Treaty of Axim

The Treaty of Axim was completed on February 17, 1642 between the United Netherlands and the chiefs of the place Axim in the southwest of present-day Ghana. The contract settled the sovereignty of the Netherlands and the Dutch West India Company, of the city and its territory. The agreement was concluded after the Dutch West India Company had expelled the Portuguese, who (now Fort St. Anthony ) had there been with the Fort Sao Antonio one of their oldest bases on the West African Gold Coast. Over time the agreement was replaced by several new contracts and agreements or expanded. However, the contract was the basis for the Dutch sovereignty and political relations between Axim and the low countries until their withdrawal from the Gold Coast in 1872.


The state of Axim in the Western Region of Ghana today formed a regional power in the form of a city-state with two top chiefs who each had their own territory.

Since the late 15th century the Portuguese had a trading post here, the extensions it in the early 16th century to the fortress of Sao Antonio (now Fort St Anthony ).

After the Dutch had conquered in 1637 as the most important Portuguese fort on the Gold Coast, Fort São Jorge Mina in Elmina, they soon broke the Portuguese resistance also in the other locations of the Gold Coast. The fort in Axim was the most important remaining stronghold of the Portuguese. When the Dutch conquered the fort in 1642, they gave the Portuguese and their allies safe conduct and negotiated a contract with the political leaders of Axim, in order to normalize the situation. Thus, the Dutch were the greatest power in the region.

The agreement with the two top chiefs of Axim was completed on February 17, 1642, immediately after the capture of the fort first, the transition of loyalty Axims by the Portuguese to the Dutch by a declaration of hostility against all enemies of the Dutch was reaffirmed. The Dutch also demanding control of the foreign relations of the city state, once only to European powers, it could also be understood that the included all foreign powers.

The Portuguese were assured as mentioned the clear exhaust. The rest of the contract negotiated by the mutual support in times of war, the exercise of legal authority, taxation and regulations on trade. For the latter, we took over the arrangements that were in Elmina in force that may be which revealed that were under Portuguese suzerainty. Only parts of the agreement can be considered as a full contract after diplomatic terms. Over time, the rules for the internal affairs were revised several times by other, negotiated contracts. In this respect, the Treaty of Axim differed greatly from the Treaty of Butre, which was completed 14 years later and, unlike the Treaty of Axim virtually unchanged had 213 years existence.

Content of the contract

Title: The contract was entitled " Agreement between the General Jacob Ruijchaver and Caboceros of Axim, closed in February 1642 ." Ruijchaver was the acting Director General Dutch Gold Coast and head of the Dutch West India Company in Africa and representative of the States General, the sovereign power of the Republic of the United Netherlands. The Caboceros Axim were the two top chiefs of the city.

Place and Date: The contract was signed by the delegates of Axim and those of the Netherlands in Fort St. Anthony in Axim on February 17, 1642 to come into force immediately.

Contracting partner: On the Dutch side, this was the Dutch West India Company, represented by its Director General, the Republic of the United Netherlands. Signatory was General Jacob Ruijchaver.

On the Axims side it was the " Caboceros " ( chiefs, English:. Caboceers ) of Axim, in addition to the aforementioned upper chiefs also signed Atty Ansi and Peter Agoey.

Subject of the contract: The contract regulated affairs of the duty of loyalty and security as well as internal affairs in ten articles.