The tourist paradise of Africa - Accra
- Author Sonia Gil
- Published March 16, 2012
- Word count 640
Accra is the city of Ghana and lies in the West African coastal region, stretching into the center of the country. As an old city, Accra is the administrative, communications, and economic center of the country. Central Accra is the cultural center as well as the main location for several government ministries, multinational’s headquarters and hotels. Accra is the capital city of Ghana and its named is derived from the word "Nkran" which means "ants". It is interesting but peculiar at the same time that how can a big cosmopolitan be named after tiny insects.
The city was name after ants because of the great number of anthills which existed around Accra. Nkran which is an Akan word explains that ants and the city somewhere had a strong association.
The people from Ghana tribe were the first to settle in Accra. They migrated from their early settlement which was at Ayawaso. According to the Ghanaa people, Accra was a perfect site for starting a new colonization as they never had an opportunity to flourish back in their original settlement due to their rivals, Akawamu people.
At the beginning, Accra’s economy was not as prosperous as it should have been. It did not have a prominent trading center but the early settlers lived a better life. Ports at Prampram, Ada, Dodowa and Akusa were well-known in the region. Nonetheless, Accra became a popular slave trade center amongst the Europeans who has established forts near the city. These forts were Ussher Fort and James Fort. However, the area became a popular slave trade center until 1807 when the slave trade ended. By the end of 17th century, the city saw a great change as the foreigners include Danish, British, French, Dutch, Swedish and Portuguese settled and built forts in the town.
It was somewhere in 1850s when the Dutch vended their castles as well as Christiansborg to the British. The Asante people of central Ghana and the British never admired each other or supported each other. Tensions and conflicts did exist. Consequently, the British attacked and destroyed Kumasi which was the capital of Asante. Soon after invading the city, the British formerly declined Ghana a crown colony. Then the British plotted to capture Accra and so they did in the year 1874 and three years later it became the capital city after replacing Cape Coast.
In the year 1908, the decision of linking the both cities Accra and Kumasi with railway was set. This is said to be the most significant decisions made in the history of Accra. The capital city, Accra, which was the chief port during that era, was to be connected with the country’s main cocoa producing regions. It was the year 1923 when the railway was completed. One year later, Ghana became the largest exporter of cocoa.
In 1928, Accra saw a drastic change in its economy as it became the main exporter of cocoa. Another influential factor about the city was the good water pipeline system which, as a result, brought in many migrants. In the 20th century, the city saw development which strengthened its roots in Ghana making it one of the significant destinations. The city saw even more prosperity under the rule of Sir Frederick Gordon Guggisberg. He introduced several reforms, built bridge athwart the Korle Lagoon and established schools and hospitals. The city today provides a good living standard compelling a large number of migrants to board Accra flights.
Currently, Accra is one of the tourists’ destinations in Ghana. Some of the main attractions in the city include the National Museum of Ghana, the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Archives of Ghana and many more. Tourists who grab cheap flights to Accra also admire touring Ghana's central library, the National Theatre, Accra Centre for National Culture, a lighthouse and the National Sports Stadium.
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