Like Sassandra and a few other trading posts on the coast, the etymology of San Pedro, once a small Kroumen (indigenous population) fishing village called Hé - named after the river that watered it - also attests to the early presence of Portuguese navigators on the coasts of the Ivorian coast. The site is said to have been discovered at the end of the 15th century by the navigators Joao de Santarem and Pedro de Escobar, who named it San Pedro in homage to one of their companions, who disappeared during the expedition according to some versions, and to the patron saint of the day according to others. Also coveted by the English and the Dutch, the San Pedro estate fell to the French at the end of the 19th century, who settled there predominantly after Governor Binger created an administrative post there in 1893. Close to neighbouring Liberia, this former trading post, whose remains are today difficult to identify, is especially renowned for its lighthouse, which was the first in Côte d'Ivoire, and for having stolen the launch from the declining Sassandra, which in 1971 became the country's second deep-water port, and de facto its second economic pole. Its initial vocation was the export of wood; today it is the world's leading cocoa port.

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