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Accra has been the capital of Ghana since 1877 – as a metropolis characterized by complex social and economic classes, it’s constantly evolving and draws visitors from around the world. If you’re planning a trip to this unique city, check out our pick of the top spots that locals are proud to call their own.
Mmofra Foundation was founded by Ghanaian writer and educator Efua T. Sutherland; Ghana’s foremost cultural advocate for children from the early 1950s to the 1990s. She played a major role in developing educational curricula, literature, theater and film for and about Ghanaian children. Mmofra Foundation has been active since 1997 and its goal is to serve as a platform for enriching the cultural and intellectual lives of all children in Ghana.
Efua passed on in 1996, but she established the foundation’s legal framework and objectives in 1992. Aside from the centre’s workshops, exhibitions, literacy initiatives, audio-visual development, active cross-cultural exposure and data collection, Mmofra creates child-friendly spaces, sometimes with the kids partaking and learning during the construction process.
In central Accra, you’ll find a large shopping district comprising of concrete shop outlets as well as street traders. Makola market is where women dominate the trading, and the richest of them are called Mama Benz; usually those who have been in the trade for decades, including Igbos and Yorubas from Nigeria. There’s also Kantamanto, Tema Station and Tudu Park, where there are transport services to and from parts of Accra and outside the city. Other smaller markets in Accra are Malata, Agbogbloshie, Circle, Kaneshie, among others. Those who love to haggle will appreciate that since Makola was built in 1924, bargaining has never been frowned upon.
Accra Mall and West Hills are large A-grade shopping centres with parking lots, bars and restaurants. Cinemas, boutiques, supermarkets, pharmacies, hair salons, sports shops, jewellery outlets and even a radio station form part of the allure here, attracting Accra’s target market.
Brazil House is where the Tabom or Agudas – an Afro-Brazilian community and returnee descendants of West African people, mostly of Yoruba descent – settled in Jamestown. It was established in 1836 on Brazil Lane, and is now an arts hub managed by Accra[dot]alt for Talk Parties, exhibitions, workshops and a centre as part of Chale Wote festival. Other art hubs include Nubuke Foundation, Ablade Glover’s Artists Alliance Gallery and ANO.
Labadi, La Palm Royal, Bojo, Afia and Coconut Groove beach resorts are some of the best beach spots where you can find accommodation, activities and places to eat. You could also grab a drink and observe the calm waves at Tawala at La – wherever you choose as your preferred beach spot, you’ll appreciate the peace at these quiet oases away from the vibrant buzz of the city.
The National Theatre of Ghana came to Ghana in 1992, and was a gift from the Chinese government, providing space for theatrical performances. The National Symphony Orchestra, National Dance Company and National Drama Company as well as other smaller groups rehearse and perform here. Other theatres you should check out are Accra Theatre Workshop based at Tera Cota in Dzorwulu, and the Efua Sutherland Drama Studio, in Legon.
Modern developing cities like Accra have diverse populations, an expansive consumerist culture, connections to technology, and a rich history. Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology founded by Jorn Lyseggen with an annual program worth USD$2 million, supports West African entrepreneurs to launch companies.
Successful pitches include the USD$190,000 Kudobuzz, which amplifies companies’ positive ratings online, and the USD$100,000 Claimsync, a platform that processes medical claims, bought for an undisclosed sum. Impact Hub in Osu also gathers young entrepreneurs in Accra.
The 51 km (31.7 miles) Shai Hills reserve is approximately 50 km (31 miles) north-east of the capital of Accra via the Tema motorway and Akosombo routes. Another preserved area to check out is the Sakumo lagoon, which lies between Accra and the Tema, where birdwatching and beach life come into contact. West of Accra lies Densu Delta Ramsar site where the Densu river, about 116 km (72 miles) long, can be experienced.