Located directly east of the Korle Lagoon, Jamestown and Usshertown are the oldest districts in the city of Accra, Ghana and emerged as communities around the 17th century British James Fort and Dutch Ussher Fort on the Gulf of Guinea coast. These districts were heavily developed by 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 following years of neglect by subsequent governments, the districts are popular tourist destinations for those seeking to see the remnants of Accra's colonial past. The original Jamestown Light, built by the British at James Fort in 1871, was replaced in the 1930s by the current Accra Light, 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), it overlooks the harbour and gives the opportunity to see the James fort, the Bukom district and the Ussher fort from a bird's-eye view.
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. Currently, plans are afoot to re-develop the districts of Jamestown and Usshertown, both of which constitute Old Accra or "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.
The current chief of the town is Oblempong Nii Wetse Kojo II, formally known as Dr Prince William Bruce-Quaye. He was inducted after the passing of the previous chief Oblempong Nii Kojo Ababio V (Mr. Ezekiel Quarmina Allotey Cofie) who ruled for thirty-nine years. His death was officially announced in February 2018 and the new chief Oblempong Nii Wetse Kojo II was inducted on 1 February 2018.
Landmarks/Places of Interest
- James Fort
- Jamestown Lighthouse
- Ussher Fort
- Accra Railway Station
- Accra Central Post Office
- Rawlings Park
- Makola Market #2
- High Street
- "Jamestown Lighthouse in Accra". lightphotos.net. world of Lighthouses. Retrieved 4 September 2015.
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- "Photographs and videos of Jamestown". Independent Travellers. independent-travellers.com. Retrieved 29 June 2017.
- Thompson, Nii. "Going deep into James Town, Accra, Ghana". Myweku Tastes. Nii Thompson.
- Old Accra to be re-developed
- "CHALE WOTE Festival 2017 officially opens in Accra". Ghanaweb. ghanaweb. Retrieved 19 April 2018.