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Definition: Dakar from Philip's Encyclopedia

Capital and largest city of Senegal, W Africa. Founded in 1857 as a French fort, the city grew rapidly with the arrival of a railroad (1885). A major Atlantic port, it later became capital of French West Africa. There is a Roman Catholic cathedral and a presidential palace. Dakar has excellent educational and medical facilities, including the Pasteur Institute. Industries: textiles, oil refining, brewing. Pop. (2005) 2,313,000.

Summary Article: Dakar
From Merriam-Webster's Geographical Dictionary

Seaport, ✽ of Senegal and of former French West Africa, on S side of Cap Vert Penin.; capital region pop. (1992e) 1,729,823; with Île de Gorée, Rufisque, and adjacent area formed from 1924 to 1946 an autonomous circumscription, Dakar and Dependencies (60 sq. mi. or 155 sq. km.); flour milling, fish canning; oil refining; textiles; peanut oil; zoological garden (1903); university (1957); has one of best harbors on Atlantic coast of Africa; of strategic importance as dominating W tip of Africa.


Founded 1857 opp. settlement of Île de Gorée (q.v.) which had been French since 17th cent.; railroad built from Dakar to St.-Louis 1882–85; became naval base and, in 1902, ✽ of French West Africa (q.v.); after defeat of France at beginning of WWII attacked unsuccessfully by forces of Free French and British Sept. 23–25, 1940; by decree 1946 reunited with Senegal; became ✽ of Senegal c. 1960.

Copyright © 2007 by Merriam-Webster, Incorporated

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