Cotonou / Kotonou
Bénin / Benin / Dahomey
Shield of Benin

Population: 779,314
District Area: 79 km2
Leader: Léhady Vinagnon Soglo (Parti de la renaissance du Bénin)

Name and Etymology:
Kotonou means "by the river of death" in the Fon language.

Cotonou is Benin's largest city and a major transport hub for West Africa. It is a major port for trade from the land-locked countries of the Sahel as well as trade from Abidjan displaced by war. The city is also a center for the manufacture of palm oil, textiles, cement, petroleum products, and iron.

The city was founded in 1830 as a slaving port by the King of Dahomey and it came under French rule in 1878. Benin became independent from France in 1960; Cotonou became part of the People's Republic of Benin from 1975 through 1990. It is Benin's largest city and the seat of government, though not the capital.

Link to municipal website.

Cotonou Benin from the air
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