- This article discusses Ghanaian geography. For the Dell handheld device, see Dell Axim.
Axim is a town, district and kingdom on the coast of Ghana. It lies 64 kilometers west of the port city of Takoradi, south of the highway leading to the Côte d'Ivoire border, in the Western Region to the west of Cape Three Points.
Axim has a prominent seaside fort, Fort Santo Antonio, built by the Portuguese in 1515 and between 1642 and 1872 expanded and altered by the Dutch, who were in possession during that period. The fort, now property of the Ghanaian state is currently in the custody of the Ghana Museums and Monuments Board (GMMB) and is open to the public. Off-shore there are some picturesque islands, including one with a lighthouse.
The town is divided into two parts: Upper Axim and Lower Axim. The fort lies roughly on the division between the two parts, but closest to the centre of Upper Axim. Here, several large mansions of lumber-trading magnates and other businessmen remain from the British colonial period. Axim is ruled by two traditional omanhenes or chiefs and a political District Chief Executive of the Nzema East Municipality.
The economy relies mainly on Axim's fishing fleet, but the area also has two tourist beach resorts as well as coconut and rubber plantations. The scenic and fertile terrain features many palm trees. Local artisanal miners pan for gold in streams inland from Axim. Axim has a transport station, two major bank branches, and some rural banks.
Every August, the major festival of Kundum takes place, coinciding with the best fishing-catch of the year; people come to Axim for the festivities and to fish and trade from several countries on the Guinea Coast.
Culturally, Axim forms part of the Nzema complex within the Akan culture. Residents speak the Evalue, Fante, and English languages. Most of the townsfolk profess Christianity, with many churches including Anglican, Catholic, Presbyterian, Pentecostal, and several newer sects. Axim has a small Islamic mosque, and numerous traditional fetish priests.
A native of Axim, Anton Wilhelm Amo (1703–1756), qualifies as the first Western black philosopher, that is, specifically, the first black African to receive a philosophical education in Europe and to publish philosophical works there. In Germany, he published "The Rights of Moors" (among other works) and taught philosophy at the University of Jena.
Kwame Nkrumah, the first president of independent Ghana, was born in the small village of Nkroful, located just west of Axim, and lay buried there until the removal of his remains to Accra. In the 1930s, Nkrumah worked as headmaster of a Catholic school in Axim and led an intellectual circle there.