Kɔnakiri Conakry, Guinea
Conakry Map of Guinea showing the location of Conakry. Coordinates: 9°31′N 13°42′W / 9.517, -13.7Region Conakry RegionPopulation (2007) - Total 2,000,000 (est.) Time zoneCET(UTC+1) - Summer (DST) CEST(UTC+1)
Conakry or Konakry (Malinké: Kɔnakiri) is the capital and largest city of Guinea. Guinea's capital city is a port on the Atlantic Ocean, originally situated on Tombo Island, one of the Îles de Los, it has since spread up the neighboring Kaloum Peninsula. The population of Conakry is difficult to ascertain, although the U.S. Bureau of African Affairs has estimated it at 2 million. Even given this uncertainty, Conakry makes up almost a quarter of the population of Guinea.
- 1 History
- 2 Conakry today
- 3 Economy
- 4 Attractions
- 5 See also
- 6 References
Conakry was originally settled on tiny Tombo Island and later spread to the neighboring Kaloum Peninsula, a 36 km long strech of land 0.2 to 6 km 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 less than 500 inhabitants. Conakry became the capital of French Guinea in 1904 and prospered as an export port, particularly after a (now closed) railway to Kankan opened the large scale export of groundnut from the interior. In the decades after independece, the population of Conakry exploded, from 50,000 inhabitants in 1958 to 600,000 in 1980, to over two million today.  Its small size a relative isolation from the mainland, while an advantage to its colonial founders, has created an infrastructural burden since independence. A monument to commemorate the 1970 military victory over the Portuguese invasion
In 1970, conflict between Portuguese forces and the PAIGC in neighboring 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, failing to overthrow the government or kill the PAIGC leadership. 
Today, the city has grown along the peninsula to form five main districts. From the tip in the south west, these are Kaloum (the city centre), Dixinn (including the University of Conakry and many embassies), Ratoma (known for its nightlife), Matam and finally Matoto, home to Gbessia Airport. The city itself makes up one of the eight Regions of Guinea, the Conakry Region, includes 5 of the nation's 38 urban communes, and at the prefect level is designated the Conakry Special Zone. At two million inhabitants, it is far and away the largest city in Guinea, making up almost a quarter of the nation's population and making it more than four times bigger than its nearest rival, Kankan.
Conakry is Guinea's largest city and its administrative, communications, and economic center. 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. An average Guinean in Conakry will get a monthly wage of about 225 000 GNF or about $45.
Periodic power and water cuts are a daily burden for Conakry's residents, dating back to early 2002. Government and power company officials blame the drought of 2001-2 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 pull out 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. Popular anger at shortages in Conakry were entwined with anti-government protests, strikes, and violence over the rule of President Lansana Conté and the successive prime ministers, Cellou Dalein Diallo and Eugène Camara, appointed to fill the post after the resignation of PM François Lounseny Fall in April 2004. Violence reached a peak in January-February 2007 in a general strike, which saw over a hundred deaths when the Army confronted protesters
Attractions in the city include the Guinea National Museum, several markets, the Guinea Palais du Peuple, Conakry Grand Mosque which was built by Sekou Toure, the city's nightlife and the nearby Iles de Los.
The city is noted for its botanical garden. The Polytechnical Institute of Conakry is also located in Conakry.
The street numbering scheme of Conakry labels all roads with a two-letter code for the urban district, followed by a three digit number: odd for north-south streets and even for east-west, e.g. KA002 for a northbound street in the Kaloum district.
- ^ "Background Note: Guinea". Bureau of African Affairs, U.S. Department of State, January 2007. Accessed February 24, 2007.
- ^ Histoire de Conakry - (French)
- ^ Patrick Manning. Francophone Sub-Saharan Africa, 1880-1995, Cambridge (1998)
- ^ for the urban infrastructure and its history, see [ http://www.worldbank.org/urban/forum2002/docs/diallo-pres.pdf. M. Dian DIALLO. Street Addressing And Basic Services In Conakry, Guinea]. Presented at the Urban Forum/ World Bank - Washington DC - April 2 - 4 2002.
- ^ "Cloudy Days in Conakry", Time Magazine, December 7, 1970.
- ^ Conakry's dark streets turning orange. James Copnall, BBC News, Guinea . 23 November 2006.
- ^ For the relations
between the 2007 crisis and infrastructure in Conakry, see:
- Q&A: Guinea emergency, BBC World Service. 13 February 2007.
- Youths Chase Staff From State Electricity Offices, Protesting Power Cuts, Oct 25, 2007 (UN Integrated Regional Information Networks/All Africa Global Media via COMTEX).
- IRIN In-Depth, Guinea: Living on the edge. UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, January 2005.
- GUINEA: Power cuts stop for football, 26 January 2006 (IRIN)
- Guinea protests over power-cuts, Alhassan Sillah: BBC, Conakry, 31 January, 200
- Conflict history: Guinea. International Crisis Group, updated 11 May 2007.
- Thomas O'Toole, Janice E. Baker. Historical Dictionary Of Guinea. Scarecrow Press (2005). ISBN 0810846349
- Odile Goerg. Chieftainships between Past and Present: From City to Suburb and Back in Colonial Conakry, 1890s-1950s. Africa Today, Summer 2006, Vol. 52, No. 4, Pages 2-27
- FallingRain Map - elevation = 28m
- Conakry the Capital: history of the city at site of expat artist.
- HISTOIRE DE CONAKRY, 1463 to present, by Luc MOGENET, reprinted at guineeconakry.info (no date)
- Kids in Guinea Study Under Airport Lamps, RUKMINI CALLIMACHI The Associated Press, Thursday, July 19, 2007.
- Archdiocese of Conakry: history and structure (at catholic-hierarchy.org)
- Guinea's Telecommunication Infrastructure, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), 1999 figures.
- http://www.portautonomedeconakry.com/: official site of the Conakry Port Authority.
- http://www.guineeconakry.info/: Conakry - based news portal
- Office de Promotion des Investissements Privés, République du Guinée.
- Office National du Tourisme, République du Guinée.
- l’Université Kofi Annan de Guinée (UNIKAG)
- Satellite image of Conakry and the Kaloum Peninsula, from the European Space Agency's Envisat: image description at http://www.esa.int/esaEO/SEMAV21XDYD_index_1.html.
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