Cape Coast

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Cape Coast, Oguaa

City of Cape Coast
City
Cape Coast Montage.jpg
1st top-left image; Arch bridge and Harbour view from Elmina Castle in Cape Coast • 2nd bottom-left image; City hall of Cape Coast • 1st top-right image; Shores of Cape Coast • 2nd bottom-right image; Balcony of Cape Coast Castle.
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Cape Coast
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Cape Coast
Coordinates: 05°06′N01°15′W / 5.100°N 1.250°W / 5.100; -1.250 Coordinates: 05°06′N01°15′W / 5.100°N 1.250°W / 5.100; -1.250
CountryFlag of Ghana.svg  Ghana
Admin. Region Central Region
District Cape Coast Metropolitan
Founded1482
Elevation
0 m (0 ft)
Population
 (2010)
  Total169,894 [1]
Demonym(s) Cape Coaster
Time zone GMT
Postcode district
CC
Area code(s) 033
Website http://ccma.gov.gh/

Cape Coast is a city, fishing port, and the capital of Cape Coast Metropolitan District and Central Region of Ghana. It is one of the country's most historic cities, a World Heritage Site, home to the Cape Coast Castle, with the Gulf of Guinea situated to its south. According to the 2010 census, Cape Coast had a settlement population of 169,894 people. [1] The language of the people of Cape Coast is Fante.

Contents

The older traditional names of the city are Oguaa and Kotokuraba (meaning "River of Crabs" or "Village of Crabs"). [2] The Portuguese navigators João de Santarém and Pedro Escobar who sailed past Oguaa in 1471 designated the place Cabo Corso (meaning "short cape"), from which the name Cape Coast derives. [2] From the 16th century until the country became the independent nation of Ghana in 1957, the city and fishing port changed hands between the British, the Portuguese, the Swedish, the Danish and the Dutch. It is home to 32 festivals. [3]

History

Cape Coast was founded by the people of Oguaa and the region ruled over by the paramount chief, or Omanhene, is known today as Oguaa Traditional Area. [2] Cape Coast is one of the most historical cities in Ghana. [4] Portuguese colonists built a trading fort in the area. In 1650, the Swedes built a lodge that would later become the better known Cape Coast Castle, which is now a World Heritage Site. Most of the modern town expanded around it. The Dutch took it over in 1650 and expanded it in 1652. It was then captured by the British in 1664.

Trade was an important motivator in the creation of fortresses and settlements on Cape Coast. Traders from various European countries built these trading lodges, forts and castles along the coast of modern Ghana. Unfortunately, the acquisition of gold, slaves, honey, and the many other goods that composed the African leg of the Triangular Trade was increasingly detrimental to the inhabitants of Cape Coast. [5] [ page needed ] In 1874, the British dominated all European presence along the coast of modern-day Ghana using Cape Coast as their base of operations, Gold Coast. With the establishment of formal colonial administration, they relocated to Accra following opposition to the "window tax" in 1877. Accra became their state. Cape Coast Castle was also where most of the slaves were held before their journey on the Middle Passage.

Asafo companies

Oguaa Traditional Area has seven asafo companies – traditional warrior groups, based on lineal descent, whose historical role was defence of the state [6] (the word deriving from sa, meaning "war", and fo, meaning "people") – with a complex social and political organization based on martial principles, [7] and elaborate traditions of visual art. [8] [9] The asafo companies feature largely in Cape Coast's annual Fetu Afahye festival held on the first Saturday of September, [10] and each have historically established uniform colours: Esi Sutherland-Addy identifies these as: No. 1. Bentsir – red; No. 2. Anafo – blue and white; No. 3. Ntsin – green; No. 4. Nkum – yellow; No. 5. Amanful – wine and black; No. 6. Abrofomba (Brofo Nkoa) – white; No. 7. Ankrampa – white and black. [11]

Geography

Topography

The area is dominated by batholith rock and is generally undulating with steep slopes. There are valleys of various streams between the hills, with Kakum being the largest stream.

The minor streams end in wetlands, the largest of which drains into the Fosu Lagoon at Bakano. In the northern part of the district, however, the landscape is suitable for the cultivation of various crops. [12]

Climate

Cape Coast has a tropical savanna climate (Köppen: As) with two long wet seasons – a heavier one from March to July and a lighter one from September to November – alongside two short dry seasons in January/February and in August.

Cape Coast is a humid area with mean monthly relative humidity varying between 85% and 99%. The sea breeze has a moderating effect on the local climate. [12]

Climate data for Cape Coast
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Average high °C (°F)32
(89)
31
(87)
31
(87)
31
(87)
30
(86)
29
(84)
27
(80)
27
(80)
26
(79)
28
(83)
31
(87)
30
(86)
32
(89)
Average low °C (°F)24
(75)
24
(76)
24
(76)
25
(77)
24
(76)
24
(75)
23
(73)
22
(71)
21
(70)
23
(73)
24
(76)
23
(74)
23
(73)
Average rainfall mm (inches)25
(1.0)
25
(1.0)
76
(3.0)
130
(5.0)
230
(9.0)
230
(9.0)
100
(4.0)
25
(1.0)
76
(3.0)
100
(4.0)
130
(5.0)
150
(6.0)
1,297
(51)
Source: Myweather2.com [13]

Attractions

The crab is the city's mascot and a statue of one stands in the city centre. Fort William, built in 1820, was an active lighthouse from 1835 to the 1970s, while Fort Victoria was built in 1702.

The main market of Cape Coast is called Kotokuraba Market. [14]

Other attractions include a series of Asafo shrines, Cape Coast Centre for National Culture, the Oguaa Fetu Afahye festival (held on the first Saturday of September), and since 1992, the biennial Panafest theatre festival. [15] The city is located 30 km south of Kakum National Park, one of the most diverse and best preserved national parks in West Africa.

It is believed that Michelle Obama, US First Lady, considers Cape Coast as her ancestral home, [16] and on 11 July 2009, she took the rest of the first family to tour Cape Coast Castle as part of her husband's trip to Cape Coast.

Cape Coast Castle, Ghana.jpg
Centre of Cape Coast Castle
UCC Palmenallee.jpg
Main street of the University of Cape Coast

Education

University of Cape Coast Library Complex University Library complex.JPG
University of Cape Coast Library Complex

Cape Coast is the seat of the University of Cape Coast (UCC), Ghana's leading university in teaching and research. Cape Vars, as it is popularly called, lies on a hill overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. It also has one of the best Polytechnics, the Cape Coast Polytechnic (C-POLY). The city also boasts some of Ghana's finest secondary and technical schools:

Notable people

Notable people born in or associated with Cape Coast include:

Foods

The Fante people of Ghana are notable for their way of cooking. They are known for eating rich cuisine, mostly with more fish, meat, or any form of protein than necessary. It is believed that this is because of the number of rivers and lakes situated in the town. The people are known for their expert fishing and fish preservation abilities. Some of the cuisines are fante fante, etew and pepper sauce or okro stew, fante kenkey, which can be eaten with soups, stews or shito.

Sister cities

List of sister cities of Cape Coast, designated by Sister Cities International:

CountryCityCounty / District / Region / StateDate
Flag of Germany.svg Germany Flagge der kreisfreien Stadt Bonn.svg Bonn Flag of North Rhine-Westphalia.svg North Rhine-Westphalia 2012
Flag of the United States.svg United States Flag of Buffalo, New York.svg Buffalo Flag of New York.svg New York
Flag of the United States.svg United States  Hanover Park Flag of Illinois.svg Illinois

See also

Related Research Articles

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Winneba Town in Central Region, Ghana

Winneba is a town and the capital of Effutu Municipal District in Central Region of South Ghana. Winneba has a population of 55,331. Winneba, traditionally known as Simpa, is a historic fishing port in south Ghana, lying on the south coast, 140 kilometres (90 mi) east of Cape Coast. The current member of parliament is Alexander Kwamina Afenyo-Markin.

Central Region (Ghana) Region of Ghana

The Central Region is one of the sixteen administrative regions of Ghana. It is bordered by Ashanti and Eastern regions to the north, Western region to the west, Greater Accra region to the east, and to the south by the Gulf of Guinea. The Central region is renowned for its many elite higher education institutions and an economy based on an abundance of industrial minerals and tourism. The Central region attains many tourist attractions such as castles, forts and beaches stretched along the Central region's coastline.

Mfantsipim School All-boys boarding secondary school in Cape Coast, Ghana

Mfantsipim is an all-boys boarding secondary school in Cape Coast, Ghana, established by the Methodist Church in 1876 to foster intellectual, moral, and spiritual growth on the then Gold Coast. Its founding name was Wesleyan High School and the first headmaster was James Picot, a French scholar, who was only 18 years old on his appointment.

John Mensah Sarbah was a lawyer and political leader in the Gold Coast.

J. E. Casely Hayford Gold Coast journalist, lawyer and politician

Joseph Ephraim Casely Hayford,, also known as Ekra-Agyeman, was a prominent Fante Gold Coast journalist, editor, author, lawyer, educator, and politician who supported pan-African nationalism. His 1911 novel Ethiopia Unbound is one of the earliest novels published in English by an African.

Gold Coast Aborigines Rights Protection Society

The Gold Coast Aborigines' Rights Protection Society (ARPS) was an African association critical of colonial rule, formed in 1897 in the former Gold Coast, as Ghana was then known. Originally established by traditional leaders and the educated elite to protest the Crown Lands Bill of 1896 and the Lands Bill of 1897, which threatened traditional land tenure, the Gold Coast ARPS became the main political organisation that led organised and sustained opposition against the colonial government in the Gold Coast, laying the foundation for political action that would ultimately lead to Ghanaian independence. Its delegates were active in international organizations and at the 1945 Pan-African Congress, it gained support from Kwame Nkrumah, who later became the main leader of the independence movement. However, the middle class intellectuals who supported the Society broke with Nkrumah because they were less committed to full-scale revolutionary effort. Consequently the Society declined as a major political force.

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Kobina Sekyi

William Esuman-Gwira Sekyi, better known as Kobina Sekyi, was a nationalist lawyer, politician and writer in the Gold Coast.

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The Fetu Afahye is a festival celebrated by the chiefs and peoples of Cape Coast in the Central region of Ghana. The festival is celebrated on the first Saturday in the month of September every year. The Fetu Afahye is celebrated annually by the Oguaa people of Cape Coast because in the past there was an outbreak of disease among the people that killed many. The people prayed to the gods to help them to get rid of the disease. Thus the festival is celebrated to keep the town clean and to prevent another epidemic befalling the people.

Asafo

Asafo are traditional warrior groups in Akan culture, based on lineal descent. The word derives from sa, meaning war, and fo, meaning people. The traditional role of the Asafo companies was defence of the state. As the result of contact with European colonial powers on the Gold Coast, the Fante, who inhabit the coastal region, developed an especially complex version of the concept in terms of its social and political organization based on martial principles, and with elaborate traditions of visual art, including flag banners with figurative scenes, and designs alluding to historical events or proverbs.

Willem Essuman Pietersen

Willem Essuman Pietersen, also known as Willem Edmund Pietersen, was a Gold Coast merchant, politician, and educationist. He is also remembered as a goldsmith and watch repairer. Pietersen was co-founder of Mfantsipim School in Cape Coast, Ghana.

George Emil Eminsang was a prominent Euro-African merchant and political leader on the Gold Coast, who played a prominent role in the last years of Dutch colonial rule on the Gold Coast. After the Dutch Gold Coast was transferred to the United Kingdom, Eminsang became a diplomat for the Netherlands and later for the United States and the Congo Free State. Together with James Bannerman Hyde and James Hutton Brew, Eminsang was one of the first so-called "country lawyers" on the Gold Coast.

1927 Gold Coast general election

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Jacob Wilson Sey Gold Coast artisan, farmer, philanthropist and nationalist

Jacob Kwaw Wilson Sey, also known as Kwaa Bonyi, was a colonial era Fante artisan, farmer, philanthropist, nationalist and the first recorded indigenous multi-millionaire on the Gold Coast. He played a major role in the Aborigines' Rights Protection Society (ARPS), founded to oppose the 1896 Crown Lands Bill and the 1897 Lands Bill that threatened the traditional land tenure system and stipulated that all unused lands be controlled by the British colonial government. The society was the 19th-century precursor which laid the foundation for the mid-20th-century "ideological warfare" pushed by the Gold Coast intelligentsia and the independence movement. Some academic scholars regard him as the "first real architect and financier towards Ghana's independence" and the ARPS as "the first attempt to institutionalize nationalist sentiment in the then Gold Coast."

Nana Amba Eyiaba I, known non-formally as Eunice Amba Amoah, is a Ghanaian queen mother from the Effutu Municipal District of Central Region, Ghana. She is the former Director of Education for Central Region. From 2004 to 2010, Eyiaba was appointed by President John Kufuor to serve as a member of the national Electoral Commission of Ghana, co-organizing and supervising the parliamentary and presidential elections of 2004 and 2008.

Joseph de Graft Hayford was a Wesleyan Methodist minister who was a prominent figure in Fante politics and society in the Gold Coast. He was one of the founders of the Fante Confederation of 1867 and one of the first political detainees in Ghanaian history.

References

  1. 1 2 "2010 Population and Housing Census" (PDF). Ghana Statistical Service. Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 September 2013.
  2. 1 2 3 Briggs, Philip (2019). Ghana (8th ed.). Bradt Travel Guides. p. 203. ISBN   9781784776282.
  3. Banda, Rajaa. "11 Fascinating things to know about Ghana's Cape Coast". The Culture Trip. Retrieved 19 April 2018.
  4. "Cape Coast". Ghana Web. Retrieved 19 April 2018.
  5. Rømer, Ludvig Ferdinand; Winsnes, Selena Axelrod (2000). A Reliable Account of the Coast of Guinea (1760). British Academy. ISBN   978-0-19-726218-4.
  6. DeCorse, Christopher R.; Sam Spiers (2009). "A tale of two polities: socio-political transformation on the Gold Coast in the Atlantic World" (PDF). Australasian Historical Archaeology. 27: 36. S2CID   67755840. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 February 2020.
  7. Herman du Toit (ed.), Pageants and Processions: Images and Idiom as Spectacle, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2009, pp. 117–118.
  8. Casely-Hayford, Gus (4 February 2016). "Gus Casely-Hayford on Fante Asafo Flags – Artist & Empire". Tate via YouTube.
  9. "Asafo Flags: Stitches Through Time". Heni Talks. 24 April 2018.
  10. David Allan Paintsil, "Oguaa to showcase potential of traditional warriors…in 2012 Fetu Afahye" Archived 6 October 2014 at the Wayback Machine , The Chronicle (Ghana), 11 May 2012.
  11. Esi Sutherland-Addy, "Women and Verbal Arts in the Oguaa-Edina Area", Research Review (NS), Vol. 14, No. 2 (1998), p. 7.
  12. 1 2 "Cape Coast Metropolitan Assembly". centralregion.gov.gh. Archived from the original on 25 October 2012. Retrieved 8 September 2012.
  13. "Cape Coast Weather Averages". Myweather2. 2013. Retrieved 20 June 2013.
  14. "Ghana Place Names - Markets".
  15. "PANAFEST – The Impetus and Objectives of PANAFEST". PANAFEST.
  16. "Obamas confront history inside Ghana's slave dungeon". businesstimesafrica.net. Archived from the original on 4 September 2012. Retrieved 16 March 2012.
  17. Discourses of Empire and Commonwealth, p. 230, Koninklijke Brill, NV, Leiden, The Netherlands, 2016, ISBN   978-90-04-32277-6
  18. "NANA AMBA EYIABA I". Council of Women Traditional Leaders. Archived from the original on 8 September 2014.

Bibliography