A tour of Africa would never be complete if you have not visited some areas. Some of the finest travel destinations in this continent include South Africa (Johannesburg to be more specific), Nairobi in Kenya and most definitely Accra, the capital city of Ghana. You can never claim to have toured Africa properly if you have not come Accra. It is among the fastest growing cities in the whole of Africa. There are some very interesting things about Accra that would make you consider to stay there.
Here are some 10 Lesser Known Facts about Accra
1. It is not the largest city in Ghana
The fact that Accra is the capital city of Ghana may lead to the assumption that it is the largest city in the country. Well, there is still some debate as to whether it is the largest city or not. Nonetheless, in terms of population, it comes in second to Kumasi. Kumasi is a lovely city in the country as well and you will want to steal a sneak peek at it while you are in Ghana. Accra comes only second to it when it comes to size.
2. The population is about 2 million
The population of Accra is a little more than two million making it among the most populated metropolitan areas in the continent. Kumasi stands as the most populated city in the country. The above-stated figure is the number of people who reside in the city. Accra is unlike most other African cities where the daytime population is dramatically different from the population in the evenings. Strange as this might sound, the population in most African cities is greater during the day than during the night.
3. Accra is an unchanged capital
Ghana was colonized by Britain back in the 19th century. However, contact between the country and Europe has been documented to exist even before the 16th century. The British installed Accra to be the capital of the country in the year 1877. More than a century later, it remains the unchanged capital of Ghana. It is the home of the government and also plays host to hundreds of embassies and high commissions in the country.
4. One of the hottest places on the continent
The countries located around the Sahara tend to be generally hot. Accra is not so close to the desert but still manages to rank highly among the hottest cities in the continent. This is primarily because of the humidity. Where there is heavy humidity, high temperatures are bound to be inevitable. There is always sunshine, add that to the humid air of the city and you have yourself a hot day. But any time between the months of November and March, the temperatures will be quite reasonable.
5. Multiple ethnic communities
Accra is home to so many ethnic communities. It is one of the most diverse cities in the continent in terms of ethnicity. Nairobi, Kenya follows closely with about forty-three ethnic communities existing in the city. If you think this is impressive, Accra hosts people who speak close to fifty distinct languages when combined.
6. Multilingual population
This is not a really common characteristic in most cities nowadays – with the increasing globalization. The official language in the whole country is English. Ga is also a very popular tongue here. In Accra, by the time children strike the age of five they can speak up to three languages fluently. As if this is not enough, by the time they are through with high school most of them have added another one or two business languages. A good portion of the adult population in Accra can therefore speak, read and write in at least four languages.
7. Oxford Street is not the only one
There is a strange fascination with visiting Oxford Street while you are in Accra. This is not the only street in the city – many visitors do not seem to know that. It is a lovely place but it does not really show the beauty of Accra as you should experience it. If you are planning to spend your time strictly in Accra, do not park yourself here.
8. Accra Street
There may not be an Accra Street in Ghana but there are at least ten streets around Africa that go by the title. This goes to show that Accra is a highly celebrated place not only in Ghana but also around the continent.
9. Safe but stay safe
Accra is one of the safest cities on the continent. However, you need to learn to be safe. Danger does not spell itself out with guns and violence here. There are con artists and pickpockets. Most of them appear to be very nice people but you should not be too gullible. Anyway, this is probably something you already knew, but just a reminder for you.
10. Origin of the tro-tros
These are the public transport service providers here. They are cheaper than cabs by far. The ‘tro-tros’ today are nothing compared to those used earlier before being banned in the late 1980s. Those were utter safety hazards. Back in the days, they were mere wooden trolleys. Passengers would hop in and out of the vehicle as it moved through the sides. They probably got their name from the sounds they made.