|Makeni, Sierra Leone|
Location in Sierra Leone
|Coordinates: 8°52′54″N 12°02′39″W|
|• Type||City Council|
|• Mayor||Sunkarie Kabba-Kamara(APC)|
|• Deputy Mayor||Isatu Fofanah (APC)|
|• Governing Body||Makeni City Council|
|Time zone||GMT (UTC-5)|
Makeni is the fourth largest city in Sierra Leone (after Freetown, Bo and Kenema) and the largest city and economic center of the Northern Province. Makeni is the capital andadministrative center of Bombali District. The city lies approximately 137 kilometers (85 miles) east of Freetown. Makeni is a major commercial, educational, tranportational and economic center. The city had a population of 80,840 in the 2004 census and a current estimate of 112,489.
The city is home to the University of Makeni, the largest private university in Sierra Leone . Makeni is home to the St. Francis Secondary School, one of the most prominent secondary schools in Sierra Leone and is widely known for producing some of Sierra Leone’s most gifted students.
The population of Makeni is ethnically diverse, though the Temne people make up the majority of the population. The Krio language is used as the primary language of communication among the different ethnic groups in the city, though the Temne language is also widely understood in the city.
Makeni is one of Sierra Leone’s six municipalities and is governed by a directly electedcity council, headed by a mayor, in whom executive authority is vested. The mayor is responsible for the general management of the city.
Football is by far the most popular sport in the city. The Sierra Leone professional football club the Wusum Stars, that is based in Makeni, represent the city in the Sierra Leone National Premier League.
Makeni is the hometown of Sierra Leone’s president Ernest Bai Koroma, as he was born and raised in the city. Like most parts of Northern Sierra Leone, Makeni is a reliable political stronghold of the ruling All People’s Congress (APC) political party. The city votes by an overwhelming majority for the APC in presidential, parliamentary andcity council elections.
The city of Makeni is one of Sierra Leone’s six municipalities and is governed by a city council which is headed by a mayor in whomexecutive authority is vested. The mayor is responsible for the general management of the city and is elected directly by the residents of Makeni in municipal elections held every four years. The current mayor of Makeni is Sunkari Kabba-Kamara of the All People’s Congress (APC). Sunkari Kabba-Kamara first defeated the incumebent Mayor of Makeni Moses Musa Sesay in a primary election; and she went on to win easily in the 2012 Makeni Mayorship election with an overwhelmingly majority of 86.95%, defeating the main opposition SLPP candidate Abu A Koroma, who took only 5.79%.
Thecity of Makeni, along with the entire Bombali District is a reliable political stronghold of the APC party. The city and the entire Bombali District overwhelmingly suppot the APC in a large majority in Presidential, Parliamentary, and local councils elections.
Makeni is home to one of Sierra Leone’s biggest and oldest football clubs called the Wusum Stars. The club currently playing in theSierra Leone National Premier League, the top football league in the country. The club represents Makeni and the entire Bombali District. They won the Sierra Leonean FA Cup in 1979.
The local radio station that serves Makeni and the Bombali District is Radio Mankneh 95.1. Sierra Leone’s national radio and television stations, SLBC (Sierra Leone Broadcasting Cooperation) are on the air in the city, as well as The BBC World Service, CNN International, and several other private stations are on the air for those who have satellite.
Like the rest of Sierra Leone, Makeni has an education system with six years of primary school (Class 1-6), and six years of secondary school (Form 1-6); secondary schools are further divided into Junior secondary school (Form 1-3) and Senior secondary school (Form 4-6). Primary schools usually start from ages 6 to 12, and secondary schools usually start from ages 13 to 18. Primary Education is free and compulsory in government-sponsored public schools.
Aid from China
In March 2010, the Chinese ambassador to Sierra Leone, Qiu Shaofang traveled to the city on an official visit to donate one 16 kVA generator and nine sewing machines.”China Donates to Makeni Council.” Sierra Express Media. Sierra Express Media, 27 Mar. 2010. Web. 11 Oct. 2010. .
Notable people from Makeni
- Ernest Bai Koroma, president of Sierra Leone
- Edward Turay, lawyer
- Brima Koroma, football star
- Daddi Cool, Sierra Leonean-born Guinean reggae musician
- Moses Musa Sesay, mayor of Makeni
- Mohamed Kamara, football star