Experience the rich culture of the people of Accra. It is an opportunity to get to know the various historical centres and participate in the daily lives and experiences of the local people. Experience the true meaning of Tourism by visiting some major sites and places in Accra. A historical background in each of these sites will be explained so that at the end of the day, tourist will understand and appreciate the true meaning of various sites and monuments.
Accra became Ghana’s capital in 1877 after the capital was transferred from Cape Coast in the Central region. Accra is one of the most populated and fast growing Metropolis of Africa with a population of about 1,695,136 million people and an annual growth rate of 3.36%. Accra is derived from the Akan “nkran” meaning “an army of ants”. It is apparent that the name “nkran” or “nkranfo” is attributed to the thousands of anthills, which dotted the Accra plains. Ghana’s first president, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, declared Accra the first of Ghana, in 1961 which later became the seat of Government.
The growth and development of Accra could be attributed to the building of three European forts as trading posts. The first of these was Fort Crevecouer, built by the Dutch in 1650 which was later changed to Ussher Fort.
In 1661 the Danes built the second, Christianborg Castle at Osu, about three kilometres from the centre of Accra. Fort James built by the British followed this in 1673. For several years, the Christianborg Castle was the official residence of the Governors of the Gold Coast. After Independence, however, it was renovated in a manner befitting the seat of Government of Ghana.
The other two forts in Accra were converted into prisons, the James Fort and the Ussher Fort Prisons. Another interesting feature of the former is that Dr. Kwame Nkrumah then leading the struggle for independence from the British colonialism was held in jail in the James Fort prison for nearly a year.