town, southern Benin, West Africa. It lies along the Gulf of Guinea. The town was the main port of the Kingdom of Abomey in the 18th and 19th centuries. Portuguese, French, Dutch, Danish, British, and Americans all vied for a share of the slave and palm-oil trade made available through Ouidah by the efficiently organized and centralized kingdom. In 1893 the area came under French control. Some of the old forts, a cathedral, and a temple of the Abomey traditional religion remain. Coconut, palm, and coffee are grown in the area. Ouidah is connected by road and railway to Cotonou, 20 miles (32 km) east, the major port and commercial centre of Benin. Pop. (2002) 37,647.
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