Kumasi, Ghana (Africa)
What Makes Kumasi, Ghana Interesting?
Kumasi is the historical and current capital of the Ashanti (Asante) people, located in the multicultural African nation of Ghana. Legend claims that it was in Kumasi that Okomfo Anokye received the Golden stool, an embodiment of the soul of the Ashanti people. Ghana is a key trading partner of both the United States and the European Union (EU). Ghana embraces international and regional political and economic cooperation. It is an active member of the United Nations and the African Union. It is one of the world’s largest gold and diamond producers and the most prolific producer of cocoa (as of 2015). The economy is the 9th largest on the African continent (ranked by purchasing power parity and nominal GDP). Its diverse geography and ecology ranges from coastal savannahs to tropical jungles. The area around Kumasi is also one of the most beautiful regions of Ghana. For birdwatchers, both the Owabi Wildlife Sanctuary (an important wetlands) and the crater Lake Bosomtwi are well worth a visit. Walkers will love the Bobiri Forest Reserve and its arboretum, the Bomfobiri Wildlife Sanctuary with its seasonal waterfall, and the hills around Lake Bosomtwi.
At a Glance
Established: 1680 (following the foundation of the Ashanti kingdom in 1670)
City: 98 sq mi (254 km2)
Metro (area): 115.4 sq mi (299 km2)
Population (2015): 4,000,000
People Are Called (Demonyms): Kumasian
Time Zone: UTC+0
GPS Coordinates: 6°40′N 1°37′W
Gross Domestic Product (2014-15 GDP): (Int$296.1 billion)
What’s in the Name?
King Osei Tutu named the city after the kum tree, which he planted as a symbol of victory for the Ashanti Empire over the British. The city is alternatively known as “The Garden City” for its many beautiful species of flowers and plants.
There is evidence that the area around Kumasi has been kept cleared since the Neolithic age and that the first human settlement was at the crater lake of Lake Bosumtwi.
1695 — became capital of the Ashanti Confederacy.
1874 — parts of the city are destroyed by the British in the Third Anglo-Ashanti War.
1926 — the Ashanti restored ceremonial control.
1935 — the full role of king was restored.
1957 — Ghana declared independence.
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• Feature, GhanaWeb: “Kumasi Mayor Challenges CDD-UNICEF District League Rankings”
• A complete archive of curated articles is forthcoming on this destination (see page on Dhaka, Bangladesh for the model).
Kumasi experiences a tropical wet and dry climate, with relatively constant temperatures throughout the course of the year. Kumasi averages around 1400 mm (55 inches) of rain annually. Kumasi features two different rainy seasons — one from March through July and another from September through November.
Ghana collects and ships gold, manganese, bauxite, aluminium, silica, iron, copper, platinum, lithium, tin arsenic, mica, pearls, clay, limestone, timber, hardwood, and cocoa. It manufactures Kantanka robotics and brand zero-carbon electric cars as well as many small and major household appliances.
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Rich, “unadulterated” culture is easy to witness in Kumasi. For this, the city has gained much recognition. Ashanti attractions include the Kumasi National Cultural Centre (including the Prempeh II Jubilee Museum and its reproduction of the Golden Stool), the Okomfo Anokye Akrafena Sword, the Asantehene’s Palace (built 1972), the Manhyia Royal Palace (built 1925), and the Manhyia Palace Museum.The city is also home to the Kumasi Zoo, the large Kumasi Central Market (Kejetia Market), Asafo Market, and St. Peter’s Cathedral Basilica.
Association Football is the most popular sport in Kumasi and across the nation. The local Kumasi football (soccer) team Kumasi Asante Kotoko has won many national and continental trophies. The International Federation of Football History and Statistics has ranked Asante Kotoko the African club of the 20th century. The Kumasi Sports Stadium (also known as Baba Yara Stadium) was built in 1959, renovated in 1978 and 2007, and offers a seating capacity of 40,000. Kumasi is also base for the King Faisal Football Club, a premier division club based at Abrankese Stadium.
Kumasi is served by Kumasi international airport which caters to all air travel to and from the city.
Kumasi’s railway lines and train service has been suspended for several years due to damaged track, bridges, and locomotives. A $6 billion upgrade project was due to get underway in 2011 as is yet to be completed.
As of 2011, construction of the Boankra Inland Port (25 kilometres or 16 mi from the Subin submetro of Kumasi), had came to a halt and is expected to be completed in 2015.
Public transport is provided by Kumasi metropolis v.i.p transit buses, a mix of privately-owned mini-buses (known as Tro-Tros), taxicabs, and buses. Tro-Tros are usually converted mini-buses that run regular, well-known routes. Some taxis also run regular routes, provide for a more comfortable ride, but cost more. In 2002, the city introduced the metro bus services as a rapid transit system to reduce congestion on roads and to make a larger, more organized bus routine system available in the city.
The predominant means of travel within Kumasi is by use of the road. The city has been planned with arterial roads and collector roads. The road infrastructure is a 1,700 km network, which includes a few Ashanti regional highways such as the R52 and R106.