Photographer's Note

Sokodé is the second largest city in Togo and seat of the Tchaoudjo and Centrale Region in the center of the country, 339 kilometres (211 mi) north of Lomé. With a population of 86,500 (2004), currently at around 113,000, the city is situated between the Mo and Mono rivers, and it is a commercial center for the surrounding agricultural areas. It is a multi-ethnic and multi-religious city, but is dominated by Islam.

Old indigenous strains of the region are mixed in a first-time immigrants Gurma, from the eastern part of the Niger Bend, between Ouagadougou and Niamey, which brought into the political chiefdoms. In this structure, traders and craftsmen Sudan (the Mandinka, from historic Mali) and Hausa added from the 16th century a dynamic force, which will be the success of the city: Islam , and with it the sense of cases related to trade relations. By choosing in late 1897, to install a post Sokodé, Germans endorse the role of such chefferies Kotokoli.

The city has thus developed in precolonial times as a commercial crossroads on the road to the cola between Ghana and Benin, and now as a place of passage on the only road north-south Togo, linking the capital Lome in Burkina Faso. Urbanization has accelerated during the colonization. The city consists of ancient villages have now become real neighborhoods. Its growth has also been the work of entire villages that had approached the city and intercity migration.

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Additional Photos by Gerrit van der Linden (Gerrit) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6234 W: 94 N: 10411] (59968)
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