Capital and largest city (pop., 2001 est.: 1,551,200) of Ghana, on the Gulf of Guinea. When the Portuguese first settled on the coast in 1482, the site was occupied by the Ga people. Three fortified trading posts were built 1650–80 by the Danes, the Dutch, and the British. The Danes and Dutch left the region in 1850 and 1872, respectively, and in 1877 Accra became the capital of the British Gold Coast colony. The city became Ghana's administrative, economic, and educational centre after the country gained its independence in 1957. Tema, 17 mi (27 km) east, has taken over Accra's former port functions.