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the capital and major political, economic, and cultural center of the Republic of Guinea. An Atlantic port on the island of Tombo, it is linked by bridge with the Kaloum Peninsula. It has an equatorial monsoon climate, with a dry season from December to March and a rainy season from June to October. In the coldest month (August) the average temperature is 25°C, and in the warmest (May), 27.8°C. The annual precipitation is 4,300 mm. In 1971 the population was approximately 350,000. Conakry and its suburbs form a special administrative unit headed by a governor, appointed by the president of the Republic of Guinea.
Conakry was originally the name of the village where French colonizers undertook construction of a port and administrative center for their possessions in this part of West Africa in the late 19th century. After World War II (1939–45), Conakry became the center of the national liberation movement. Since 1958 it has been the capital of the independent Republic of Guinea.
Conakry and its surrounding region are the site of most of the country’s industrial enterprises. There are canneries, creameries, breweries, and factories for the production of tobacco, textiles, shoes, furniture, wood products, and plastics. In the 1960’s an oxygen-acetylene factory, a refrigeration plant, and other projects were built with Soviet aid. Most of the country’s foreign trade passes through Conakry’s port. Exports include alumina, bananas, coffee, and pineapples. The Conakry-Kankan railroad links the capital with the navigable section of the Niger River, and a branch of the railroad connects the city with Fria (where an alumina plant is located). A highway links Conakry with Senegal, Mali, Liberia, and the Ivory Coast. There is also an international airport. Bauxite is mined near Conakry.
Conakry is designed according to a rectilinear plan; the streets running from east to west are crossed by boulevards. In the 1960’s Soviet architectural plans and financial aid were used to build a polytechnic institute, the National Stadium, a hotel, and a radiotelegraph office; a printing plant was built according to plans drawn by architects from the German Democratic Republic. The city is the site of the National Library and the National Museum. There are approximately ten motion-picture theaters and several party clubs with stage areas. The Palace of the People houses the largest spectator facilities. Conakry is the base of national performing groups, including the African Ballet of the Republic of Guinea and Joliba. Since 1960 there have been annual festivals of amateur artistic groups.