Lomé is the capital and largest city of Togo. It has an urban population of 837,437 while there were 1,570,283 permanent residents in its metropolitan area as of the 2011 census.
Located on the Gulf of Guinea, Lomé is the country's administrative and industrial center, which includes an oil refinery, and its chief port, where it exports coffee, cocoa, copra, and palm kernels. Lomé is not to be confused with the so-called federal capital district because it serves categorically as the administrative capital of the Togolese Republic including the regional and district level divisions called Maritime Region and Golfe Prefecture respectively. The Ewes in Ghana, Benin, and Togo who first settled here preferred it to be so, to prevent them from taking the necessary steps towards the gaining of independence. The city was founded by the Ewes and thereafter in the 19th century by German, British and African traders, becoming the capital of Togoland in 1897. The city's population grew rapidly in the second half of the 20th century. 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, increasing to 200,000 by 1970.