Cape Coast

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Coordinates: 5 ° 6 ′  N , 1 ° 15 ′  W

Map: Ghana
Cape Coast

Cape Coast is the capital of the Central Region and the Cape Coast Municipal District of Ghana . The city is located directly on the Gulf of Guinea and has 169,894 inhabitants (as of 2010). The city's Ghanaian name, Oguaa , means “market” and the city's coat of arms depicts a crab. The English name of the city, which is common today, is a corruption of the original Portuguese name "Cabo Corso" (short cape). The majority of the inhabitants belong to the Fante people , whose dialect of the same name is also spoken there. Cape Coast is the seat of the Cape Coast Archdiocese .


Fishermen outside the walls of Cape Coast Castle

Cape Coast was founded around 1380. The founders were probably Guang (the ethnicity is not certain). They were part of the group that had migrated south from the kingdom of Bono in the 14th century under the leadership of brothers Bonde and Gyan (this happened during the reign of Nana Asaman). In the hinterland of the coast, about 24 km away from Aguafo (the Guang group of the same name had already left Bono shortly before them), a new settlement was founded called "Awutu", which literally means "mixed". The names later became “Afutu”, “Effutu” or “Fetu”. When the fetus explored the coastal hinterland, they met the Etsi (Atsi, Atty), who had settled here for about a century. They were considered the "brothers of the Bono" who claimed to have been the first to settle in the local area. Around 1380 a group of Fetu under the leadership of Edwe and Etumpan withdrew and moved eastward, where they found Ogua (Ugwà, Gua, other name: Amanforo; later Cape Coast), as well as Dwemma and Degho. (The name Degho was later transferred to the entire hinterland of Cape Coast.) Fetus from Degho founded Tumpa, later Winnebah , further east on the coast around 1515 . Even if the inhabitants of these areas are now generally referred to as Fantis ( Akan ), these early coastal states of the western and central part of the Gold Coast (with the possible exception of Sabou ) were probably mostly Guang foundations, in which the Akanic cultural element penetrated in later times and blossomed.

Ogua was primarily a fishing village. It was only with the appearance of the Portuguese, who set up a trading post on Cabo Corso, as they called it (literally “short cape”), that the intermediate trade between the Europeans and the interior of the country became an essential source of income. The Portuguese were followed on Cabo Corso by the British, Dutch, Swedes and Danes, of whom the British were finally able to gain a permanent foothold in 1664. From 1664 to 1877 Cape Coast was the capital of the British possessions on the Gold Coast (later the British Protected Area, a colony from July 24, 1874) and the seat of the British Governor.

An important monument of the city is Cape Coast Castle , initially founded as a trading post, then the starting point for the shipping of the majority of the slaves to the " New World ".

Population development

The following overview shows the population by area since the 1970 census.

        year         Residents
1970 56,601
1984 65,763
2000 82.291
2010 169,894


University, Palmenallee

Cape Coast is traditionally a center for education. Some of the most prestigious grammar schools in Ghana are located in this city, and the University of Cape Coast has existed since 1962, initially only serving for teacher training and now offering almost all subject areas. A school had existed at Cape Coast Castle since the earliest times, but it primarily served the education of the mulatto children (the children that the Europeans fathered with local women), as well as the education of the children of kings and chiefs, if one was in the political interest of the British. For the purpose of maintaining the mulatto children, it was customary for Europeans on the Gold Coast in the 18th century to maintain a so-called mulatto fund . At least one is reported by the Danes, but it is very likely that the British and Dutch also had a similar arrangement. According to this, every European who lived with a local woman was withheld a certain amount of his monthly remuneration for the mulatto fund, from which the maintenance of the children and their schooling was then financed. In the case of the Danes, the governor was personally responsible for the administration of the mulatto treasury in the 18th century. The first "Secondary School" was opened in Cape Coast in 1876 by the Wesleyan Church . The "Secondary School" was the continuation of the "Elementary School" in the educational path of young Africans under British sovereignty and was intended (and it should still be today) to enable the best of its visitors to study at university. This school in Cape Coast was later merged with other schools to form the “ Mfantsipim ” school.

City festivals

The most important city festivals are Fetu Afahye (every year on the first weekend in September) and the Panafest (every two years in August), which is attended by numerous African-American tourists.


  • Carlos Mäder (* 1978 in Cape Coast), Ghanaian-Swiss ski racer and business economist


  • Timothy L. Gall, Susan Bevan Gall (Eds.): Worldmark chronology of the nations. Detroit / San Francisco / London / Boston / Woodbridge 1999, ISBN 0-7876-0521-2 .
  • David Owusu-Ansah, Daniel Miles McFarland: Historical Dictionary of Ghana. London 1995, ISBN 0-8108-2919-3 .
  • Yann Deffontaine: Guerre et société au royaume de Fetu (Efutu) - Des débuts du commerce atlantique à la constitution de la fédération fanti (Ghana, Côte de l'Or, 1471-1720). Ibadan / Paris 1993, ISBN 2-86537-475-0 .
  • Paul Erdmann Isert: New trip to Guinea and the Caribbean Islands in America in the years 1783 to 1787 along with news of the negro trade in Africa. Berlin / Leipzig 1790. (especially on the subject of the mulatto checkout)

Web links

Commons : Cape Coast  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. 2010 Population and Housing Census . Ghana Statistical Service. Archived from the original on September 25, 2013. Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  2. Ghana: Regions & Cities - Population Statistics, Maps, Charts, Weather and Web Information. Retrieved January 6, 2019 .