Kumasi (historically spelled Comassie or Coomassie and usually spelled Kumase in Twi) is a city in Ashanti Region, and is among the largest metropolitan areas in Ghana. Kumasi is near Lake Bosomtwe, in a rain forest region, and is the commercial, industrial and cultural capital of Asanteman. Kumasi is approximately 500 kilometres (300 mi) north of the Equator and 200 kilometres (100 mi) north of the Gulf of Guinea. Kumasi is alternatively known as “The Garden City” because of its many beautiful species of flowers and plants. It is also called Oseikrom (Osei Tutu’s town). Kumasi is described as Ghana’s second city.
There is evidence that the area around Kumasi has been kept cleared since the Neolithic age and that the first human settlement was at Lake Bosomtwe.
The city rose to prominence in 1695 when it became capital of the Ashanti Confederacy due to the activities of its ruler Osei Tutu. The ruler of Kumasi, known as the Asantehene, also served as ruler of the Confederacy. With their 1701 victory over Denkyira the Asante confederacy became the primary state among the Ashantis. Parts of the city, including the then royal residence, were destroyed by British troops in the Third Anglo-Ashanti War of 1874.
Lady Mary Alice Hodgson, the first English lady to visit Ashanti, wrote “The Siege of Kumasi” an account of the siege of the fort by the nationals of Ashanti Confederation Ashantiland and of the subsequent march to the coast.(She was the daughter of Hon. W. A. G. Young, C.M.G., former governor of the Gold Coast, and the wife of Sir Frederick Mitchell Hodgson, K.C.M.G., the governor of the Gold Coast in 1900.)
In 1926, following the return of the Ashanti king, Prempeh I after a 30-year exile Kumasi was restored as the ceremonial control over the Ashanti sub-states and the full role of king was restored by the colonial administration in 1935. The city holds an important place in the history of the Ashanti people, as legend claims that it was here Okomfo Anokye received the golden stool, an embodiment of the soul of the Ashanti nation Ashanti.
Kumasi Ghana Economy
The main occupations in Kumasi are professional such as services and manufacturing.
Mining and exports
Gold bars and Theobroma cacao and Cacao
Due to large gold deposits that have been mined in the area, Kumasi is the wealthiest city in Ashantiland. The city’s major produce are gold bars, hardwood and cocoa.
Kumasi has 50% of the timber industry of Ashantiland, and the Kaasi Industrial Area plays an important role in the local industry. The Guinness Ghana Breweries is based in Kumasi.
Solar panels are prevalent in Kumasi and Ashanti. Solar energy technology is a major energy source and contributor of electricity generation in Ashanti.
Much of the shopping and trading activity in the city takes place at Kumasi’s shopping streets, in and around Kejetia Market and Adum. These two areas – Kejetia and Adum – have a common boundary. There is also heavy economic activities at Bantama and Asafo. Asafo in particular is the printing hub of Kumasi. Most of the printing done in Kumasi and Ashanti Region as a whole is done in Kumasi.