History of Cotonou, Benin Republic
Amazing History of Cotonou in a Glance: Trip to Cotonou Benin Republic, what you must know about Cotonou the Business capital of Benin Republic
Cotonou is the commercial –hub city of Benin Republic, a French-speaking country in West Africa, south of the Atlantic. It is a cosmopolitan city with a sizeable number of residents as foreigners in the city. It has a well–structured network of roads built up to international standards comparable to any modern roads in the world today. The city has been in existence since 1845 being a French colony of West Africa-formerly called Dahomey.
The natives of Cotonou, Benin republic comprise mostly the Egun tribes that also occupy Seme and Badagry on the outskirts of Lagos Nigeria. Nigerians top the list of foreigners in the Cotonou smartly and strategically conducting business by using their port’s facilities. Additional Nationalities comprise; both the Chinese, Pakistanis, Lebanese, Indians, Ivoirians, Senegalese amongst a bunch of other foreigners.
The locals are warm and friendly. Their houses are not as ‘fenced’ and ‘gated’ as in Lagos –the neighboring city which is the formal capital city of Nigeria. The women are hardworking but could be loose. Men in Cotonou use like drinking a lot. Recently, the association of men with foreigners helped them a bit to be more responsible and are taking serious government duties and jobs in private establishments.
The Places Cotonou has a lot of hotels built by foreign businessmen. There are two stars to five-star hotels in the city depending on one’s tastes and income. The restaurants are plentiful and neatly arranged. It has an airport, a seaport, a stadium, and the ultramodern Tokpa market which is reputed to be the largest in the country.
There are also local and international educational institutions within and on the outskirts of the city. Roman Catholic cathedrals doth the landscape and contribute a lot to the architectural masterpiece of the city. Although, many of the people still have Voodoo as their private official Religion-one still finds Voodoo Temples here and there, which are also a great tourist attraction, if you want to see.
Cotonou is a cool place to Live or Visit I must confess, in all my travels in Africa, l can say with all confidence that Cotonou is the place that has kept to its own original city-master plan, without the need of the government coming to demolish so many illegal buildings here and there. The city is quite cool and quiet. Electricity supply is constant, thus you cannot hear the sound of a generator there.
This is unlike the neighboring city of Lagos, whereby the cacophony of noise by sounds from this device, both day and night could be deafening. As a matter of fact, noxious fumes such as carbon monoxide from these generators have been a notable cause of asphyxiation to a good number of people in this neighboring state(Lagos) but unheard of in Cotonou.
Business, commerce, and recreation are thriving in Cotonou. The port-city is where one can unwind and at the same time make good money without any stress or hassles. The crime rate is one of the lowest in the world- people hardly have gates or barbed wire fences covering their buildings.
She has for her pride, one of her own, the London-based songstress and diva, Angela Kidjo who doubles as a UNESCO Ambassador (United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization). Her pictures in Billboards adorn the city landscape also.
Conclusion Cotonou is a lesson for what urban city development should be in Africa, it is a place you feel free and would love to visit over and over again.
The Ouémé River as it flows into the Atlantic Ocean at Cotonou
Cotonou is on the coastal strip between Lake Nokoué and the Atlantic Ocean. The city split into two by a canal, the lagoon of Cotonou, by the French in 1855. Three bridges are in this area. The Ouémé River flows into the Atlantic Ocean at Cotonou.
Bridge in Cotonou
The city has established transportation infrastructure including air, sea, river (to Porto Novo), and land routes that facilitate trade with its neighbors Nigeria, Niger, Burkina Faso, and Togo.
The city took note of Coastal erosion for several decades. It worsened in 1961 following the construction of the Nangbeto Dam and the deep-water port of Cotonou. A pilot project funded by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) revealed that in 40 years, the coast to the east of Cotonou had retreated by 400 meters. This erosion has led many people to leave their homes along the coast.
Under Köppen’s climate classification, Cotonou features a tropical wet and dry climate, alternating with two rainy seasons (April–July and September–October, 800 to 1,200 mm (47 in) of rain per year) and two dry seasons. In December and January, the city is affected by harmattan winds. Temperatures are relatively constant throughout the year, with the average high temperatures hovering around 30 °C (86 °F), and average low temperatures at around 25 °C (77 °F).
The Autonomous Port of Cotonou is one of the largest in West Africa. The city is connected to Parakou in the north 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 Savé. There are road connections to neighboring countries: Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Niger, and Togo. A prevalent mode of transport in the city is the motorcycle-taxi, known locally as zémidjan.
In 2015 a suburban passenger railway line was being developed between Cotonou and Pahou.
Important manufactured goods include palm oil, brewing, textiles, and cement. Motor vehicles and bicycles are assembled, and there are sawmills in the city. Petroleum products, bauxite, and iron are major exports. There are offshore platforms drilling for oil. The city is a center for the automotive trade, with European brands from vast open-air parking lots. In the past, Citroën assembled cars (for instance, the Citroën 2CV and Ami 8) locally.
By 2012, piracy in the Gulf of Guinea had significantly decreased trade at the port of Cotonou.
In the Missebo area is a textile market of African prints mainly handled by Indian wholesalers and retailers.
Among the places of worship, Christian churches are predominant: Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cotonou (Catholic Church), Protestant Methodist Church in Benin (World Methodist Council), Baptist Church of Benin (Baptist World Alliance), Living Faith Church Worldwide, Redeemed Christian Church of God, Assemblies of God. There are also Muslim mosques.
Cotonou, Benin Republic inherit her educational system from the French when the country got independence on August 1, 1960. It has since undergone many reforms to make it serve the country’s needs. The system is public and secular, and consists of two years of preprimary education, six years of primary school, three years of junior secondary school, three years of senior secondary school, and a university. There are also three-year vocational or technical schools to attend in place of secondary schools.
Read more: Benin Republic top accredited universities, admission requirement to study, business and job opportunities,
The city is a host of some of the top accredited Private Universities In Benin Republic, and a campus of Leadpreneur Academy, school of Leadership and Entrepreneurship which has recorded high success graduating students for BSc, MSc, and Ph.D. both on-campus and online in affiliation with her various Partners.
Don’t hesitate to pay a visit to Cotonou whenever you come or find yourself in Benin Republic.
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