Conakry is the capital and largest city of Guinea. Conakry is a port city on the Atlantic Ocean and serves as the economic, financial and cultural centre of Guinea.
The current population of Conakry is difficult to ascertain, although the U.S. Bureau of African Affairs has estimated it at 2 million. Conakry is thought to contain almost a quarter of the population of Guinea.
|TIME ZONE :||UTC (UTC±0)|
|LANGUAGE :||French (official)|
|RELIGION :||Muslim 85%, Christian 8%, indigenous beliefs 7%|
|AREA :||450 km2 (170 sq mi)|
|COORDINATES :||9°31′N 13°42′W|
|SEX RATIO :||• Male: 50.1% |
• Female: 49.9%
|ETHNIC :||Peuhl 40%, Malinke 30%, Soussou 20%, Others 10%|
|AREA CODE :||4|
|POSTAL CODE :|
|DIALING CODE :||+224 4|
Visiting the nearby Îles de Los (Loose Islands) with nice beaches and dense forests is a popular getaway from the hustle and bustle of city life. Boats leaves from the fish market behind the Novotel Hotel.
Things to see:
Conakry Grand Mosque. Built by Guinea's first president Ahmed Sékou Touré in 1982 and is one of the largest in sub-Saharan Africa.
Guinea National Museum. Established shortly after independence in 1960. It contains displays of the ethnography and prehistory of Guinea, and has a considerable collection of masks and fetishes and a range of art.
Conakry Botanical Garden. Noted for its kapok-trees
Monument du 22 Novembre 1970. Commemorates the victory over the attempted coup led by Portuguese troops in 1970, named Operation Green Sea.
Palace of the People (Palais du Peuple).
Soumba waterfalls (Two hour drive out of the city a short distance past Dubreka). Have a swim to work up an appetite. There is also a restaurant to enjoy a nice meal with the roar of the water in the background.
Conakry was originally settled on the small Tombo Island and later spread to the neighboring Kaloum Peninsula, a 36-kilometer (22 mi) long stretch of land 0.2 to 6 kilometers (660 to 19,690 ft) wide. The city was essentially founded after Britain ceded the island to France in 1887. In 1885 the two island villages of Conakry and Boubinet had fewer than 500 inhabitants.
Conakry became the capital of French Guinea in 1904 and prospered as an export port, particularly after a railway (now closed) to Kankan opened up the interior of the country for the large-scale export of groundnut.
In the decades after independence, the population of Conakry boomed, from 50,000 inhabitants in 1958 to 600,000 in 1980, to over two million today. Its small land area and relative isolation from the mainland, while an advantage to its colonial founders, has created an infrastructural burden since independence.
In 1970 conflict between Portuguese forces and the PAIGC in neighbouring Portuguese Guinea (now Guinea-Bissau) spilled into the Republic of Guinea when a group of 350 Portuguese troops and Guinean dissidents landed near Conakry, attacked the city and freed 26 Portuguese prisoners of war held by the PAIGC before retreating, having failed to overthrow the government or kill the PAIGC leadership.
Camp Boiro, a feared concentration camp during the rule of Sekou Toure, was located in Conakry.
According to human rights groups, 157 people died during the 2009 Guinea protest when the military junta opened fire against tens of thousands of protesters in the city on 28 September 2009.
Conakry features a tropical monsoon climate.
Conakry features a wet season and a dry season. Like a good portion of West Africa, Conakry's dry season is influenced by the harmattan wind between December and April. As a result, relatively little precipitation falls in the city during these months.
Conakry is Guinea's largest city and its administrative, communications, and economic centre. The city's economy revolves largely around the port, which has modern facilities for handling and storing cargo, through which alumina and bananas are shipped. Manufactures include food products and housing materials.
Periodic power and water cuts have been a daily burden for Conakry's residents since early 2002. Government and power company officials blame the drought of February 2001 for a failure of the hydro-electric supply to the capital, and a failure of aging machinery for the continuation of the crisis. Critics of the government cite mis-management, corruption and the withdrawal of the power agency's French partner at the beginning of 2002. As of 2007, much of the city has no traffic lighting in the overnight hours.
Conakry is divided in five municipal communes:
Kaloum – the city centre
Dixinn – including the University of Conakry and many embassies
Ratoma – known for its nightlife
Matoto – home to Conakry International Airport.