Sister City Relationship Established 1995
Located in the rain forest region, Kumasi is the second largest city in Ghana with a population of over 1.5 million. Kumasi is approximately 300 miles north of the Equator. The majority of its residents are descendants of the Ashanti tribe.
Trade, commerce, farming and mining are the leading industries in the region. Ghana is one of the wealthier countries in Africa, with much of its wealth derived from substantial gold deposits and agricultural products. Cocoa and high-quality hardwood are other major exports of the Kumasi region.
The Ashanti region has been independent since 1875, though Ghana itself only declared independence in 1957. King Osei Tutu founded Kumasi in the early 19th century. The king named the city after the KUM tree, which he planted as a symbol of the Ashanti Empire's victory over the British. Currently, Osei Tutu II
, the 16th monarch of the Ashanti kingdom, sits on the Golden Stool. He resides in Kumasi in the Manhyia Palace.
Although English is spoken widely throughout Ghana, Twi is the main language spoken in Kumasi. Before colonialism the Empire of Ashanti stretched from the Togolese Republic to the Ivory Coast but today it is only Kumasi that holds strong faith and takes much pride in its ancient Ashanti Empire roots.
Kumasi is predominantly Christian, but Christianity is often mixed with early African traditions. Religious services take place all day long on Sundays. Kente Cloth, a handmade textile woven in Kumasi, is a traditional form of clothing in Ghana. It is worn in special occasion such as weddings and ceremonies.
Soccer is very popular in Kumasi and many matches take place on a new soccer field built for the Africa Cup.
Things to Do and Sights to See:
Within Ghana, flights run from Kumasi to Accra (Ghana's largest city) twice a day for about $65. In addition, buses and "tro-tros" provide access to various Ghanean cities, including Accra, Cape Coast, and Tamale. Such bus tickets should cost no more than $10.
Manhyia Palace Museum
: This palace was built by the British in 1925 and used by the Ashanti rulers until 1974. Because the palace's original relics, artifacts and furniture are still in place, the Manhyia Palace Museum is the perfect place to go to get a feel for how a modern Ashanti ruler lives.
: Kejetia Market is the largest open-air market in West Africa. The market is bustling with life and commerce. Popular goods include kente cloth, Ashanti sandals and glass beads.
: Located about 20 miles southeast of Kumasi, Lake Bosumtwi is a natural crater lake. The Ashanti consider Bosumtwi a sacred lake, where the souls of the dead bid farewell to the god Twi. In addition, the lake is an ideal spot for mountaineering, diving, swimming and relaxation.
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Additional information on Kumasi:
Ghana Webs' About Kumasi Page