Capital: Dakar
Dialing code: +221
Official language: French

DAKAR

Dakar is a port city located at the extreme west of the peninsula of Cape Verde on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean. It was founded in 1857 by Captain Protet, Chief Commander of Gorée. After the independence of Senegal, it became the capital of Senegal, has remained till today.

The city is 550 square kilometers with a population of 3,215,255 inhabitants; 50.1% male and 49.9% female.

 

The population of Dakar represents a quarter of the country’s population, making the Dakar region, the most populous in the country. It is by far the region most endowed in terms of economics, infrastructure, socio-cultural and sports. On the football scene, the city is blessed with stadiums including Léopold Sédar Senghor, the largest stadium in Senegal which sits 60 000 persons.

 

Dakar hosted the third edition of the “Jeux de l’Amitié” in 1963 and will host the fourth edition of the Youth Olympic Games in 2022.

 

GORÉE ISLAND

Located four kilometers away from Dakar, the island of Gorée was discovered in 1444 by Portuguese sailors under the command of Denis Dias. The island was named "Palma" but it is also called "Beseguiche".

The island was occupied by the English and the Dutch before returning to the French in 1817. It covers 28 hectares with a population of about 1680 inhabitants.

 

This island played a very important role during the period of slavery. For nearly three centuries, the island was the largest slave trading centre. It was an important transit for many African slaves towards the American continent.

 

In 1978, Gorée was one of the first places to be added to the World Heritage List managed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). It has become the most visited tourist site in Senegal.

 

The island of Goree is also known on a sporting level with the famous 5km swimming Dakar-Gorée. It houses the US Gorée, one of the oldest football clubs in the country, created in 1933. They are five-time champions of Senegal, four-time Senegalese Cup (FA Cup) winners and semi- finalists in the CAF Champions League in 1985.


The island also produced the best Senegalese athlete of all-time and the only Senegalese Olympic medalist, El Hadj Amadou Dia Ba.