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Ville de Dakar
Coat of arms of Dakar
Coat of arms
Location of Dakar in Senegal
Location of Dakar in Senegal
Country  Senegal
Région Dakar
Département Dakar
Settled 15th century
Communes d'arrondissement
 • Mayor Khalifa Sall (2009)[1] (BSS/PS)
 • Regional president Abdoulaye Wade (since 2002)
 • City 82.38 km2 (31.81 sq mi)
 • Metro
547 km2 (211 sq mi)
 (December 31, 2005 estimate)[3]
 • City 1,030,594
 • Density 12,510/km2 (32,400/sq mi)
 • Metro
 • Metro density 4,484/km2 (11,610/sq mi)

Dakar is the capital city of Senegal. It is on the country's Atlantic coast on the western edge of Africa. The city is a trade seaport for items leaving Africa. Dakar has a population of 1,030,594 people. The metropolitan area has about 2.45 million people living in it.[3]

The National Assembly of Senegal and Senegal Presidential Palace are in Dakar.


The area that is now Dakar was first settled around the 15th century. In 1444, Portuguese created a colony there. By 1536, the colony was being used to as part of the slave trade. Between 1588 and 1677, the area was fought over by many countries. During this time it was under the control of the Portuguese, Dutch, English, and finally the French.

In 1857, the French built a military base here. This base was called Dakar. It was made the capital of French West Africa in 1902. Dakar was one of the major cities of the French Empire during this time. It was very important in terms of trade, military, and communications to the empire until World War II.

The city was the capital of the Mali Federation from 1959 to 1960. It then became the capital of Senegal.


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