Accra (əkräˈ, ăkˈrə) [key], city (1984 pop. 867,459), capital of Ghana, a port on the Gulf of Guinea. It is Ghana's largest city and its administrative, communications, and economic center. The chief manufactures are processed food, beverages, timber and plywood, textiles, clothing, chemicals, and printed materials. A transportation hub, Accra is linked by road and rail with Kumasi, in the interior, and with Tema, a major seaport. The site of present-day Accra was originally comprised of several small villages of a Ga kingdom. It developed into a sizable town around British and Dutch forts built in the 17th cent. In 1877, Accra replaced Cape Coast as the capital of the British Gold Coast colony. After the completion (1923) of a railroad to the mining and agricultural hinterland, Accra rapidly became the economic center of Ghana. Riots in the city (1948), against high retail prices and European control, led to the rise of Kwame Nkrumah as a popular leader and marked an important early step in Ghana's road to independence (1957). It is the site of the national museum, the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Univ. of Ghana, and Ghana's central library. Also of note is Christianborg Castle, built by the Danes in the 17th cent. On Accra's outskirts are Achimota School (1927), the country's leading secondary school, and, in Legon, the Univ. of Ghana (1948).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.