- Cross River
River, western Africa.Rising in the highlands of Cameroon, it flows west and south through Nigeria. Its course, some 300 mi (485 km) long, runs through dense tropical rainforest and mangrove swamps to the Bight of Biafra. It is navigable through its estuary, which it shares with the Calabar River.
* * *river in western Africa (mostly in southeastern Nigeria) that rises in several branches in the highlands of western Cameroon. Thence it flows in a westerly direction and enters Nigeria. Turning in a southwesterly direction after its confluence with the Aya River in Nigeria, it flows south (after receiving the Western Aboine River from the Udi Hills) through dense tropical rain forest, oil-palm bush, and mangrove swamps. It completes its 304-mile (489-kilometre) course to the Bight of Biafra through its estuary, which it shares with the Calabar River. Because the estuary is not blocked by a sandbar and has only a moderate tidal range (9 feet [3 m] at Calabar), the Cross River serves as an important waterway. Palm oil and kernels, timber, cocoa, and rubber are sent by boat on the Cross River to the port of Calabar (on the Calabar River, 5 miles [8 km] upstream from its entrance into the estuary) for export.Portuguese navigators explored the lower section of the river in the 15th century, and the British official John Beecroft ventured upstream in the early 1840s.formerly South-Eastern,state, southeastern Nigeria. What is now Cross River state was part of the former Eastern region until 1967, when it became South-Eastern state; it received its present name in 1976. In 1987 the southwestern third of Cross River state became a new state called Akwa Ibom.The Cross River, after which the state is named, rises from the Cameroon Mountains and flows southward, forming much of the state's western border; it is an important commercial artery in the rainy season. The state is bounded by the states of Benue on the north, Ebonyi on the west, and Akwa Ibom on the southwest. It is bordered on the east by the Cameroon republic and fronts the Bight of Biafra on the south. The state has saltwater swamps, mangrove forests, oil palms, and dense tropical rain forest. Cross River state has a significant portion of the nation's forest resources and supplies a sizable amount of the country's industrial woods for export and domestic markets.The population of Cross River state consists largely of the Efik and Ekoi peoples. Food crops including yams, cassava, rice, and corn (maize) are cultivated. Deep-sea fishing and shrimping along the coast are also important. Palm oil and kernels, timber, cocoa, and rubber are exported from Calabar, the state capital and a major seaport. Industries produce cement, palm oil, asbestos roofing sheets and pipes, and baking flour. Rivers are the principal means of inland transport. A federal university (at Calabar), a technological college, and a number of teacher-training colleges are located in the state. Its chief urban centres in addition to Calabar are the inland towns of Ugep and Ogoja. The Calabar-Ikot-Ekepene highway, by way of Oron, provides easy access to the rest of Nigeria. Area 7,782 square miles (20,156 square km). Pop. (2006) 2,888,966.
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