Cape Coast, town (1984 pop. 57,224), capital of Central Region, S Ghana, on the Gulf of Guinea. Known locally as Gna or Oegna, the town is an export port and fishing center. The town originated as an Ashanti trading center. It grew up around European forts built in the 17th cent. The British made it their headquarters in 1664. It was capital of the Gold Coast until superseded by Accra in 1877. Cape Coast is also an educational center.