Old capital of the French Western Africa (AOF), Dakar is today that of the République of Senegal. Its situation at the Western end of the Africa, on narrow the Peninsula of the Cap Verde, supported the installation of the first colonists, then the trade with the Nouveau World, and confers a privileged position with the intersection of the African cultures and to him European. Organizing of the first world Festival of negro Arts wanted by the president Léopold Sédar Senghor, the city is the seat of the fundamental Institut of Black Africa and of the Central bank of the States of West Africa. Today Rally Dakar - even if it does not achieve the unanimity - and Dak' Art (the Biennale of contemporary art) contribute to its international radiation. To the popular quarters and the infrastructures inherited the colonial time - the port, the station, the presidential palace or the cathedral of the African Memory, as well as the remarkable inheritance of the island of Gorée near - were added more modern buildings such as the Université Sheik Anta Diop, the Grande Mosque and the Porte of the Third millennium.
Occupying only 0,28% of the national territory, the Dakar-native agglomeration gathers 25% of the population and concentrates 80% of the economic activities of the country. The city itself has just exceeded the million inhabitants and its clogging growing constitutes a major challenge for transport, the development and the environment, so much so that the foundation of a new administrative capital has been being studied for a few years.
ToponymyThe name of Dakar appears for the first time on a chart in 1750 when the French botanist Michel Adanson carries out a sketch of the Cape Verde.
Dakar could be the francized version of ndakarou , the local name, whose etymology remains dubious, perhaps derived from the expression meaning Wolof deuk raw “which settles there will be in peace” or of dekk-raw , an association of dekk (country) and raw (to escape). According to the same source, it could also be a question of the term wolof dakhar , which indicates the Tamarinier, a tree very present on the coast at the arrival of the Lébous at the 16th century.
The locality being evoked in certain documents under the name of " of Accard" there, one could also see the reference to a trader or marine French little known of the end of the 17th century, named Accar or of Accard.
HistoryThe history of the city belongs to a relatively recent past and the oldest buildings hardly date that Années 1860.
OriginsHowever the scrapers, punches, axes, collars of shells and other vestiges discovered on the Western coast of the peninsula of Cape Verde (Point of Almadies, Ouakam) or with the east (Hann, Beautiful-Air) attest of a sporadic human presence on the Atlantic facade as of the Paléolithique, then of a settlement of the whole of the peninsula to the Neolithic .
The first inhabitants are Mandingues. It is them whom discovers the Portuguese navigator Dinis Dias when it unloads on these shores in 1444. At the end of the 15th century of the fishermen Lébous fleeing the Tekrour, a kingdom located at the North-East of the River Senegal, start to be established there. At the 17th century their village comprises only one about thirty huts. In the interval the very close island of Gorée, that Dinis Dias had initially named Palma , pokes covetousnesses more. Catch and taken again about fifteen time, by the Dutchmen (who rename it Goed Reed , good roads), the English and the French, the island knows more animated history. As for Dakar, the locality sees its name materialized for the first time on a chart when in 1750 the French naturalist Michel Adanson the fact of appearing on a sketch of the Cap Verde. In 1843 it always does not understand, according to the testimony of Paul Boutet that “several hundreds of boxes, all built in the same kind, all in reeds, of cylindrical form and covered about like the hives with bees with our countries”.
The French printWhile Gorée grows rich, notable and Signare S feels soon with narrow on the small island. They fear moreover possible incursions of the Damel of the Cayor and the consequences of the Abolition of slavery. The idea of an expansion on the continent makes its way. Led by the captain Protest, the French troops take possession of the coast in 1857. Small strong is built there, on which the French house is hoisted. Dakar however remains a “true labyrinth of streets and dead ends, turns and turnings” , in the middle of the bush and of the dunes. In spite of the construction of some commercial firms, the village is not yet a true city. The colonel of the genious Emile Pinet-Laprade will be his true founder. A first cadrastal map is elaborate in June 1858. The construction of the Phare of the Udders is launched in 1859, work of the port begin in 1860. A new plan of alignment of the city is proposed by Pinet-Laprade in June 1862.
The new city does not develop without evil. In 1869 an epidemic of Choléra makes devastations and Pinet-Laprade succumbs to it itself on August 17th. Whereas Dakar becomes center of district in the place of Gorée in 1875, of resistances remain, as these observations testify some to the colonel Canard: “the owners of grounds where one could build live all in Gorée and do not appear not laid out to make build houses in Dakar” (1876); “Dakar is always very calm, it is even sad. Few houses, few inhabitants, few trade and not industry” (1878). A new cadrastal map is elaborate in 1876 and two years later Dakar counts approximately 1.600 inhabitants. The Dakar June 17th, 1887 becomes a distinct commune. It does not depend any more Gorée and Jean Alexandre becomes its first mayor on December 9th, 1887. Large cleansing and alteration work is undertaken. The population of Dakar reaches 8.737 inhabitants, whereas Gorée counts only 2.100 of them. In parallel, in particular with the construction of the station and the railway line, the city also competes with Saint-Louis. It however carries it while becoming in 1902 the capital of the AOF (French Western Africa). Its first general governor, Ernest Roume, lance of large work of town planning, among which the Palate of the governor appears, current the Presidential palace, as well as the Kermel market.
From 18.500 inhabitants in 1904 Dakar passes to 25.000 people in 1909 and becomes the first port of Senegal. The rebuilding of the railway station is undertaken and the Town hall is built in 1918. Blaise Diagne is elected mayor of Dakar in 1920 and until its death in 1934 will remain it. In 1921 the capital counts 32.440 inhabitants including 1661 Europeans, whereas the island depopulates itself gradually to be reduced to 700 inhabitants in 1926. Gorée is finally attached to Dakar in 1929. For this period one observes a wave of immigration Lebanon ease. In the capital these newcomers are generally integrated in the small one and average trade. The cathedral of the African Memory is inaugurated on March 31st, 1929 in the presence of many personalities of which Blaise Diagne.
During the Second world war the control of the AOF constitutes a considerable stake. An attempt at unloading of the Alliés (“Operation Threatens”) fails on September 25th, 1940, at the end of a known fratricidal fight under the name of Bataille of Dakar.
A cosmopolitan capitalIn 1947 the president Vincent Auriol is the first Head of French State to go in official visit in Black Africa. This Dakar moment counts approximately 135.000 inhabitants. Demographic rise generates a shortage of residences, employment and raw materials. August 26th, 1958 the Général de Gaulle goes to her turn to Dakar where it is accommodated coldly by demonstrators claiming the independence of the country, which will be concretized two years later. Dakar becomes initially the capital of transitory the Fédération of Mali, then that of the Republic of Senegal on April 4th, 1960.
Several reforms relating to decentralization and devolution mark big steps in the evolution of the commune, initially in 1972, then in 1983 and especially in 1996 when the commune of Dakar is cut out in 19 common district.
Site and climateDakar is located on an old volcano - surmounted today by the Phare of the Udders - which will have given, after a long erosion, the rock headland of the Presqu'île of Cape Verde (on which the city is built), the island of Gorée in the south, the islands of the Madeleine in the west and the island of Ngor in north.
In a zone Tropical E Semi-arid, Dakar profits from a microclimate of the coastal type, influenced by the maritime Alizé S and the Mousson. The hot and wet season extends from June to October with temperatures bordering 27° C and a peak of precipitations in August (179 mm). Exceptional floods occurred in August 2005. During the season dries and a little fresher which begins in November and lasts until May, it practically does not rain (approximately 1 mm per month).
PopulationDakar is one of the more big cities of Africa, its population growth is considerable and its number of inhabitants rises quickly. Of a population of 400.000 inhabitants in the Seventies, the Rural migration did it more than to quadruple in 20 years.
At the time of the census of 2002 the population of the 19 communes of district rose with 955.897 people, for 143.165 households and 77.960 concessions.
End 2007, according to the official forecasts, the number of inhabitants would be of 1 075 582 inhabitants. They could be 1 270 631 in December 2015. With 2 525 000 people, the agglomeration is classified in 159e position in the world.
TransportGreen prow of the continent, the peninsula could only draw the attention of the first navigators and the colonists knew from the start benefit from this strategic position to develop the commercial exchanges, including within the framework of the treats Atlantic. The favorable climate as well as deep water roads of surest constituted additional advantages as many, than the colonial administration cultivated by in particular building a port and a station. The incipient railroad connected Dakar to its Saint-Louis rival and opened a way of penetration towards the interior of the country. Large port and rail junction, Dakar finds also its place in the history of aviation. The first Air-mail connection Toulouse - Dakar had been established in 1925. January 21st, 1976 the first commercial supersonic flight of the Harmony, the plane of Air France, will inaugurate the line Paris - Dakar Rio de Janeiro while that of British Airways opens the line London - Bahrain. The image of the city is indissociable of its taxis yellow and black and its “bus rapids” tops colors and avoided inscriptions ( Alhamdulillah generally), to which are added today private white minibuses. But the congestions are frequent, in particular with the entry of the agglomeration, and the building sites and of omnipresent public works.
Economic activitiesThe industrial sector, traditionally directed towards food industries, chemical or textile, the sector of wood and furnishing as well as the Refining, encounters difficulties today. As elsewhere, textile industry suffers from the Chinese imports. The Chemical industries of Senegal (ICS) have passed through an serious attack for three years. At the same time as the urbanization, the tertiary sector developed and it is in the capital, particularly with Dakar-Plate, than are the head offices of the large companies (Air Senegal International, Grands mills of Dakar) and of the large banks, such as the General society of banks in Senegal, the banking Compagnie of Western Africa, the international Banque for the trade and the industry of Senegal or the Banque of the habitat of Senegal. The high public office is also concentrated there. Telecommunications have the wheel in motion and the company Orange, which took again the Sonatel, is omnipresent in the city.
Tourism, in particular tourism of businesses, takes importance, stimulated by events of international significance such as the Rallye Dakar or the Biennale of Contemporary art. The notoriety of Gorée makes capital a required passage.
Present in all the country, the informal sector is particularly active in Dakar, in particular in the trade, transport and the construction industry.
Territorial organizationDakar is the chief town of the Département of Dakar and the capital of the Région of Dakar.
Increasingly populated, the city was cut out in 19 common of district in 1996. Widest is Yoff, in north, but it is with Dakar-Plate, in the southern point, that the economic activity and the majority of the institutions concentrate. Tourist are Ngor on the Pointe of Almadies in the west and especially Gorée in the east.
CultureThe world Festival of negro Arts, organized in the capital on the initiative of Léopold Sédar Senghor in 1966, wanted to be an event without precedent in the cultural history, a solemn and festive assertion of the Négritude.
Attached to the fundamental Institute of Black Africa, the Musée of African Art is devoted today to arts and traditions of West Africa, presenting permanently approximately 300 of the 9.000 parts which constitute its collections, while temporary exhibitions stress particular sets of themes.
High-place of exchanges and creativity, the French Institut Léopold Sédar Senghor ensures at the same time the diffusion of the French Culture and the promotion of the Culture of Senegal. It is one of the last places where one can see films after the closing of the rooms the ones after the others.
Created in 1999, the International festival of film of district tries redynamiser Seventh Article It is a window for the young realizers and the primary market for the cinema, television and the multi-media one.
Beside the traditional scene of the National theater Daniel Sorano, inaugurated in 1965 but confronted with budgetary difficulties, the International festival of all the dances Kaay Fecc, launched in 2001, offers a new space to the choreographic expression.
Of international repute, the Biennale of contemporary African art (Dak' Art) is exposed in various districts of the capital since 1990.
Thiossane, the discotheque of Youssou Ndour, and Metissacana, the cybercafé of the designer Oumou Sy, are other places which count in the Dakar-native cultural life.
EducationIn 2000 the World forum on education was organized in Dakar, under the aegis of UNESCO.
Like others, the sector of education must face the demographic explosion of the capital, a growth which, for the most supported, makes sometimes the good share with private education.
Primary and secondary educationDakar shelters about fifteen establishments of secondary education. The public lycées are the large college Blaise-Diagne, the college Rolls-Guèye (in the past Van Vollenhoven), the college John-Fitzgerald-Kennedy intended for the young girls, the college of the Cleansed Pieces, the recent Moderne college of Dakar (LMD), the Thierno-Seydou-Nourou-Tall college (known before under the name of college of application), the college Galandou-Diouf, the college Seydina Limamou Laye as well as the Maurice-Delafosse college which also prepares with the industrial or commercial careers.
He is necessary to add the French college Jean-Mermoz to it to Ouakam, which receives the majority of the children of expatriates, and several Catholic schools deprived such as the very cosmopolitan Cours Holy-Marie-with-Hann, the college of the Sacred Heart or the school Holy-Jeanne-D' Arc. Many these establishments comprise also primary classes.
Higher educationIn spite of the reputation of the University Gaston Shepherd of Saint-Louis and the efforts of decentralization, most of Senegalese higher education remains concentrated in the capital. In addition to the University Sheik Anta Diop (UCAD) which accommodates after a fashion nearly 60.000 students, one can quote the National school of administration, the National school of economy applied, the École inter-States of sciences and veterinary medicine, but also many private establishments, chosen by the families worry about the clogging growing of the University.
TourismPoint entrance in Senegal practically impossible to circumvent, Dakar often receives the first any traveller going to Saint-Louis, in the national parks or in Casamance. It is also the wearing of loading for the island of Gorée, the tourist destination par excellence.
If the traffic holdups and the modest quality of the air do not invite there to the prolonged stays, many visitors however make their stopover profitable to discover the architectural vestiges of the AOF like the Presidential palace and the Chamber of commerce, more recent the such Cathédrale of the African Memory, or more contemporary creations still, with the manner of the Porte of the Third millennium dominating the cornice.
Economic center and town of congress, Dakar also profits from a significant Tourisme of businesses.
SportDakar joins together the great sporting events and the principal infrastructures of the country, especially those dedicated to the national sports which are the Football and the Lutte sénégalaise - for example the Stade Léopold Sédar Senghor or the Stade Demba Diop.
Even if it from now on is very disputed, the Rallye Dakar made known the city with the crews and the televiewers of the whole world.
The Resident of Dakar themselves is not in remainder: it is not rare to see them running or teasing the balloon on the beaches.
LeisuresThe music, the dance and the festival belong to the Dakar-native landscape.
Personalities born in DakarTrue “Culture medium”, the capital sénégalaise saw being born good number of key figures, which were generally illustrated in the field of arts or the sport.
- Pourtant the majority of the great figures of the political sénégalaise were not born in Dakar, with some exceptions however, such as Awa Marie coll Seck (1951-), Modou Dia (1950-), Pape Diop (1954-) - deputy and mayor of the capital -, Abdou Fall (1952-), Habib Thiam (1933-) or current the Prime Minister Sheik Hadjibou Soumaré (1951-). Two personalities of the French political life also were born in Dakar: Ségolène Royal (Ouakam, 1953-) and Ramatoulaye Yade (1976-).
- Dakar is the birthplace people of letters , like the writer Boubacar Boris Diop (1946-), the historian Philippe Loiseleur of Longchamps Deville (1923-2003) or the journalist Jean-Marie Colombani (1948-).
- the world of the music must much with the capital from where are originating in particular Didier Awadi (1969), Wasis Diop (1950-), Alioune Kassé, Doudou diaye Rose (1928-), Youssou Dour (1959-), Omar Pène (1956-), Ali Boulo Santo (1974-), Thione Seck (1955-) Mc Solaar (1969) or Akon.
- Among the great names of the visual arts , the sculptor Ousmane Sow (1935-) and the painter Soly Cissé (1969) is authentic Dakarois.
- As for the cinema , the realizers Foamed Senna Absa (1958-), Ben Diogaye Bèye (1947-), Ababacar Samb Makharam (1934-1987), Djibril Diop Mambéty (1945-1998), Samba Felix Ndiaye (1945-), Moussa Touré (1958-), Mahama Johnson Traoré (1942-) and Mansour Sora Wade (1952-) is also native of Dakar.
- the popularity of the football in the country, in particular in urban environment, is attested by the high number players born in Dakar, such as Issa Ba (1981-), Saar Boubacar (1951-), Henri Camara (1977-), Papiss Cissé (1985-), Ferdinand Coly (1973-), Omar Daf (1977-), Abdoulaye Diagne-Faye (1978-), Pape Diakhaté (1984-), Mamadou Diallo (1971-), Lamine Diatta (1975-), Oumar Dieng (1972-), Papa Bouba Diop (1978-), El-Hadji Diouf (1981-), Amdy Faye (1977-), Frederic Mendy (1981-), Victor Mendy (1981-), Tinder Makhtar Diaye (1981-), Cheick Diaye (1985-), Pope Tinder Diaye (1977-), Alassane Dour (1981-), Mohamed Sarr (1983-), Pope Sarr (1977-), Badara Senna (1984-), Oumar Senna (1959-) or Patrick Vieira (1976-).
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