Accra is the capital and largest city of Ghana, with an estimated urban population of 2,291,352 as of 2012. Accra is also the capital of the Greater Accra Region and of the Accra Metropolitan District, with which it is coterminous. Accra is furthermore the anchor of a larger metropolitan area, the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area (GAMA), which is home to about 4 million people, making it the largest metropolitan conglomeration in Ghana by population, and the eleventh-largest metropolitan area in Africa.
Accra stretches along the Ghanaian Atlantic coast and extends north into the country's interior. Originally built around a port, it served as the capital of the British-ruled Gold Coast between 1877 and 1957. Once merely a 19th-century suburb of Victoriaborg, Accra has since transitioned into a modern metropolis; the city's architecture reflects this history, ranging from 19th-century British colonial buildings to modern skyscrapers and apartment blocks.
Accra is Ghana's primate city, serving as the nation's economic and administrative hub. It is furthermore a centre of culture and tourism, sporting a wide range of nightclubs, restaurants and hotels. Since the early 1990s, a number of new buildings have been built, including the multi-storey French-owned Novotel hotel. The city's National Theatre was built with Chinese assistance. In 2010, the GaWC designated Accra a Gamma-minus-level world city, indicating a growing level of international influence and connectedness.
The central business district of Accra contains the city's main banks and department stores, the Cocoa Marketing Board headquarters (dealing with cocoa, Ghana's chief export), and an area known as the Ministries, where Ghana's government administration is concentrated. Economic activities in Accra include the financial and agricultural sectors, Atlantic fishing, and the manufacture of processed food, lumber, plywood, textiles, clothing and chemicals