Dakar


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Dakar

(dəkär`, dä–), city (1988 pop. 672,991), capital of Senegal, W Senegal, on Cape Verde Peninsula, a port on the Atlantic Ocean. Situated in a market-gardening region, Dakar is Senegal's largest city and its administrative, communications, and economic center. Manufactures include refined sugar, peanut oil, fertilizers, cement, and textiles. Flour milling, oil refining, and fish canning are other important industries. The city is the busiest port in W Africa, serving Mali and Mauritania as well as Senegal, and has modern facilities for handling and storing goods.

Dakar grew up around a French fort built in 1857. The first major pier was completed in 1866. Dakar's importance increased significantly after 1855, when a railroad linked it with the Senegal River. In 1887 it was made a commune, along with Gorée, Rufisque, and Saint-LouisSaint-Louis
, city (1988 pop. 160,689), NW Senegal, a port at the mouth of the Senegal River. The terminus of a railroad from Dakar, it is a fishing, trade, and export center for peanuts, hides, and skins.
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; the communes together elected a deputy to the French National Assembly. Dakar replaced Saint-Louis as the capital of French West Africa in 1902. In 1923 a new railroad linked Dakar with interior peanut-growing areas and the Niger River. In 1940, Free French forces under Gen. Charles de Gaulle fought unsuccessfully to free Dakar from Vichy control, but in late 1942 U.S. forces occupied the city and stayed to the end of World War II. Dakar was the capital of the short-lived (1959–60) Mali Federation. Since 1945, the city has expanded greatly.

Dakar's Roman Catholic cathedral (inaugurated 1929) is the seat of an archbishop. The Univ. of Dakar (1949), the National School of Administration, a school for librarians, and a UN-administered institute of economic development and planning are in the city. It is also the site of the famous Institut fondamental d'Afrique noire, which promotes scholarly research in many fields, and its museum of African arts, a museum of black civilizations, and other museums and galleries. The African Renaissance Monument, a 164-ft (50-m) statue of a man, woman, and child, is on a hill overlooking the city. Nearby are sandy beaches and a zoological and forest park. Dakar's Yoff international airport is the main stopping point for flights from Europe to South America.

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Dakar

 

the capital of the Republic of Senegal. One of the most important industrial, transportation, and commercial-trade centers of West Africa. Situated on the Cape Verde Peninsula, at the junction of important sea routes from Europe to South Africa and South America. Climate is sub-equatorial; average temperature, 22° C in January and 28° C in July; it rains (572 mm annually) from July to October. Area, about 30 sq km; including the Cape Verde Peninsula and Gorée Island, 550 sq km. Population, 650,000 (1970, including suburbs); 185,400 in 1948; 92,000 in 1936. The population is 90 percent African, including Wolofs, Lebus, and Tukulors. Most of the European inhabitants are French.

Dakar was founded in 1857 as a French fort. In 1895 it was incorporated into the French colony of Senegal and from 1895 to 1960 was the center of the colony. From 1904 to 1959 it was the administrative center of French West Africa. During World War II, Dakar was occupied by Anglo-American forces (1942) and became an important base for naval operations in the Atlantic Ocean and also one of the strongpoints of the Free French movement. In 1960, Dakar became the capital of the Republic of Senegal.

Four-fifths of the country’s industrial enterprises are located in Dakar and its surroundings. The peanut-processing industry—that is, the oil extraction, which yields over three-fourths of the country’s peanut oil—and the soapmaking industry are important in terms of exportation. The oil-processing plants are controlled by French capital and the soapmaking by English and Dutch. The products offish canneries (canned tuna, filets, and frozen fish) are also exported. Flour mills, breweries, bakeries, and tobacco, match, and textile plants cater to the African market.

Dakar has a large oil refinery, a cement factory, chemical plants, and two thermoelectric generating stations (capacity 90,000 kw). It is a major port on the Atlantic, with a deep harbor, and it handles about 5 million tons a year, including 2 million tons of fuel and fresh water for passing ships. The main exports are shelled peanuts, peanut oil, and phosphates. The city has a railroad station and an international airport, Yoff.

There has been intensive building in Dakar since 1947. In the eastern part of the city are the port and the industrial district; in the south is the administrative center (Place de l’lndépendance) and the government center (Place Etoile), and the business district, with multistory buildings (the National Assembly, the bank, and the university); and in the west is the European residential quarter, consisting of three circles with streets radiating from them. In the northwest there is the Medina region with one-story mud huts.

Dakar has a university, a polytechnical institute (lycée De-lafosse), a school of arts with a drama division, and the Pasteur scientific research institute. Attached to the university are a number of scholarly institutions, among them the In-stitut Fondamental d’Afrique Noire (IFAN). The university library is the largest in Senegal, with 130,000 volumes. The Dakar Museum and the Historical Museum are on Gorée Island. The Daniel Sorano Theater is the largest in West Africa.

REFERENCES

Stolitsy stran mira. Moscow, 1966.
Bocharov, Iu. “O gorodakh Zapadnoi i Ekvatorial’noi Afriki.” In the collection Sovetskaia arkhitektura, no. 16, pp. 142–50. Moscow, 1964.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Dakar

the capital and chief port of Senegal, on the SE side of Cape Verde peninsula. Pop.: 2 313 000 (2005 est.)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
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