The city of Kumasi was founded in the 1680’s by King Osei Tutu I to serve as the capital of the Asante State (Fynn, 1971). Given its strategic location and political dominance, Kumasi as a matter of course, developed into a major commercial centre with all major trade routes converging on it (Dickson, 1969).
However, it came under the influence of the British rule in 1890 (Adu Boahen, 1965). With time the city began to expand and grow thereby making it second only to Accra in terms of land area, population size, social life and economic activity. Its strategic location has also endowed it with the status of the principal transport terminal and has assured its pivotal role in the vast and profitable distribution of goods in the country and beyond.
Kumasi is located in the transitional forest zone and is about 270km north of the national capital, Accra. It is between latitude 6.35o – 6.40o and longitude 1.30o – 1.35o, an elevation which ranges between 250 – 300 metres above sea level with an area of about 254 square kilometres. The unique centrality of the city as a traversing point from all parts of the country makes it a special place for many to migrate to. The metropolitan area shares boundaries with Kwabre East District to the north, Atwima District to the west, Ejisu-Juaben Municipal to the east and Bosomtwe to the south.
Its beautiful layout and greenery has accorded it the accolade of being the “Garden City of West Africa”. From the three communities of Adum, Krobo and Bompata, it has grown in a concentric form to cover an area of approximately ten (10) kilometers in radius. The direction of growth was originally along the arterial roads due to the accessibility they offered resulting in a radial pattern of development. The city is a rapidly growing one with an annual growth rate of 5.47 per cent (Regional Statistical Office, Kumasi). It encompasses about 90 suburbs, many of which were absorbed into it as a result of the process of growth and physical expansion. The 2000 Population Census kept the population at 1,170,270. It was however projected to 1,610,867 in 2006 and has further been projected to be 1,889,934 by 2009.