Lomé

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Lomé

(lômā`), city (2010 pop. 837,437), capital of Togo, on the Gulf of Guinea. It is the country's administrative, communications, and industrial center, and the chief port, handling such items as coffee, cocoa, copra, and palm nuts. In 1978, the city's oil refinery began production. Railroads connect the city with Togo's agricultural interior and with Benin. Lomé was a small village until 1897, when it became the capital of the German colony of Togo. Togo's main airport is outside Lomé.

Lomé

 

the capital of Togo and the country’s political, economic, and cultural center; a deep-water port on the Gulf of Guinea. It has an equatorial climate, with temperatures averaging 31°C in the hottest months (March and April) and 23°C in the coolest months (July and August). Annual precipitation totals 775 mm. Population, about 200,000 (1973). The city is governed by a municipal council headed by a mayor.

Lomé was founded in the late 19th century on the site of one of the settlements of the Ewe people that had existed since the 1720’s. In 1897 it became the capital of the German protectorate of Togo. After World War I (1914-18) it formed the administrative center of the Togo mandate, and after World War II (1939-45), of the Togo trust territory, administered by France. Since the proclamation of Togo’s independence on Apr. 27, 1960, it has been the capital of the Togo Republic. The city is a highway junction and has a railroad station and an international airport. The major industries are the working of marble and cotton ginning. There are also a beer brewery, footwear and textile factories, and other small enterprises. Phosphorites, marble, coffee, cocoa, cotton, and palm products are exported.

The picturesquely situated city has many parks and is separated from the ocean by a broad belt of sandy beaches and palm groves. In the western part of Lome are found the administrative and public buildings, including the Party House, the Presidential Palace, the National Assembly, and a sports complex, all built since 1960. Here also are a cathedral (early 20th century) and Independence Monument (concrete, 1960), executed by the architect and sculptor J. Couster. The municipal hospital is to the north, and to the east lie the commercial center and the African quarters consisting of pise houses. The city is the site of the National Institute for Scientific Research, the National Library, a university (founded in 1965 as a college, becoming a university in 1970), an administrative school, a technical college, and a medical school. Educational institutions and cultural organizations sponsor amateur theatrical groups. Festivals of dramatic art and folk songs have been held since 1970.