Community Profile: Jamestown
Jamestown is arguably one of the most popular communities and suburbs in Accra and Ghana at large. The community is responsible for hosting the annual Chalewote Street Arts festival.
Jamestown is also the oldest district in the Greater Accra region with the community being founded as far back as the 17th century when the Europeans started arriving on the coast of Accra. Today, Jamestown is one of the biggest fishing communities in Ghana, with the craft starting somewhere in the 16th century by inhabitants of the community, the Gas.
Aside being known for its fishing activities, Jamestown is also famous for its historical and ancient appearance. The community which can be described as hugely under developed has remnants of the country‘s colonial past, making it a prime tourism destination for tourists who want to see remnants and monuments of Ghana’s colonial past.
In the center of the community lies the famous Jamestown Lighthouse, built by the British in the early 1930s to replace the original one built by the British in 1870. With a height of 34metres, tourists can see the whole landscape of Jamestown once at the top.
James Fort, another important monument of Ghana’s colonial past is found in Jamestown, just beside the Jamestown Lighthouse. The Fort was built by the British traders to serve as a trading post in 1673, making it the third oldest fort in Accra and only behind Fort Christianburg (built by the Danish in 1653) and Dutch Fort Crevecoeur (built in 1649).
Even with the transformation of Accra into a uniquely cosmopolitan city, inhabiting people from all parts of Ghana, Jamestown has managed to remain a predominantly Ga community, with the indigenous Gas accounting for a huge chunk of the population. Traditionally, the community is ruled by a chief who is chosen and installed according to the Ga tradition and customs.