Lomé is the capital and largest city of Togo.
Located on the Gulf of Guinea, Lomé is the country's administrative and industrial center and its chief port.
The city exports coffee, cocoa, copra, and palm kernels. It also has an oil refinery.
|POPULATION :||City: 837,437 / Metro: 1,477,660|
|TIME ZONE :|
|LANGUAGE :||French (official)|
|RELIGION :||Christian 29%, Muslim 20%, indigenous beliefs 51%|
|AREA :||90 km2 (30 sq mi)|
|ELEVATION :||10 m (30 ft)|
|COORDINATES :||6°7′55″N 1°13′22″E|
|SEX RATIO :||• Male: 48.50% |
• Female: 51.50%
|ETHNIC :||African (37 tribes) 99%, Others 1%|
|AREA CODE :||2|
|POSTAL CODE :|
|DIALING CODE :||+228 2|
Notable landmarks in the city include Lomé Grand Market, the Togo National Museum in the Palais de Congrés, a Fetish (voodoo) Market, Lomé Cathedral, beaches and the former wharf.
The city of Lomé is a typical African city in the sense that many styles, influences, and traditions are mixed. The landscape combines red earth, with grand boulevards and large squares, green gardens and colourful houses.
There are some remnants of colonial architecture from the turn of the century, such as arcades and galleries and the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart designed in the German Gothic style. There are also many modern buildings, like the headquarters of the BCEAO, the BTCI, the magnificent edifice of ECOWAS, Hotel de la Paix, the Hotel Mercure Sarakawa, Palm Beach Hotel and the famous Hotel du 2 Fevrier, rising to 102 metres.
Lomé Grand Market, with a large 3-storey hall. It sells everything from red peppers, greenlemons, and dried fish, to combs, travel bags, and traditional medicinal remedies. On the first floor is the Nana Benz, which is noted for its clothing.
Nearer the centre of the city, there is the Akodessewa market, which is much more specialized than the general market. There are fetishes, gongons, and gris-gris.
The city was founded in the 18th century by the Ewe people.
The city's population grew rapidly in the second half of the 20th century. The city had approximately 30,000 inhabitants in 1950: by 1960 (the year Togo gained its independence from France) the population had reached 80,000, increasing to 200,000 by 1970.
Since 1975, investments grew by 10% in the past year and had been targeted for development. At the same time, railways, which have an important role in serving the suburbs of the city, deteriorated however.
Market gardening around the city increased, spurred by growing unemployment, rural migration and the demand for vegetables. Market gardening, first extended to the north, is carried on mainly along the beach (whose sand is very salty), and planting hedges provides protection.
As in most equatorial climates, the city has two rainy seasons, classified as tropical wet and dry. The first starts in April and ends in July, then a second rainy season starts in early September and ends in late November.
The heat is constant, the average maximum temperature in the shade is on average 30 °C (86 °F) in the afternoon, and the average minimum temperature is 23 °C (73 °F) in the morning. Early in the year, the Harmattan, a dry wind from the Sahara, can bring the temperature down as low as 19 °C (66 °F) in the mornings.
The climate of Lomé is also greatly influenced by the ocean. The heat is stable, without excessive peaks, and the wind coming from the sea makes it quite pleasant.
Lomé is surrounded by a lagoon to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the south, the village of Bè to the east and the border of Aflao, Ghana to the West. The city has seen massive growth in recent times due to an oil refinery in the east.
Neighborhoods in Lomé include Ablogamé, Adawlato, Amoutivé, Bé, Dékon, Forever, Kodjoviakopé, Noukafou, Nyékonakpoé, Tokoin and Xédranawoe.
Neighbourhoods in the north of the city are almost separated from the Lomé is recognized by the Togolese government as a Municipal Greater Urban Area. Cities and towns in the Greater Lomé Metropolitan Area include: Aflao (Ghana), Agbalépédogan, Akodésséwa, Anfamé, Baguida, Kanyikopé, Kélékougan, Lomé II, Totsigan, Adidogome, Kegue and Totsivi.
Located 200 kilometres (124 miles) from Accra and 150 kilometres (93 miles) from Cotonou, Lomé is an important port, including a free trade zone opened in 1968. It exports phosphates, coffee, cocoa, cotton and palm oil, much of the transit going to the neighbouring countries of Ghana, Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso. The port also holds an oil refinery.
The University of Lomé is now known in West Africa. The country's main airport is situated outside the city. The tallest building in Lomé, and throughout the country, is the Hotel Corinthia (36 storeys or 102 m).
The city in general has great potential, because tourism is growing in the country. However, political instability that began to surface in the passing years and continues today has seriously affected the country's tourism sector. In 2003, the country received 57,539 visitors, an increase of 1% compared to 2002. 22% of tourists came from France, 10% of Burkina Faso and 9% were from Benin.
Lomé has Internet cafés, and they are cheap. You buy time by the hour (something like a couple dollars an hour), but most of the cafés feature very slow computers and Internet connection speeds.
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