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Encyclopedia > Cotonou
Location of Cotonou in Benin

Cotonou is the economic capital of Benin, as well as its largest city. Its official population count was 761,137 inhabitants in 2006; however, some estimates indicate its population may be as high as 1.2 million. The population in 1960 was a mere 70,000, so this would indicate a tenfold increase in population over a period of 40 years. The urban area continues to expand, notably towards the west. The city lies in the southeast of the country, between the Atlantic Ocean and Nokoué Lake, located at 6°22' North, 2°26' East (6.36667, 2.4333). [1] Image File history File links BJ-Cotonou. ... Lake Nokoué seen from space (false color) Lake Nokoué is a lake in southern Benin. ...

In addition to being Benin's largest city, it houses many of its government and diplomatic services; thus, it is Benin's de facto capital, even though the official capital is Porto-Novo. The city is best known as a major port, thanks to the Autonomous Port of Cotonou; it is also home to an airport and a railway ghat links to Parakou. Other features of Cotonou include Cotonou Friendship Stadium, Cotonou Cathedral, Cotonou Central Mosque and the 20-hectare Dantokpa Market, which includes a fetish market and has a commercial turnover of over a million CFA Francs a day. The National University of Benin is located in Cotonou. Another familiar feature of the city is the motorcycle-taxis known as Zémidjans. In politics, a capital (also called capital city or political capital — although the latter phrase has a second meaning based on an alternative sense of capital) is the principal city or town associated with a countrys government. ... Porto-Novo, population 179,138 (1992), is the official capital of Benin. ... Seaport, a painting by Claude Lorrain, 1638 The Port of Wellington at night. ... Parakou is the largest city in northern Benin, with a population of around 200,000 people. ... now. ... Mika Kallios KTM125 racing motorcycle A motorcycle, also called a motorbike or just a bike, is a single-track, two-wheeled vehicle powered by an engine. ... Taxicab, short forms taxi or cab, is a type of public transport for a single passenger, or small group of passengers, typically for a non-shared ride. ...



The name 'Cotonou' means 'the mouth of the river of death' in the Fon language. At the beginning of the 19th century, Cotonou (then spelled Kotonou) was merely a small fishing village. Originally dominated by the Kingdom of Dahomey, in 1851 the French made a treaty with the Dahomean King Ghezo that allowed them to establish a trading post at Cotonou. During the reign of Glele, his successor (1858-89), the territory was ceded to France by a treaty signed on May 19, 1868. In 1883, the French navy occupied the city to prevent British conquest of the area. After Glele's death in 1889, his son Behanzin tried, unsuccessfully, to challenge the treaty. From then on, the town developed quickly. Fon (native name FÉ”ngbe) is part of the Gbe language cluster and belongs to the Kwa sub-family of the Niger-Congo languages. ... Alternative meaning: Nineteenth Century (periodical) (18th century — 19th century — 20th century — more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 19th century was that century which lasted from 1801-1900 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar. ... Dahomey was a kingdom in Africa, situated in what is now the nation of Benin. ... 1851 (MDCCCLI) was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Friday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar). ... King Ghezo (right), with his son the future King Glele in 1863 Ghezo was the ninth King of Dahomey (now Benin), considered one of the greatest of the twelve historical kings. ... Badohou, who took the throne name Glele, is considered (if Adandozan is not counted) to be the tenth King of Dahomey (now Benin). ... May 19 is the 139th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (140th in leap years). ... 1868 (MDCCCLXVIII) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar or a leap year starting on Friday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar. ... 1883 (MDCCCLXXXIII) was a common year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ... Behanzin in 1894 Behanzin (d. ...

Transportation and Economy

The Autonomous Port of Cotonou is one of the largest ports in West Africa. The city is connected to Parakou in the north of the country by the Benin-Niger railway. Cotonou International Airport provides service to the capitals of the region and to France, as well as the major cities of Benin: Parakou, Kandi, Natitingou, Djougou, and Savè. There are also road connections to several neighboring countries: Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Niger, and Togo. Parakou is the largest city in northern Benin, with a population of around 200,000 people. ... Cadjehoun Airport (IATA: COO, ICAO: DBBB), also known as Cotonou Airport, is an airport in Cotonou, Benin. ... Kandi is a town in northern Benin. ... Natitingou is a town in north western Benin. ... Djougou is the largest city in north west Benin, with a population of more than 170,000 people. ...

Because of these connections, Cotonou has become a crossroads of West African commerce, with much trade moving here from Abidjan because of the Ivorian Civil War. The city is a so-called 'market town,' enabling trade with the countries of the African interior, such as Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger. In addition to the port, there is a free trade zone in the interior of the city for use by the landlocked Saharan states. However, the city is rife with corruption and illegal trade, especially with neighboring Nigeria. It can be considered the economic capital as it houses two-thirds of Benin's industries and is the headquarters of the nation's major enterprises and banks. Région Lagunes District Governor Pierre Djédji Amondji (FPI) (since 2002) Area 2,119 km² Subdivisions 10 communes of Abidjan Ville 3 subprefectures outside of Abidjan Ville Population unofficial estimate 2003 official estimate 1998 census between 4 and 5 million 3,660,682 3,125,890 Density 1,728... A French Army VAB armored vehicle patrolling in Côte dIvoire. ... A free trade zone (FTZ) or export processing zone is one or more areas of a country where tariffs and quotas are eliminated and bureaucratic requirements are lowered in order to attract companies by raising the incentives for doing business there. ...

Important manufactured goods include palm oil and cake, brewing, textiles, and cement. Motor vehicles and bicycles are assembled, and there are also sawmills in the city. Petroleum products, bauxite, and iron are major exports. There are also offshore platforms drilling for oil. The city is also a center for the automotive trade, with European brands being sold from vast open-air parking lots. Palm oil from Ghana with its natural dark color visible, 2 litres Palm oil block Palm oil is a form of edible vegetable oil obtained from the fruit of the oil palm tree. ... A 16th century brewer A 21st century brewer This article concerns the production of alcoholic beverages. ... This article is about the type of fabric. ... In the most general sense of the word, cement is a binder, a substance which sets and hardens independently, and can bind other materials together. ... For other uses, see Bicycle (disambiguation). ... A sawmill is a facility where logs are cut into boards. ... Pumpjack pumping an oil well near Sarnia, Ontario Ignacy Łukasiewicz - inventor of the refining of kerosene from crude oil. ... Bauxite with penny Bauxite with core of unweathered rock Bauxite is an aluminium ore which consists largely of the Al minerals gibbsite Al(OH)3, boehmite and diaspore AlOOH, together with the iron oxides goethite and hematite, the clay mineral kaolinite and small amounts of anatase TiO2. ... General Name, Symbol, Number iron, Fe, 26 Chemical series transition metals Group, Period, Block 8, 4, d Appearance lustrous metallic with a grayish tinge Atomic mass 55. ... Pumpjack pumping an oil well near Sarnia, Ontario Ignacy Łukasiewicz - inventor of the refining of kerosene from crude oil. ...

See also

The Cotonou Agreement is a treaty between the European Union and the group of African, Caribbean and Pacific states (ACP countries). ...

External links

  Results from FactBites:
Cotonou, Benin - November 2005 (1370 words)
Cotonou is not the capital city of Benin, but you'd never know that from visiting.
Cotonou means 'The mouth of the river of death', which happens to be what this picture is. The Oueme river leads from a huge lagoon just north of the city through the center of town and into the Atlantic Ocean.
Cotonou is much more like a large African village than it is like a big city undergoing a slow modernization.
  More results at FactBites »



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