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Old Accra

Old Accra is composed of seven traditional quarters namely, Abola, Asere, Akumandje, Gbese, Negleshie Alata, Otublohum and Sempe. A map of 1903 clearly identifies how, at the time, Accra consisted of well-defined settlements, comprising of these seven quarters, and other very small settlements, around the Christianborg Castle and in Cantonments. There is thus evidence that Ga Mashie is the historical centre of the capital of Ghana. Old Accra is also the place where a relevant cultural heritage is located. Two Forts, Ussher Fort and James Fort are in the UNESCO World Heritage List, and other numerous buildings testify to the different historical influences since the 16th century. Franklin House which is still standing in Ga Mashie is the same place where the Portuguese built their first bastion, named, St. Vicente. It was attacked and demolished by the Ga people in the 16th Century. Later, the Dutch rebuilt a lodge to be used for trading in slaves. In Brazil Lane in the Otublohum quarter, there is also Brazil House, which demonstrates the international linkages of the area. In 1829, the Otublohum Mantse Nii Ankrah, granted land to seven African American families who arrived in Accra. The elder of one of the seven "Tabon" families acquired his own land and built Brazil House. Many are the historical buildings that need restoration and preservation, so that their cultural and economic values can be maintained and enhanced, and transferred to the people of Mashie. Most of these buildings were the places where the high-class society of the then Gold Coast lived and their heir stools and their chiefs.

Unfortunately, Old Accra suffered incredible damage, starting from the plague in 1908, which caused the demolition of many structures for public safety reasons, continuing with the earthquake in 1939 and, finally, the transfer of the harbour activities to Tema in 1962.

The development of residential areas north of Old Accra, in addition, has pulled out the elite with their wealth, leaving behind decay, squalor and poverty. Old Accra is however a tourism goldmine waiting to be exploited.

Nevertheless, these masses struggled to keep alive many of the cultural tracts of the Ga people, so that Old Accra remains the centre of their traditions. It remains also the centre of the capital city of Ghana, and this important function can still be redeveloped. OACADA is now being formed to deal with this important task and to contribute to the preservation of the cultural components of Ga Mashie.