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Lomé
—  City  —
Panoramic view of Lome

Seal
Lomé is located in Togo
Lomé
Location in Togo
Coordinates: 6°8′16″N 1°12′45″E / 6.13778°N 1.2125°E / 6.13778; 1.2125Coordinates: 6°8′16″N 1°12′45″E / 6.13778°N 1.2125°E / 6.13778; 1.2125
Country  Togo
Region Maritime Region
Prefecture Greater Lomé
Government
 - Mayor Aouissi Lodé
Population
 - Total 737,751
Time zone UTC + 0

Lomé, with an estimated population of 737,751, 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.

Contents

History

The city was founded in the eighteenth century by the Ewe people.

Lomé today

Photograph of Boulevard 13. Taken in January, Lomé

The city's population grew rapidly in the second half of the twentieth century. Indeed, if 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 and 200,000 by 1970.

From the year 1975, investments were increasingly huge, but not always in areas which had been targeted for development, and Togo, being a small country open to all winds, was a hub of trade between its more powerful neighbors. At the same time, it was a tragedy because of the deteriorating railways, which have an important role in serving the suburbs of the city.

Moreover, we can see the development of market gardening around the city, spurred by growing unemployment, rural migration and the demand for vegetables. Market gardening, first extended to the north, is mainly on the beach (the sand is very salty), and planting hedges provides protection.

The various studies of the land market of the city show that the areas are quite heterogeneous, combining opulent villas and modest housing, without social and spatial division of the city. This is because the Loméens are very attached to their patch of land and what they call their "home" (at home). This has led to a freeze land. But even though the city is not a socially divided city, the fact remains that Lomé is experiencing increasing problems related to garbage collection, and the fight against unhealthy urban living conditions has become a priority of the city and its inhabitants.

Taxis in Lomé

Lome is a city that is changing and developing at a breakneck speed, to the rhythms of night life, the hustle and bustle of the general market, cyber cafes, motorcycles / taxis (zemidjans) and cargo the in free zone of the port of Lomé.\

Geography

On its inception, Lomé was trapped between the lagoon in the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the south, the village of Bè in the east and the border of Aflao, Ghana in the West. Today the city has seen a massive growth with the oil refinery in the East.

Neighborhoods in Lomé include Ablogamé, Adawlato, Amoutivé, , Dékon, Forever, Kodjoviakopé, Noukafou, Nyékonakpoé, Tokoin and Xédranawoe.

Neighbourhoods in the north of the city are almost separated from the centre by a lagoon. The lagoon itself covers 30 km².

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. Services of the Municipality of Lomé far beyond the boundaries of the Gulf and the town north and east of the city.

Distance of Lomé from other Togolese cities

Climate

View of the Lomé beach and neighbourhood from IBIS Hotel

As in most equatorial climates, the city has two rainy seasons, 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 in the afternoon, and the average minimum temperature is 23 °C in the morning. Earlier this year, a dry wind from the Sahara brought down the temeprature to as low as 19 °C in the morning.

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.

The city has a distinctively low rainfall for this latitude, in fact, Lomé enjoys a micro climate that allows her to reach a low rainfall for the region (800 mm per year). By comparison, Paris receives an average of 650 mm per year.

Politics

International agreements

A number of international agreements have been signed in Lomé.

Lomé Convention

The Lomé Convention is a trade and aid agreement between the European Union (EU) and 71 African, Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP) countries. It was first signed on February 28, 1975 in Lomé. The first Lomé Convention (Lomé I), which came into force in April 1976, was designed to provide a new framework of cooperation between the then European Community (EC) and developing ACP countries, in particular former British, Dutch, Belgian and French colonies. It had two main aspects. It provided for most ACP agricultural and mineral exports to enter the EC free of duty. Preferential access based on a quota system was agreed for products, such as sugar and beef, in competition with EC agriculture. Secondly, the EC committed to the ECU for 3 billion in aid and investment in the ACP countries.

The convention was renegotiated and renewed three times. Lomé II (January 1981 to February 1985) increased the aid and investment expenditure for the ECU to 5.5 billion. Lomé III came into force in March 1985 (trade provisions) and May 1986 (aid), and expired in 1990; it increased commitments to ECU by 8.5 billion. Lomé IV was signed in December 1989. Its trade provisions cover ten years, 1990 to 1999. Aid and investment commitments for the first five years amounted to 12 billion. In all, some 70 ACP countries are party to Lomé IV, compared with the 46 signatories of Lomé I.

Lomé Peace Accord

The Lomé Peace Accord was a peace agreement between the warring parties in the civil war in Sierra Leone. With the assistance of the international community, Sierra Leone President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah and Revolutionary United Front leader Foday Sankoh signed the Peace Accord on July 7, 1999. However, the agreement did not last and the Sierra Leone Civil War continued for two more years.

Demographics

Lomé000.jpg
Demographic evolution of Lomé
1892 1 500 inhabitants
1896 2,000 inhabitants
1900 3,000 inhabitants
1904 4,000 inhabitants
1907 6,000 inhabitants
1911 8,000 inhabitants
1930 15,000 inhabitants
1938 18,000 inhabitants
1950 33,000 inhabitants
1955 43,000 inhabitants
1960 85,000 inhabitants
1970 186,000 inhabitants
1981 375 499 inhabitants
1990 450,000 inhabitants
1997 573,000 inhabitants
2006 737,751 inhabitants

Economy

Located 200 km from Accra and 150 km 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 houses 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 102m), a 5-star hotel and very modern.

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

Architecture

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 colorful 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 2 Fevrier Sofitel Hotel, rising to 102 meters.

Items at the Fetish Market

Not far away is the Lomé Grand Market, with a large 3-storey hall. It sells everything from red peppers, green lemons, dried fish, combs, travel bags, and traditional medicinal remedies. On the first floor is the "Nana Benz", which is noted for its clothing. Nearer the center 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 coast is considerably less frantic than the market, with local fishermen quietly pushing their large boats out to sea. To the west of the city is a residential area which faces the sea. The area has long streets, punctuated by official government buildings including the Palace of Justice and the various embassies and consulates. Farther north, near the Monument of Independence, is the house of the Rally of the Togolese People (RPT), a major convention center, within which lies the Togo National Museum. The museum contains collections, jewelry, musical instruments, dolls, pottery, weapons and many other objects showing the arts and traditions.

Education

Lome2.jpg

The University of Lomé (previously called University of Benin) is located in Lomé Tokoin Campus. Also, The British School of Lome is located in the city.

Transportation

The city is served by the Lomé-Tokoin Airport. The tallest building in Lomé and in all of Togo is the 2 Fevrier Sofitel Hotel building. The former railway line to Blitta runs from the airport to the city.

Notable residents

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the suspected Flight 253 Christmas Day bomber

Sister cities

References

External links


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Lome article)

From Wikitravel

Lomé is the capital and largest city of Togo.

Understand

In 1897 Lomé became capital of the German colony Togo.

In 1975 the Lomé Convention was signed between the European Economic Community and 46 African, Caribbean and Pacific states.

Get in

The main border crossing is Aflao, from Ghana. Visas cost 10,000CFA and are good for 2 weeks. The international airport has direct flights from Casablanca and Paris Tuesdays and Thursdays. Other air traffic exists, but it is sporadic.

Get around

Motos are plentiful throughout the capital, and a good distance on a moto will cost you 300CFA. Taxis can be rented from around 500CFA and up, with 2000CFA getting you basically anywhere in town. There are route taxis, costing normally 200-400CFA, but if you are visiting they are difficult to figure out and only ever really used by local folks.

There are rental car agencies downtown, but if you are just coming for a few days motos are your best option.

The beach road runs directly beside the ocean from Ghana to Benin. The Boulevard Circulaire (le 13 Janvier) acts as a main artery through downtown Lome, a hemisphere that encloses the Marche and Government buildings. It starts at the beach in Kodjoviakope and wraps around to the beach in Bea.

Eat

Local street food is plentiful, and a large plate of rice or pate will cost you 200CFA.

Lebanese restaurants are peppered throughout Lome, with the best being in Kodjoviakope and wrapping around with the Boulevard. I recommend Al Mohatas by the Route de Kpalime and Al Sultan's in Kodjoviakope. Most plates run 1000 - 2000CFA

There are two chinese restaurants, one in Kodjoviakope, the other in Asigame, down the street from the Togocel main offices.

The Galion, a swiss owned hotel near the beach in Kodjoviakope, has an excellent restaurant serving steaks, salads, deserts, etc. Mains run 3000-5000CFA, but it is worth it.

  • La Belle Epoque French Restaurant on the backside of the German embassy. Menu of the day from 6500 FCFA, Hamburgers from 1500 FCFA.
  • Marox Grill 24, Rue du Lac, B.P. 1268, Tel. 222 41 38 The official name is "Bena Grill", but no one uses this. German-style Schnitzel from 3300 FCFA, fries start at 900 FCFA and a liter of beer will cost you 2200 FCFA.
  • Alt München Tel. 227 63 21, near the roundabout at the freeport. Munich cuisine, but a little bit expensive.

Drink

Lome really comes alive at night, the local Lomeians dressing to the nines and going out to the numerous bars and discotheques. There are many western style dance clubs downtown. Two of the best (and most expensive) are Privelege, attached to the hotel Palm Beach and 7Clash, in Dekon on the Boulevard.

For a more relaxed time, check out the beach close to the border with Ghana - seating is plentiful and, if you're lucky, the Castle Milk Stouts are pretty cold. Be sure to get off of the beach soon after nightfall, as it is easily the most dangerous part of the city.

Local drinks can be found if you dig a little deeper. The local brew of choice is Tchouk, locally brewed millet beer. A calabash full at a tchouk-stand costs 100CFA in the city. Other drinks are Deha - palm wine, and Sodabe - Togolese bathtub hooch - grain liquor that burns going down and coming back up. Be weary, it is only for the truly initiated.

Sleep

Decent hotels (as in there is a bed, sink, and shower) are in northern Lome and cost about 15,000 to 16,000 CFA (about $30 at the time I travelled).

  • 2 Fevrier Sofitel Hotel, Place De L'independance St. With its 36 floors this is Togo's tallest building, and is visible from anywhere in the city. It was finished in 1980.

Hotels are a dime a dozen the closer you get to the beach, the most expensive being the 2 Fevrier and Hotel Sarakawa, on the beach road. Amenities are very accomodating, but they are incredibly expensive for Lome - 100,000+ CFA / night.

There are a few nice hotels with A/C in Kodjoviakope and surrounding areas that will run you 7000 - 15000CFA. Check out The Galion, My Diana's, and for the budget traveller, ask for Mammy's, down the road from the Angolan Embassy (3500CFA per room, rooms fit 2-3).

Contact

Lome has Internet cafes, and they are cheap. You buy time by the hour (something like a couple dollars an hour), but most of the cafes feature very slow computers and internet connection speeds.

  • United States, Boulevard Eyadema B.P. 852, Lomé, (+228) 261 5470 (fax: (+228) 261 5501), [1]. Mondays-Thursdays:7:30 a.m to 5:00 p.m., Fridays: 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m..  edit
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Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

English

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Proper noun

Lomé

  1. The capital city of Togo

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