Conakry (/ˈkɒnəkri/; French pronunciation: [kɔnakʁi]; Susu: Kɔnakiri; N’ko: ߞߐߣߊߞߙߌ߫, Fula: Konaakiri 𞤑𞤮𞤲𞤢𞥄𞤳𞤭𞤪𞤭) is the capital and largest city of Guinea. A port city, it serves as the economic, financial and cultural centre of Guinea. Its population as of the 2014 Guinea census was 1,660,973.[3]

Skyline of Conakry
Conakry Region in Guinea
Map showing the location of Central Conakry on Tombo Island, with the growing city spreading up the Kaloum Peninsula.
Conakry (Guinea)
Conakry (Africa)
Coordinates: 09°30′33″N 13°42′44″W
Country Guinea
RegionConakry Region
  Total450 km2 (170 sq mi)
  Density3,700/km2 (9,600/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC±0 (UTC)
  Summer (DST)not observed
HDI (2019)0.675[2]

The current population of Conakry is difficult to ascertain, although the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of African Affairs has estimated it at two million, accounting for one-sixth of the entire population of the country.[4]


The city in 1912.

Conakry was originally settled on the small Tombo Island and later spread to the neighboring Kaloum Peninsula, a 36-kilometer-long (22 mi) stretch of land 0.2 to 6 kilometers (18 to 3+34 mi) wide. The city was essentially founded after Britain ceded the island to France in 1887.[5] In 1885 the two island villages of Conakry and Boubinet had fewer than 500 inhabitants. Conakry became the capital of French Guinea in 1904 and prospered as an export port, particularly after a railway (now closed) to Kankan opened up the interior of the country for the large-scale export of groundnut.

In the decades after independence, the population of Conakry boomed, from 50,000 inhabitants in 1958 to 600,000 in 1980, to over two million today.[6] Its small land area and relative isolation from the mainland, while an advantage to its colonial founders, has created an infrastructural burden since independence.[7]

Conakry – French Governor's Palace in 1956

In 1970 conflict between Portuguese forces and the PAIGC in neighbouring Portuguese Guinea (now Guinea-Bissau) spilled into the Republic of Guinea when a group of 350 Portuguese troops and Guinean loyalists landed near Conakry, attacked the city and freed 26 Portuguese prisoners of war held by the PAIGC before retreating, having failed to overthrow the government or kill the PAIGC leadership.[8]

Camp Boiro, a feared concentration camp during the rule of Sekou Toure, was located in Conakry.[9]

According to human rights groups, 157 people died during the 2009 Guinea protest when the military junta opened fire against tens of thousands of protesters in the city on 28 September 2009.[10]


Conakry Peninsula and Îles de Los.

Originally situated on Tombo Island, one of the Îles de Los, it has since spread up the neighboring Kaloum Peninsula.


According to Köppen climate classification, Conakry features a tropical monsoon climate (Köppen climate classification: Am). Conakry features a wet season and a dry season. Like most of West Africa, Conakry's dry season is dominated by the harmattan wind between December and April. As a result, almost no rain falls in the city during these months.

Compared to most of West Africa, Conakry's wet season sees an extraordinary amount of rainfall, averaging more than 1,100 millimetres (43 in) in both July and August. As a result, Conakry's average annual rainfall totals nearly 3,800 millimetres (150 in). However, the dry season is still dry, with January and February only receiving 1 millimetre (0 in) of rainfall on average. Sunshine is lower in the wet season than the dry season, with August receiving the least sunshine and March receiving the most.

Climate data for Conakry (1961-1990)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 32.2
Daily mean °C (°F) 26.1
Average low °C (°F) 19.0
Average rainfall mm (inches) 1
Average rainy days (≥ 1.0 mm) 0 0 0 2 9 18 27 27 22 17 6 1 129
Average relative humidity (%) 71 70 68 70 74 81 85 87 85 81 79 73 77
Mean monthly sunshine hours 223 224 251 222 208 153 109 87 135 189 207 214 2,222
Source: NOAA[11]


Historical population
1983 710,372    
1996 1,092,631+53.8%
2014 1,660,973+52.0%

Government and administration

Conakry is a special city with a single region and prefecture government. The local government of the city was decentralized in 1991 between five municipal communes headed by a mayor.[13] From the tip in the southwest, these are:

  • Kaloum – the city centre
  • Dixinn – including the University of Conakry and many embassies
  • Ratoma – known for its nightlife
  • Matam
  • Matoto – home to Conakry International Airport.

The five urban communes make up the Conakry Region, one of the eight Regions of Guinea, which is headed by a governor. At the second-tier prefecture level, the city is designated as the Conakry Special Zone, though the prefecture and regional government are one and the same. At an estimated 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.


A street scene in Conakry.

Conakry is Guinea's largest city and its administrative, communications, and economic centre. 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 cement, metal manufactures, and fuel products.[14]


Infrastructure crisis

Periodic power and water cuts have been a daily burden for Conakry's residents since early 2002. Government and power company officials blame the drought of February 2001 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 mismanagement, corruption and the withdrawal 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.[16]

Popular anger at shortages in Conakry was entwined with anti-government protests, strikes, and violence against 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 Prime Minister François Lonseny Fall in April 2004. Violence reached a peak in January–February 2007 in a general strike, which saw over one hundred deaths when the Army confronted protesters.[17]


Conakry is serviced by Conakry International Airport which has flights to several cities in West Africa and Europe.


  • Palais Mohammed V[18]
  • Presidential Palace[19]
  • Palais du Peuple[20]


  • Donka Hospital
  • Ignace Deen Hospital[21]
  • Clinique Ambroise Paré[22]
  • Clinique Pasteur


Courtyard at Sandervalia National Museum
Stade du 28 Septembre
  • Sandervalia National Museum[23]
  • National Library of Guinea and National Archives of Guinea[23]
  • Camp Boiro[24]
  • Monument du 22 Novembre 1970[25]

Places of worship

Important Islamic mosques in the city include the Grand Mosque of Conakry. There are also Christian churches and temples, including the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Conakry's Cathédrale Sainte-Marie, the Église Protestante Évangélique de Guinée (Alliance World Fellowship), and the Assemblies of God.[26][27]

Universities and education

  • Collège Gbessia Centre
  • Collège-Lycée Sainte-Marie
  • Gamal Abdel Nasser University (Institut Polytechnique de Conakry)[28][29]
  • Institut Géographique National (Guinea)[30]
  • Université Kofi Annan[31]

Parks and gardens

  • Jardin 2 Octobre[32]
  • Conakry Botanical Garden[33]

Notable people

  • Mamadi Diakite, NBA basketball player
  • Maciré Sylla, singer, dancer, author and composer

See also


  • Dave, Nomi (2019) The Revolution's Echoes: Music, Politics & Pleasure in Guinea. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
  • Thomas O'Toole, Janice E. Baker. (2005) Historical Dictionary of Guinea. Scarecrow Press. ISBN 0-8108-4634-9
  • Philipps, Joschka (2013) Ambivalent Rage: Youth Gangs and Urban Protest in Conakry, Guinea. Harmattan Guinée.
  • Cohen, Adrienne ( 2019) "Performing Excess: Urban Ceremony and the Semiotics of Precarity in Guinea-Conakry." Africa: The Journal of the International African Institute. 89 (4): 718–738.
  • 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
  • Conakry the Capital: history of the city at site of expat artist.
  • HISTOIRE DE CONAKRY, 1463 to present, by Luc MOGENET, reprinted at (no date)
  • Kids in Guinea Study Under Airport Lamps, RUKMINI CALLIMACHI The Associated Press, Thursday, 19 July 2007.
  • Archdiocese of Conakry: history and structure (at
  • Guinea's Telecommunication Infrastructure, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), 1999 figures.


  1. "Etat et Structure de la Population Recensement General de la Population et de l'habitation 2014" (PDF). Direction Nationale de la Statistique de Guinée. Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 November 2019. Retrieved 27 March 2020.
  2. "Sub-national HDI – Area Database – Global Data Lab". Archived from the original on 23 September 2018. Retrieved 13 September 2018.
  3. "GeoHive – Guinea population statistics". Archived from the original on 24 November 2015. Retrieved 5 June 2016.
  4. "Background Note: Guinea" Archived 4 June 2019 at the Wayback Machine. Bureau of African Affairs, U.S. Department of State, January 2007. Retrieved 24 February 2007; World Gazetteer . Retrieved 16 June 2008
  5. Roman Adrian Cybriwsky, Capital Cities around the World: An Encyclopedia of Geography, History, and Culture, ABC-CLIO, USA, 2013, p. 89
  6. Patrick Manning. Francophone Sub-Saharan Africa, 1880–1995, Cambridge (1998)
  7. For the urban infrastructure and its history, see M. Dian DIALLO. Street Addressing And Basic Services in Conakry, Guinea Archived 6 September 2021 at the Wayback Machine. Presented at the Urban Forum/ World Bank – Washington, D.C. – 2–4 April 2002.
  8. "Cloudy Days in Conakry". Time. 7 December 1970. Archived from the original on 27 December 2007.
  9. Gomez, Alsény René (2010). La Guinée peut-elle être changée?. Editions L'Harmattan. ISBN 978-2-296-11963-5.
  10. "Guinea massacre toll put at 157". BBC News. 29 September 2009. Archived from the original on 2 October 2009. Retrieved 21 March 2012.
  11. "Conakry Climate Normals 1961–1990". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 6 July 2015.
  12. "Conakry population statistics". Archived from the original on 6 June 2019. Retrieved 2 July 2019.
  13. " – Conakry (la capitale)". Archived from the original on 28 March 2014. Retrieved 14 October 2014.
  14. "Europa World Online : Log In". Archived from the original on 6 September 2021. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
  15. Hudgens, Jim; Trillo, Richard (30 December 2003). The rough guide to West Africa. Rough Guides. p. 558. ISBN 978-1-84353-118-0. Retrieved 16 March 2011.
  16. Conakry's dark streets turning orange. James Copnall, BBC News Archived 14 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine, Guinea . 23 November 2006.
  17. For the relations between the 2007 crisis and infrastructure in Conakry, see:
  18. Schwarz-Bart, Simone; Schwarz-Bart, André (2003). In Praise of Black Women: Modern African women. Univ of Wisconsin Press. p. 121. ISBN 978-0-299-17270-1. Archived from the original on 28 May 2016. Retrieved 16 March 2011.
  19. Davidson, Basil (1989). The fortunate isles: a study in African transformation. Africa World Press. p. 104. ISBN 978-0-86543-122-5. Retrieved 16 March 2011.
  20. GUINEA Dying for Change Brutality and Repression by Guinean Security Forces in Response to a Nationwide Strike. Human Rights Watch. 2007. p. 17. GGKEY:1UZAQCJ7E3A. Archived from the original on 6 May 2016. Retrieved 16 March 2011.
  21. Rev Fr Gynecol Obstet, Diallo MS, Diallo TS, Diallo FB, Diallo Y, Camara AY, Onivogui G, Keita N, Diawo SA. (1995) Mar;90(3):138-41., Anemia and pregnancy. Epidemiologic, clinical and prognostic study at the university clinic of the Ignace Deen Hospital, Conakry (Guinee) Archived 18 August 2018 at the Wayback Machine, Clinique universitaire de Gynécologie-Obstétrique, Hôpital Ignace Deen, Conakry Guinée.
  22. Young, Isabelle; Gherardin, Tony (15 July 2008). Africa. Lonely Planet. p. 411. ISBN 978-1-74059-143-0. Archived from the original on 16 May 2016. Retrieved 16 March 2011.
  23. Worldmark Encyclopedia of the Nations: Africa. Gale Research. 1995. p. 189. ISBN 978-0-8103-9880-1. Retrieved 16 March 2011.
  24. Bâ, Ardo Ousmane (1986). Camp Boiro. L'Harmattan. ISBN 978-2-85802-649-4. Archived from the original on 29 May 2016. Retrieved 16 March 2011.
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  30. Böhme, Rolf (December 1991). Inventory of World Topographic Mapping: South America, Central America, and Africa. Published on behalf of the International Cartographic Association by Elsevier Applied Science Publishers. p. 344. ISBN 978-1-85166-661-4. Archived from the original on 7 May 2016. Retrieved 16 March 2011.
  31. "Etudes en Guinee" (PDF) (in French). Projet EtudiantGuinée. Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 July 2011. Retrieved 16 March 2011.
  32. Europa Publications (9 December 2003). Africa South of the Sahara 2004. Psychology Press. p. 520. ISBN 978-1-85743-183-4. Archived from the original on 28 May 2016. Retrieved 16 March 2011.
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