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Kumasi, Ghana

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Kumasi, Ghana

"Coomassie" redirects here. For the dye, see Coomassie Brilliant Blue.

Top: Fort of Kumasi, Middle left: Kejetia Market, Middle right: Kwame Nkrumah Science and Technology University, Bottom: Manhyia Palace

Location of Kumasi in Ashanti

Coordinates: 6°40′00″N 1°37′00″W / 6.66667°N 1.61667°W / 6.66667; -1.61667Coordinates: 6°40′00″N 1°37′00″W / 6.66667°N 1.61667°W / 6.66667; -1.61667

Region Ashanti
District Kumasi Metropolitan
Founded 1680
 • Type Mayor–council
 • Mayor Kojo Bonsu
 • Total 254 km2 (98 sq mi)
Elevation 250 m (820 ft)
Population (2013 est.)[2]
 • Total 2,069,350
 • Density 8,100/km2 (21,000/sq mi)
Time zone UTC
Area code(s) 032

Kumasi (historically spelled Comassie or Coomassie)[3] is a city in Ashanti, South Ghana. Kumasi is located near Lake Bosumtwi, in a Rain Forest region, and is the commercial, industrial and cultural capital of Asanteman. Kumasi is approximately 300 miles (480 km) north of the Equator and 100 miles (160 km) north of the Gulf of Guinea. Kumasi is alternatively known as "The Garden City" because of its many beautiful species of flowers and plants.It is also called Oseikrom.



There is evidence that the area around Kumasi has been kept cleared since the Neolithic age, and that the first human settlement was at Lake Bosumtwi.


The city rose to prominence in 1695 when it became capital of the Ashanti Confederacy due to the activities of its ruler Osei Tutu. The ruler of Kumasi, known as the Asantehene, also served as ruler of the Confederacy. With their 1701 victory over Denkyira the Asante confederacy became the primary state among the Akans.[4] Parts of the city, including the Royal Palace, were destroyed by British troops in the Third Anglo-Ashanti War of 1874.

Lady Mary Alice Hodgson, the first English lady to visit Ashanti, wrote "The Siege of Kumassi" an account of the siege of the fort by the nationals of Ashanti Confederation and of the subsequent march to the coast.[5]

She was the daughter of Hon. W. A. G. Young, C.M.G., former Governor of the Gold Coast, and the wife of Sir Frederick Mitchell Hodgson, K.C.M.G., the Governor of the Gold Coast (1900).[5]

Kumasi remains a royal city, in 1926 the Ashanti was restored ceremonial control over Kumasi, the full role of king was restored in 1935. The city holds an important place in the history of the Ashanti people, as legend claims that it was here Okomfo Anokye received the Golden stool, an embodiment of the soul of the Ashanti nation.


Climate chart (explanation)
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation totals in mm

Kumasi features a tropical wet and dry climate, with relatively constant temperatures throughout the course of the year. Kumasi averages around 1400 mm of rain per year.

The city almost features two different rainy seasons, a longer rainy season from March through July and a shorter rainy season from September to November.

In actuality, the months of February through to November is one long wet season, with a relative lull in precipitation in August. Similar to the rest of West Africa, Kumasi experiences the harmattan during the “low sun” months. Lasting from December to February, the harmattan is the primary source of the city’s dry season.


Kumasi has a population of 2,069,350.[2] Kumasi is the largest city in Asanteman. The main occupations in Kumasi are professional occupations such as services and manufacturing.

Mining and Exports

Due to large gold deposits that have been mined in the area, Kumasi has been among the wealthier cities in Africa. The city's major exports are gold bars, hardwood and cocoa.


Kumasi has 50% of the timber industry of Ghana, and the Kaasai Industrial Area plays an important role in the Kumasi and Ashanti industry. The Guinness Ghana Breweries is based there and is listed on the Ghana Stock Exchange.


Much of the shopping and trading activity in the city takes place at Kumasi's shopping streets, in and around Kejetia Market and Adum. These two areas; Kejetia and Andum are in close proximity with the two having a common boundary.


Solar panels are prevalent in Kumasi and Ashanti; Solar energy technology is a major energy source and contributor of electricity generation in Ashanti.



Public transport in the city is provided by 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, which cost more but provide for a more comfortable ride. In 2002, the city introduced metro bus services. By air, is the Kumasi International Airport.

Bus Transport

Road Transport Services: Kumasi Transit Bus and Taxis
Kumasi has a bus rapid transit system for the public road transport in Kumasi (MetroMass).[6] This is so that the congestion problems on roads can be solved, and could also make bus transport more common in the city.[7]

Rail transport

Kumasi is served by the Kumasi International Airport and railway lines to Sekondi-Takoradi. The train service has been suspended for several years because of damaged track, bridges and locomotives. A $6 billion project to upgrade the railways, was due to get underway in 2011.[8]


As of 2011, construction of the Boankra Inland Port, about 25 kilometres (16 mi) away, has come to a halt.[9]


Features of the city include Fort Kumasi (built by in 1896 to replace an Asante fort and now a museum) and the Kumasi Hat Museum.

Royal Asante attractions include the Kumasi National Cultural Centre (including the Prempeh II Jubilee Museum with various Asante regalia including a reproduction of the golden stool), the Okomfo Anokye Sword, the Asantehene's Palace (built in 1972), and the Manhyia Palace, dating from 1925, now a museum.

Kumasi is also home to a zoo, and St. Peter's Cathedral Basilica is the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Kumasi. The large Kumasi Central Market and Tafo Kumasi.

Education and science

Pearson House of Prempeh College, and Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) main entrance.

Secondary and College

There are notable senior high schools like Prempeh College which was founded in Kumasi by the King Osei Tutu Agyeman Prempeh II in 1949, and Opoku Ware School; named after the Asanteman King Opoku Ware I and founded in 1952, and there is a Kumasi Polytechnic. John Kufuor attended and graduated from the Prempeh College.


The Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi (formerly the Kumasi College of Technology) is the Premier University of Science and Technology in West Africa. The city's most famous son is the 7th Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, who attended and graduated from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. Garden City University College


The Kumasi has a teaching hospital to support the medical training at the University (Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital), the West End Hospital, several other private hospitals, public clinics and small hospitals.


Festivals and Events

The Adae Kese festival is a very important, albeit rare, celebration of Ashanti Kingdom and Ashanti region. It is held in a large open space in Kumasi. The festival is normally well attended and embraced by Ashanti's from all walks of life. The Adae Kese celebrations are magnified forms of Sunday Adae festivals, celebrated every six weeks in accordance with the Akan calendar which is based on a cycle of 42 days and nine months in a year. Invariably, the last Akwasidae festival is set aside for the celebration of Adae Kese. Adae Kese is usually held to climax celebrations of specific milestones and achievements of the Ashanti Kingdom. It was first celebrated to mark the attainment of statehood of a newly celebrated people, in the aftermath of the Ashanti war of independence, otherwise known as the "Battle of Feyiase", which was fought against the Denkyiras between 1697 and 1699. Adae Kese, like other Akwasidae events, serves as the platform for pledging allegiance to the kingdom and to affirm loyalty to the occupant of the Golden Stool which represents the unity and embodiment of all Ashanti. The event is marked in two phases. There are solemn private observances which are performed at the King's palace (Manhyia Palace) chambers by accredited members of the royal family and other functionaries. The royal family blessing and protection guide the Ashanti Kingdom to prosperity. The public celebrations take the form of a colourful durbar of queen mothers presided over by the Asantehene. It involves the display of cherished regalia and paraphernalia accompanied by traditional drumming with the Akan drum and dancing as well as firing of musketry amidst pomp and pageantry. The Adae festival is a continuous demonstration of faith in the vision and heritage of the Asante Kingdom, which has existed since the introduction of the Golden Stool in 1700. The festival is also to commemorate and re-enforce the independence of the Ashanti Kingdom and people and an occasion to re-affirm each state's loyalty to the confederacy instituted in the aftermath of the Ashanti war of independence fought against the Denkyiras between 1697–1699. It provides a platform for the King to meet and share his thoughts with his sub-dukes and subjects. Tourist visits in Kumasi often coincide with an Akwasidae Festival, (Sunday Adae). Akwasidae dates can be determined by counting 6 weeks down the Akan calendar from 1 Adae. For example, in 1991 the dates were: January 6, February 17, March 31 May 12, June 23, August 4, September 15, October 27, December 8.

skyline of Kumasi


The local football (soccer) team, the Kumasi Asante Kotoko has won several national and continental trophies and awards. Their stadium, Kumasi Sports Stadium also known as Baba Yara Stadium was built in 1959, renovated in 1978, and again in 2007 with a seating capacity of 40,000.[10]

Professional wrestler Kofi Kingston was also born in Kumasi. It is also the home of King Faisal Football Club a premier division side. There is the Royal Golf Club which has the Asantehene as President.[11]

International relations

Twin towns and sister cities

Kumasi is twinned with:

Country City County / District / Region / State Date
Ivory Coast Ivory Coast Abidjan Lagunes 2004
United States USA Atlanta Georgia 2010
Netherlands Netherlands Almere Flevoland 2001
United States USA 25px Charlotte North Carolina 1996
United States USA Columbus Ohio 2008
Canada Canada 25px Kitchener Ontario 2010
United States USA Newark New Jersey 1999
South Africa South Africa
25px Gauteng 2010
United States USA 25px Winston-Salem North Carolina 2001
* Numbers in date column list the year of twinning.


See also


External links

  • Kumasi News
  • Interactive Community Platform for Ashanti Region
  • MSN Map
  • KNUST home page
  • Kumasi Market Video

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