Jamestown/Usshertown, Accra

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Jamestown/Usshertown Districts
(Old Accra)
Jamestown Light House, Accra.jpg
W: Korle Lagoon
E: Kwame Nkrumah Avenue
N: Accra Railway Station
S: Gulf of Guinea

W: Kwame Nkrumah Avenue
N: Kinbu Road
E: Kojo Thompson Road
S: Gulf of Guinea
Governing bodyAccra Metropolitan Assembly

Located directly east of the Korle Lagoon, Jamestown and Usshertown are the oldest districts of Accra, Ghana and emerged as communities around the 17th century British James Fort and Dutch Ussher Fort on the Gulf of Guinea coast.[1] These districts were developed at the end of the 19th century, and following the rapid growth of the city during the 20th century, they became areas of a dense mixture of commercial and residential use.


Today, both Jamestown and Usshertown remain fishing communities inhabited primarily by the Ga. Although in a state of decay, the districts are significant in the history of Accra which replaced Cape Coast as the capital of Gold Coast (British colony) in 1876. The original lighthouse at built at James Fort in 1871, was replaced in the 1930s by the current tower, which is 28 m (92 ft) tall. The lighthouse, which is 34 metres (112 ft) above sea level, has a visibility of 16 nautical miles (30 km),[2] it overlooks the harbour, James fort, the Bukom district and the Ussher.[3]

Since World War II, a succession of plans to enhance the capital city have come with changes in government — some seeing improvements in Jamestown as a necessary part of the overall plan, and some treating such improvements as competing with the efforts to develop the central business district of Accra further north. Currently, plans are afoot to re-develop the districts of Jamestown and Usshertown, referred to as "Ga-Mashie" with the inauguration of the 2015 Old Accra Strategy. The Popular Azonto dance originated from James Town. The Local Language "Ga" is often spoken by the natives.[4][5]

Areas of Jamestown and Usshertown include Bukom, known for its boxing gyms, Adedainkpo, former homes of the wealthiest African residents of Accra, Swalaba, Korle Woko (formerly also known as Ripponville), and Akoto Lante.

People around Jamestown lighthouse tower during chalewote festival

Jamestown hosts the annual Chale Wote Street Art Festival.[6]

Jamestown lighthouse in Accra's Jamestown
James Town Beach


The current traditional chief is Oblempong Nii Wetse Kojo II.[7] He was inducted after the passing of the previous chief Oblempong Nii Kojo Ababio V who had been chief for thirty-nine years.[8] His death was officially announced in February 2018 and the new chief Oblempong Nii Wetse Kojo II was inducted on 1 February 2018.[9]

Landmarks/Places of Interest[edit]


  1. ^ "Jamestown". www.macalester.edu.
  2. ^ "Jamestown Lighthouse in Accra". lightphotos.net. world of Lighthouses. Retrieved 4 September 2015. information ... is unofficial and could not be used in navigation
  3. ^ "Photographs and videos of Jamestown". Independent Travellers. independent-travellers.com. Retrieved 29 June 2017.
  4. ^ Thompson, Nii. "Going deep into James Town, Accra, Ghana". Myweku Tastes. Nii Thompson.
  5. ^ "Old Accra to be re-developed". Modern Ghana.
  6. ^ "CHALE WOTE Festival 2017 officially opens in Accra". Ghanaweb. ghanaweb. Retrieved 19 April 2018.
  7. ^ "Bruce-Quaye is James Town mantse". www.ghanaweb.com.
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2018-04-19. Retrieved 2018-04-19.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  9. ^ "James Town Mantse inducted". Today Newspaper.