three broad categories: the low-income, middle-income and high-income areas. The low-income housing areas comprise Osu, Jamestown, Adedenkpo, Chorkor, La, Teshie, Nungua, Sukura, Kwashieman, Odorkor, Bubiashie, Abeka, Nima, Maamobi and Chorkor. Altogether, these areas accommodate about 58% of Accra's total population. Most of Accra's informal businesses are located in low-income areas.

Almost all low-income areas are built up with little room for expansion. This is particularly so in the areas of the inner city. The middle-income areas of Accra are predominantly populated by Ghanaian citizens and business, administrative and professional families. Much of the housing in these areas has been provided by state, parastatal and private sector organisations and individuals. The middle-income areas include Dansoman Estates, North Kaneshie Estates, Asylum Down, Kanda Estates, Abelempke, Achimota, Adenta and Tesano. Usually, these areas, unlike the low-income areas, are planned developments, but are in need of infrastructure services. Building materials and general housing conditions are of better quality. The middle-income group comprises 32% of the city's population of which are Ghanaian citizens make up. The high-income areas provide housing for the remaining 10% of the population of which Ghanaian citizens also make up. They include areas like North Ridge and West Ridge, Ringway Estates, north Labone Estates, Airport Residential Area, Roman Ridge, East Legon.

These areas are all planned and have well developed infrastructure with spacious and landscaped ground in sharp contrast with, particularly, the low-income areas. Buildings are usually built with sandcrete blocks, and have walls and roofed with aluminium, or asbestos roofing sheets. There are also high-income peripheral areas like Haatso, Kwabenya, Pokuase, Adenta, Taifa, Mallam, where development of engineering infrastructure is not yet complete. These areas developed ahead of infrastructure, however the Achimota-Ofankor controlled-access highway was scheduled to open in May 2012,[ needs update ] [47] [48] dual carriageway road construction was also due to be completed in 2012.[ needs update ] In total, 84.4% of all houses in the Accra Metropolitan Area have their outside walls made up of cement. Similarly, houses found within Accra have 99.2% of their floor materials made up of cement.


In 2008, the World Bank estimated that Accra's economy only constituted around US$3 billion of Ghana's total gross domestic product (GDP). [49] The economically active population of Accra is estimated to be 823,327.

Accra Central, Accra, Ghana Accra Central, Accra, Ghana.jpg
Accra Central, Accra, Ghana

Accra is a centre for manufacturing, marketing, finance, insurance, and transportation. Its financial sector incorporates a central bank, nine commercial banks (with 81 branches), four development banks (with 19 branches), four merchant banks (with seven branches), three discount houses, one home finance mortgage bank, multiple building societies, Ghana Stock Exchange, foreign exchange bureaus, finance houses, insurance companies, insurance brokerage firms, two savings and loans companies, and numerous real estate developers, with industrial sites and residential developments. [50] [51] The road network in the Accra Metropolitan Area totals 1,117 kilometres (694 mi) in length.

There are over 50,506 identified residential properties in Accra, and about 4,054 commercial/industrial/mixed properties, with a total rateable value of GH¢13,849,014. [52] There are also supermarkets, 36 facilities for both on–street and off-street parking, and shopping malls, as well as several facilities for sports and recreation.

Sectors of the economy

The sectors of Accra's economy consist of the primary, secondary (manufacturing, electricity, gas, water, construction) and tertiary sectors (supermarkets, shopping malls, hotel, restaurant, transportation, storage, communication, financial intermediation, real estate service, public administration, education, health and other social services). The tertiary service sector is the city's largest, employing about 531,670 people. The second-largest, the secondary sector, employs 22.34% of the labour force, or around 183,934 people. 12.2% of the city's workforce are reportedly unemployed, totalling around 114,198 people. [52]

Primary sector

Licensed and Commercial fishing vessels off the coast of Accra. Overzicht baai met boten in de zee - Accra - 20375372 - RCE.jpg
Licensed and Commercial fishing vessels off the coast of Accra.

Accra's smallest economic sector, the primary sector, employs approximately 91,556 people. The predominant economic activities are fishery and urban agriculture, with fishery accounting for 78% of production labour. Urban agriculture in Accra centres on the growth of vegetables, several crops and poultry. The fishery industry is the most important sub-sector, with 10% of the catch being exported and the rest consumed locally. The industry is characterised by extreme seasonableness, operating primarily between June and September. Although most deep-water Atlantic fishing around Accra takes place in the June–September period, fishery operations take place close to the shore throughout the year, and there are clear indications of the depletion of fish stocks in the near future. Fishing operations are most prominent at the Jamestown, La, Teshie, Nungua and Chorkor fishing shores.



Pre-school comprises nursery and kindergarten. In 2001, there were 7,923 children (3,893 girls and 4,030 boys) in pre-schools in Accra. In 2010, the enrolment rate at Pre-school was 98%. [53] Pre-schools are regulated by the Ministry of Employment and Social Welfare, and are mostly privately owned and operated. In 2001, there were 62 government-owned pre-schools in the Accra metropolis.

Primary school

Primary school enrolment of girls is higher than that of boys. [53] In 2010, the enrollment rate at primary school level was 95%. [53]

Junior high school (JHS)

The Junior High School is part of Ghana's basic education program. Its nationwide implementation began on 29 September 1987.

In the 2001/2002 academic year, 61,080 pupils had enrolled in Accra, representing 57.17% of the 129,467 school-age 12–to-14-year-olds. In 2010, the enrolment rate at Junior high school level was 95%. [53] The ratio of girls is also higher at this level. [53]

Senior high school (SHS)

The transition rate between junior high and senior high school increased from 30 per cent in 1990 to 50 per cent in 2001. The number of students grew by 23,102 between 1990 and 2005, an increase of about 2,310 a year, since 2010 the senior high school enrolment rate has been 95%. [53]

Ghana International School (GIS), a private non-profit A-Level school founded in 1955 for children from ages 3–18, is located in Accra's Cantonments. Abelemkpe is the home of Lincoln Community School, a private, non-profit International Baccalaureate (IB) school for students aged 3–18, established in 1968. [54] The American International School and Abundant Grace Academy are also situated in Accra.

A number of notable public secondary schools lie on the outskirts of Accra: Achimota School, commonly referred to as "Motown", which was founded in 1924 and opened in 1927; [55] the Accra Academy ranked in top ten high schools in Africa, known as "Accra Aca"; the Presbyterian Boys' Secondary School in Legon, commonly known as "Presec"; Wesley Grammar School – WESS-G Dansoman, St. Mary's Senior High School commonly referred to as "Merriez"- is a well-known girls' boarding school in Ghana; St. Thomas Aquinas Senior High School, commonly known as "Quinas"; Accra High School commonly known as ("Ahisco"); West Africa Secondary School, commonly known as "WASS"; the Accra Girls' Senior High School, commonly known as "Agiss";Kaneshie Secondary Technical School ("Kateco"); the Armed Forces Secondary Technical; and St. John's Grammar School; among others.


The University of Ghana is located 13 kilometres (8.1 mi) north of the city centre at Legon. A number of other public and private universities and tertiary institutions have since been founded in Accra, some of which are listed below.

University of Ghana (Legon)LegonPublic
Accra Institute of Technology (AIT)CantonmentsPrivate Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology
Regional Maritime University (RMU)NunguaPrivateUniversity of Ghana
Ghana Telecom University College (GTUC)TesanoPrivate
Islamic University College (ICUG)East LegonPrivateUniversity of Ghana
Knutsford University College (Knutsford)East LegonPrivateUniversity of Ghana
Methodist University College (MUCG)DansomanPrivateUniversity of Ghana
Regent University College of Science and Technology (Regent)MatahekoPrivate Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology
Ashesi University (Ashesi)BerekusoPrivate University of Cape Coast
Heritage Christian College AmasamanPrivate Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology
Central University College (Central)Mataheko/MiotsoPrivate University of Cape Coast
Zenith University College (ZUC)La, Trade FairPrivateUniversity of Cape Coast
Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ)RidgePublicUniversity of Ghana
Accra Technical University(ATU) TuduPublic
Advanced Business University College (ABUC)KaneshiePrivate University of Education, Winneba
Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA)AchimotaPublic
The University of Professional Studies (UPS)LegonPublic
National Film and Television Institute (NAFTI)CantonmentsPublicUniversity of Ghana
Valley View University (VVU)OyibiPrivate
African University College of Communications (AUCC)AdabrakaPrivateUniversity of Ghana
University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA)East-LegonPublicAccra
Academic City University College (ACUC)HaatsoPrivate
Pentecost University (Pentvars)SowutuomPrivate
Wisconsin International University College, GhanaNorth LegonPrivate
Webster University, GhanaEast LegonPrivate



See List of hospitals in the Greater Accra Region.


KIA Main entrance
Ghana2007 647.jpg
KIA Main terminal building

Rapid transit

There are Public Transports from Accra to major citie such as Kumasi; Tamale, Mim, Ahafo  ; Cape Coast, Sunyani; Takoradi; Tema; Ho; Wa; Bolgatanga; Elubo; Aflao, Techiman;

In 2003, the Metro Mass Transit Service, was inaugurated in Accra as a more comfortable and cheaper alternative to the trotro.

Accra is served by the Aayalolo bus system, which was inaugurated in November 2016. It was initially planned as a bus rapid transit with dedicated lanes, but because these lanes were not provided it was renamed Quality Bus System (QBS).

An agreement was signed in 2019 to build a five line, 194 km (121 mi), automated, elevated light railway metro system called Accra Skytrain. As of 2021 construction has not commenced on the $2.6 billion project. The government said in February 2021 it intends to proceed with the project which will developed under a build-own-operate concession by private South African firm.

Accra is connected by railway line to Kumasi and Takoradi. [56] There is a suburban railway line from Accra Central Station to Tema. [57]


Accra is served by Kotoka International Airport, which has both civil and military uses. [58] Located 6 miles (9.7 kilometres) from downtown Accra, the airport handles all of the city's scheduled passenger services. There are plans to build a second airport to relieve the aviation pressure on the Kotoka International Airport. This new airport will be located at Prampram in Accra and will be constructed by China Airport Civil Construction.[ citation needed ]


Taxis on Accra's High Street High Street, Accra.jpg
Taxis on Accra's High Street

Accra has an extensive taxi network and numerous taxi ranks, but most taxis lack a meter system, so price negotiation is required between the passenger and driver. Metered taxis do operate in the city, but tend to be more expensive. Taxis in Ghana are painted in two colours: the four bumpers fenders are yellow/orange, and the rest of the car is in a colour of the operator's choice.

Tro tros and buses

By far the most common form of transport in Accra, tro tros (minibuses or cargo vans modified for passenger transport) is the third biggest, and second most efficient and cost-effective way of getting around the city. The buses are typically minibuses or vans. Some of the most popular models used as tro tros are Nissan Urvan 15-seaters and Mercedes Benz Sprinter or D 309 vans. Trotros are typically decorated with decals such as flags of various countries or (local and international) soccer teams, popular sayings, proverbs (in English or local languages) or Bible verses. Trotros pick up and offload passengers at designated bus stops along their regular routes. Tro tros will also usually offload at undesignated locations along the route, by passenger request. Most routes commence and terminate at large urban transport terminals such as such as the Neoplan station or Achimota station. [59]


Ghana national football team (Black Stars) badge and national anthem Ghana national football team (Black Stars) badge and national anthem.jpg
Ghana national football team (Black Stars) badge and national anthem

Football is the most popular sport in Accra. [60] The most famous football club in the city is Accra Hearts of Oak, whose main rivals are Asante Kotoko of Kumasi. The Accra Sports Stadium is home to the Hearts of Oak, [61] and a host venue of the Black Stars, the national football team of Ghana. In 2008, the Accra Sports Stadium hosted nine matches in the 2008 African Cup of Nations. [62]

Another notable club is Accra Lions FC, which also plays in the Accra Sports Stadium. [63]

Accra is home to the Right to Dream Academy, which gives young Ghanaians a chance at a career in professional football. Many of the academy's alumni, including Chicago Fire's David Accam, Helsingborg's Ema Boateng, Halmstad's King Gyan and Manchester City's Godsway Donyoh and Enock Kwakwa, as well as Ghanaian national team players, Brimah Razak, Harrison Afful, John Boye, Jonathan Mensah, Mohamed Awal, Yaw Frimpong, Mohammed Rabiu, Paul de Vries, Seidu Bancey, Mahatma Otoo, Asamoah Gyan, Latif Mohammed, Yahaya Mohamed, Theophilus Annorbaah, Michael Essien, Yussif Raman Chibsah, Kwadwo Asamoah, Joshua Otoo, Nuru Sulley, David Addy, Jerry Akaminko, Daniel Opare and Foli Adade, were also born in Accra.

Boxing is also popular, with many former world champions coming out of Ghana, including Azumah Nelson, Joshua Clottey, and Ike Quartey.

Accra will host the 2023 African Games.

Places of worship

Among the places of worship, they are predominantly Christian churches and temples : Church of the Province of West Africa (Anglican Communion), Presbyterian Church of Ghana, Evangelical Presbyterian Church, Ghana (World Communion of Reformed Churches), Ghana Baptist Convention (Baptist World Alliance), Lighthouse Chapel International, Church of Pentecost, Assemblies of God, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Accra (Catholic Church). [64] There are also Muslim mosques.

Notable places of worship in the city include the Holy Trinity Cathedral, Wesley Methodist Cathedral, Ebenezer Presbyterian Church, Osu, Holy Spirit Cathedral, the Ghana National Mosque, the Madina Mosque, and the Mormon Accra Ghana Temple.


The Black Star Square in Accra Ak ghana.jpg
The Black Star Square in Accra

Tourism in Ghana accounted for 1,087,000 international tourist arrivals in 2011. [65] Accra is the Greater Accra region's tourist hub, sporting a wide variety of hotels, monuments, museums and nightclubs. The city has three five-star hotels: the Labadi Beach Hotel, the La Palm Royal Beach Hotel and the Movenpick Ambassador Hotel. The Golden Tulip Hotel and Novotel Accra, located in Accra's central business district, are both ranked four stars. There are numerous three-star hotels, including the Hotel Wangara, Hotel Shangri-La and Erata Hotel, as well as many budget hotels. The Accra International Conference Centre and other meeting facilities provide venues for conference tourism. [66]

The Du Bois Centre houses a research library and gallery of manuscripts, as well as the graves of its namesake, the scholar W.E.B. Du Bois, and his wife Shirley Graham Du Bois. The Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum is the resting place of Ghana's first President, Kwame Nkrumah, who oversaw the Gold Coast's independence from Britain and was a leading exponent of Pan-Africanism.

The National Theatre in Accra, home of the National Symphony Orchestra Ghana

Accra furthermore hosts the National Museum, National Theatre, with its distinctive modern Chinese architecture.

The city's foremost historical site is the Jamestown area, which contains the Ussher Fort and James Fort, and Osu Castle (also known as Christiansborg), built by Danish settlers in the 17th century.

Other sites of note include the Jubilee House (the office of the Government of Ghana and the President of Ghana), the Parliament House of Ghana, the Ghana-India Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence in ICT, the Black Star Square, Accra Sports Stadium, and the Accra Centre for National Culture. The Accra-based African Fashion Foundation supports the African fashion industry, especially the fashion industry in Ghana.

Accra has an Atlantic beachfront and the most popular of the city's beaches is Labadi Beach, along with Kokrobite Beach, which is located 25 kilometres (16 miles) west of Accra. The beachfront area also houses the Academy of African Music and Arts.

Twin towns – sister cities

Accra has four official sister cities, as recognised by Sister Cities International: [67]

CityProvince / Region / StateNationYearRef
Flag of Johannesburg.svg Johannesburg Gauteng Flag of South Africa.svg [68]
Sterling Connecticut Flag of the United States.svg [67]
Flag of Washington, D.C..svg Washington District of Columbia Flag of the United States.svg 2006 [69]
Columbia South Carolina Flag of the United States.svg [70]
ColumbusOhio Flag of the United States.svg 2015

See also

Related Research Articles

Greater Accra Region Region of Ghana

The Greater Accra Region has the smallest area of Ghana's 16 administrative regions, occupying a total land surface of 3,245 square kilometres. This is 1.4 per cent of the total land area of Ghana. It is the second most populated region, after the Ashanti Region, with a population of 4,010,054 in 2010, accounting for 16.3 per cent of Ghana's total population.

Accra Metropolitan District City and Metropolitan District in Ghana

The Accra Metropolitan District is one of the 254 Metropolitan, Municipal and Districts in Ghana, and among the 26 such districts in the Greater Accra Region with a population of 1,665,086 as of 2010. As of March 2018, it spans an area of approximately 60 km2 (23 sq mi) and encompasses the Ablekuma South, Ashiedu Keteke, and Okaikoi South sub-metropolitan district councils.

Osu, Accra Suburb of Accra

Located about 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) east of the central business district, Osu is a neighborhood in central Accra, Ghana, known for its busy commercial, restaurant and nightlife activity. It is locally known as the "West End" of Accra. Bounded to the south by the Gulf of Guinea, Osu's western boundary is the Independence Avenue. Ring Road separates Osu from the northern district of Labone.

Articles related to Ghana include:

Pokuase, Ghana Suburb in Ga West Municipal Assembly, Greater Accra Region, Ghana

Pokuase, also spelled Pokoasi, is a suburb of Accra, the capital city of Ghana and spans the area from Pokuase, leading off the Accra-Kumasi motorway on the right coming from Accra central; and leading off the motorway at Pokuase Junction and rising to ‘Okai Kwei Hill’, on the left coming from town. It is a mixture of lively retail shopping areas, with local stores, bars or 'drinking spots', bus/taxi stations, and a market. It also has many hotels, guest houses and rental apartments- such as the eco-chic Legassi Gardens Apartments-, and 'high-end' developing residential estates, such as Ofankor Hills Estates and Franko Estates, amongst many others; as well as the long-established executive gated community of ACP Estates.; and HFS Estates which borders the erstwhile Gua Koo Sacred Grove in Pokuase.

Ablekuma South

Ablekuma South is one of the constituencies represented in the Parliament of Ghana. It elects one Member of Parliament (MP) by the first past the post system of election. Ablekuma South is located in the Accra Metropolitan Area of the Greater Accra Region of Ghana. It is one of the six sub metropolitan district councils of Accra Metropolitan Assembly.

Charles Odamtten Easmon Ghanaian surgeon and academic

Charles Odamtten Easmon or C. O. Easmon, popularly known as Charlie Easmon, was a medical doctor and academic who became the first Ghanaian to formally qualify as a surgeon specialist and the first Dean of the University of Ghana Medical School. Easmon performed the first successful open-heart surgery in Ghana in 1964, and modern scholars credit him as the "Father of Cardiac Surgery in West Africa". Easmon was of Sierra Leone Creole, Ga-Dangme, African-American, Danish, and Irish ancestry and a member of the distinguished Easmon family, a Sierra Leone Creole medical dynasty of African-American descent.

Ussher Fort

Ussher Fort is a fort in Accra, Ghana. It was built by the Dutch in 1649 as Fort Crèvecœur, and is a day's march from Elmina and to the east of Accra on a rocky point between two lagoons. It was one of three forts that Europeans built in the region during the middle of the 17th century. Fort Crèvecœur was part of the Dutch Gold Coast. The Anglo-Dutch Gold Coast Treaty (1867), which defined areas of influence on the Gold Coast, transferred it to the British in 1868.

Neighborhoods of Accra

The city of Accra is officially divided into five geographical regions - North, West, East, Central and south - and eleven sub-metropolitan areas: Osu Klottey, Ablekuma North, Ablekuma South, Ayawaso Central, Ayawaso East, Ayawaso North, Ayawaso West, La, Okaikoi North, Okaikoi South, Abossey Okai, and Ashiedu Keteke. The word "neighborhood" can take on various official and unofficial meanings. There are, however, 50 official neighborhoods within the city limits of Accra.

Ledzokuku-Krowor Municipal District Former Municipal District in Ghana

Ledzokuku-Krowor Municipal District is a former district that was located in Greater Accra Region, Ghana. Originally it was formerly part of Accra Metropolitan District in 1988, until the far eastern portion of the district was split off to create Ledzokuku-Krowor Municipal District on 1 November 2007 ; thus the remaining part has been retained as Accra Metropolitan District. However on 15 March 2018, it was split off into two new municipal districts: Ledzokuku Municipal District and Krowor Municipal District. The municipality was located in the central part of Greater Accra Region and had Teshie-Nungua as its capital town.

Emmanuel Evans-Anfom was a Ghanaian physician, scholar, university administrator, and public servant who served as the second Vice Chancellor of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology from 1967 to 1973.

The following is a timeline of the history of the city of Accra, Ghana.

Theodore S. Clerk Ghanaian architect and urban planner

Theodore Shealtiel Clerk, was an urban planner on the Gold Coast and the first formally trained, professionally certified Ghanaian architect. Attaining a few historic firsts in his lifetime, Theodore Clerk became the chief architect, city planner, designer and developer of Tema which is the metropolis of the Tema Harbour, the largest port in Ghana. The first chief executive officer (CEO) of the Ghanaian parastatal, the Tema Development Corporation as well as a presidential advisor to Ghana's first Head of State, Kwame Nkrumah, T. S. Clerk was a founding member and the first president of the first post-independent, wholly indigenous and self-governing Ghanaian professional body, the Ghana Institute of Architects (GIA), that had its early beginnings in 1963. He was also an Associate of the Royal Institute of British Architects and the Royal Town Planning Institute.

Matilda J. Clerk Ghanaian physician and science educator

MatildaJohannaClerk was a medical pioneer and a science educator on the Gold Coast and in West Africa as well as the second Ghanaian woman to become an orthodox medicine-trained physician. The first woman in Ghana and West Africa to attend graduate school and earn a postgraduate diploma, Clerk was also the first Ghanaian woman in any field to be awarded an academic merit scholarship for university education abroad. M. J. Clerk was the fourth West African woman to become a physician after Nigerians, Agnes Yewande Savage (1929), the first West African woman medical doctor and Elizabeth Abimbola Awoliyi (1938) in addition to Susan de Graft-Johnson, née Ofori-Atta (1947), Ghana's first woman physician. These pioneering physicians were all early advocates of maternal health, paediatric care and public health in the sub-region. For a long time after independence in 1957, Clerk and Ofori-Atta were the only two women doctors in Ghana. By breaking the glass ceiling in medicine and other institutional barriers to healthcare delivery, they were an inspiration to a generation of post-colonial Ghanaian and West African female doctors at a time the field was still a male monopoly and when the vast majority of women worldwide had very limited access to biomedicine and higher education. Pundits in the male-dominated medical community in that era described Matilda J. Clerk as "the beacon of emancipation of Ghanaian womanhood."

Gottlieb Ababio Adom Ghanaian educator, minister and journalist

Gottlieb Ababio Adom was a Ghanaian educator, journalist, editor and Presbyterian minister who served as the Editor of the Christian Messenger from 1966 to 1970. The Christian Messenger, established in 1883 by the Basel Mission, is the primary newspaper of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana.

La Dade Kotopon Municipal District Municipal District in Ghana

La Dade Kotopon Municipal District is one of the twenty-nine districts in Greater Accra Region, Ghana. Originally it was formerly part of the then-larger Accra Metropolitan District in 1988, until the eastern portion of the district was split off to create La Dade Kotopon Municipal District on 28 June 2012; thus the remaining part has been retained as Accra Metropolitan District. The municipality is located in the central part of Greater Accra Region and has La as its capital town.

Ayawaso Central Municipal District Municipal District in Ghana

Ayawaso Central Municipal District is one of the twenty-nine districts in Greater Accra Region, Ghana. Originally it was formerly part of the then-larger Accra Metropolitan District in 1988, until a small portion of the district was split off to create Ayawaso Central Municipal District on 9 February 2019; thus the remaining part has been retained as Accra Metropolitan District. The municipality is located in the central part of Greater Accra Region and has Kokomlemle as its capital town.

Korle-Klottey Municipal District Municipal District in Ghana

Korle-Klottey Municipal District is one of the twenty-nine districts in Greater Accra Region, Ghana. Originally it was formerly part of the then-larger Accra Metropolitan District in 1988, until a small portion of the district was split off to create Korle-Klottey Municipal District on 19 February 2019; thus the remaining part has been retained as Accra Metropolitan District. The municipality is located in the central part of Greater Accra Region and has Osu as its capital town.

Weija Gbawe Municipal District Municipal District in Ghana

Weija Gbawe Municipal District is one of the twenty-nine districts in Greater Accra Region, Ghana. Originally it was formerly part of the then-larger Ga West District in 2004, until the western part of the district was split off to create the first Ga South Municipal District on 29 February 2008, with Weija as its capital town; thus the remaining part was elevated to municipal district assembly status to become Ga West Municipal District. Later, a small portion of the district was split off to create Ga Central Municipal District on 28 June 2012; thus the remaining part has been retained as Ga South Municipal District. However on 15 March 2018, the northern part of the district was split off to create a new Ga South Municipal District, with Ngleshie Amanfro as its capital town; thus the remaining part has been renamed as Weija Gbawe Municipal District, with Weija as its capital town. The municipality is located in the western part of Greater Accra Region and has Weija as its capital town.


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