Get to Know Accra

The City, Accra derived its name from the Akan word “Nkran” meaning “army of ants”. It was believed that when the first inhabitants were migrating to their new location (now Accra), they were moving together like an army of ants and hence the name “Nkran”. The colonial English masters then begun calling it “Accra” since they could not pronounce the “Nkran” properly and has stayed till date. The City was founded by the Ga people (Ga-Adangbe, an ethnic group from the Greater Accra Plains) in the late 1400s, later it became a center for trade with the Portuguese, who built a fort in the town. In the 17th century it was the site of three European trading fortresses, which were all in British hands by 1871. Accra became the capital of the British colony of the Gold Coast (Ghana) in 1876 and was made the country’s capital in 1957 after independence; It still remains the capital of Ghana.

The City of Accra currently has a population of about 4 million with a total land surface area of 3,245km2, representing 1.4%. Despite its relatively small size compared to the other cities in Ghana, it is the most populated.

airport city

Airport City, Accra

The City is the busiest one in the country and hubs everything from governance to entertainment. Accra is the country’s economic and administrative hub. There are a lot of supermarkets and shopping malls such as the Accra Mall, West Hills Mall and the Oxford Street Mall. A visit to the Makola market located in the Central Business District will also afford you the opportunity to shop for all forms of souvenirs including Kente cloth, beads, traditional cloths and jewellery.

The Central Business District (CBD) 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. However, the Parliament, Supreme Court of Ghana, and the Bank of Ghana (Central Bank) are also located around the CBD. Economic activities in Accra include the financial and commercial sectors, fishing, food processing and clothing.

Accra is a coastal city and a tourism hub with a good number of hotels, including the Movenpick Ambassador hotel, Golden Tulip hotel, Kinpinsky Hotel, Labadi Beach hotel, La Palm Royal Beach hotel, Mensvic Grand hotel, Swiss Spirit Alisa hotels, Africa Regent hotel, among others. The city also boasts of monuments and museums such as the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum, National Museum and the National theatre. Tourism is becoming a thriving source of business for those in arts and crafts, historical sites and local travel and tour agents. Accra is a good place to shop for traditional African craft which can be mostly found in the CBD and the Osu Oxford Street. If you want to experience traditional Africa mixed with modernity, the best place to be is in the city of Accra.


Accra Mall, Accra