| Share
 

Cotonou

Cotonou (kōtōnōˈ) [key], city (1992 pop. 536,827), capital of Atlantique prov., S Benin, on the Gulf of Guinea. It is Benin's chief seaport and commercial center. Cotonou's airport and road and rail connections also make it the transportation and communications hub of Benin. The city has small-scale industries; manufactures include palm oil and cake, brewing, textiles, cement and other construction materials, aluminum sheet, beverages, and processed seafood. Motor vehicles and bicycles are assembled, and there are sawmills in the city. Cotonou is a distribution center for petroleum products, and bauxite and iron are exported (primarily to Guinea) from there. Drilling for offshore oil is carried on nearby. Cotonou has research institutes concerned with textiles, tropical agriculture, and geology.

Cotonou was originally a small state that was dominated by the kingdom of Dahomey (see Benin) from the 18th cent. In 1851 the French made a treaty with the Dahomean king Gezo that allowed them to establish a trading post at Cotonou. In 1883 the French navy forcibly occupied the city to forestall British ambitions in the area. The port was enlarged and modernized in the 1960s.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

More on Cotonou from Infoplease:

  • Cotonou: meaning and definitions - Cotonou: Definition and Pronunciation
  • Suggestions for spelling of encyclopedia/cotonou - The Infoplease spelling checker combines spelling help with our dictionary and thesaurus
  • Porto-Novo - Porto-Novo Porto-Novo , city (1992 pop. 179,138), capital of Benin, S Benin, a port on Porto-Novo ...
  • Parakou - Parakou Parakou , town (1992 pop. 103,577), central Benin. It is the trade center for a cotton, ...
  • Abomey - Abomey Abomey , town (1992 pop. 66,595), S Benin. It is the trade center for an agricultural region ...

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Benin Political Geography

24 X 7

Private Tutor

Click Here for Details
24 x 7 Tutor Availability
Unlimited Online Tutoring
1-on-1 Tutoring