The city is largely low-rise, although there are patches of new construction; buildings in the faded yellows and pinks that represent new west African modernism.
Roadsides bristle with billboards advertising mobile phones, televisions, beer and real estate. Traffic has grown along with the economy. Cars spill out on to the Cape Coast Road, which snakes from Nigeria's commercial hub of Lagos in the east to the battered but recovering Ivorian city of Abidjan in the west. Roughly at the midpoint -- about 50 kilometres west of Accra -- is Saltpond. Once the site of the earliest European military structures on the continent, the area is about to become home to the latest outpost of AIMS -- the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences.