Accra is the capital city of Ghana harboring an estimated population of 2.27 Million people (2012). Originally built around a port as the name implies, Accra served as the capital of the British Gold Coast between 1877 and 1957. Once merely a 19th-century suburb of Victoriaborg, Accra has transitioned into a modern metropolis. Knowing the country the way you do now, there are lesser-known facts about Ghana’s capital city yet to be unraveled.
Fact #1 Accra Has a Mayoral Council Government System
The current Mayor of Accra is Alfred Oko Vanderpuije appointed by the President of the Republic of Ghana, John Attah Mills in 2009 and approved by the city council. A native of Jamestown (east of Korle lagoon Accra), the Mayor’s Dutch name reflects his Euro-African descent as his ancestors came from Sint-Maartensdijk on the former Island of Tholen in the Netherlands. His relative Van der Puije was Governor of the Dutch Gold Coast in 1780.
Fact #2 “Sodom and Gomorrah” Shanty Towns of Accra
These are the slumps of Accra caused mainly by the heavily populated urban informal settlement characteristics, substandard housing, and squalor. Due to the immigration of people from other countries into the city, Accra currently has nine slum settlements which are under demolition because of their adverse effects on the environment.
Fact #3 There are More Youths than the Elderly in Accra
The population distribution in Accra is highly a very youthful one, harboring a population of 56% under 24 years of age. This predominance of young people is not expected to decline in the foreseeable future, according to statistical results. Fifty-one percent (51%) of the population are females, and the remaining 49% of males giving 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.
Fact #4 Accra’s Lifestyle
The shopping malls, restaurants, hotels, casinos, nightclubs, bars, tourist sites and everything that makes life more comfortable is indexed to the highest standards. With a large number of foreigners and tourist, the city offers a cosmopolitan lifestyle. As much as it’s a busy city, it is easygoing at the same time with clusters of taxis and buses for movements from one location to the other.
Fact #5 Sectors of Economy In Accra
The sectors consist of the primary, secondary (manufacturing, electricity, gas, water, construction) and tertiary sectors (supermarkets, shopping malls, hotels, restaurants, 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 secondary sector employs 22.34% of the labor force, that is, about 183,934 people. While Accra’s smallest economic sector, the primary sector, employs approximately 91,556 people. Accra is a center for manufacturing, marketing, finance, insurance, and transportation.
Fact #6 The Flagstaff House In Accra
Accra is a serene city with unique features including the resident for the office of the Government of Ghana and President of Ghana called the Flagstaff House, which is located at northern Accra…and guess what? You would be stunned to know that the office/resident of the President is so close to the road that anyone who wishes to visits can be allowed to see him.
Fact #7 Wealthiest and Liveliest Neighborhood of Accra
Accra is officially divided into four geographical regions – north, west, east and central. North downtown, the neighborhood of Airport Residential Area, so named because of its location near the Kotoka International Airport, the East, and West Legon are the wealthiest neighborhoods in Accra inhabited by wealthy Ghanaians, academics, government official, and expatriates. Osu – Located about 3 kilometers east of the central business district of Accra is arguably the liveliest and most preferred hang-out spot for tourists visiting the city, this is mainly because of its busy commercial restaurants and nightlife activities.
Fact #8 Labadi Beach of Accra
Located near Teshie in the Greater Accra region, Labadi beach or more properly known as “La Pleasure Beach”, is the busiest beach in Ghana coast and the most beautiful beach in Accra, maintained by local hotels. An entrance fee is charged for those not staying at the hotels. There are fun-live entertainments at the beach during vacations and holidays for people looking to catch fun in Accra.
Fact #9 Manuscript Found In Accra
It is a novel written by Paulo Coelho – A Brazilian author so widely known that his best-selling book in all history “The Alchemist” has been translated into at least 67 languages since 2009, setting the Guinness World Record for the most translated book by a living author. The manuscript found in Accra has sold its rights to almost 40 languages – Arabic, Bulgarian, Catalan, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Complex), Croatian, Czech, Dutch, English, Estonian, Finnish etc… Quotes from this Manuscript have been shared by people in their profiles due to its tremendous impact on social media sites, attracting comments, photographs, personal experiences and reviews from readers all over the world.
Fact #10 Accra Is Closest to the Equator
As a coastal city, Accra is vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and sea level rise. Accra is the only city that makes Ghana closest to the Center of Earth – Equator. In countries near the equator, the suns rays are almost overhead thus keeping the temperature very high and making the daylight hour uniform. Relative humidity is generally high in Accra varying from 65% in the mid-afternoon to 95% at night.