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Kenema is the second largest city in Sierra Leone, and the largest city in the Eastern Province of Sierra Leone. The city is the capital of Kenema District and is a major economic center of the Eastern Province. Kenema officially overtook Bo as Sierra Leone second largest city, after it's surpassed Bo by population in the 2015 Sierra Leone national census.

Kenema, Sierra Leone
Kenema clocktower
Kenema clocktower
Kenema, Sierra Leone is located in Sierra Leone
Kenema, Sierra Leone
Kenema, Sierra Leone
Location in Sierra Leone
Coordinates: 7°52′33″N 11°11′27″W / 7.87583°N 11.19083°W / 7.87583; -11.19083
Country Flag of Sierra Leone.svg Sierra Leone
Province Eastern Province
District Kenema District
Government
 • Type City Council
 • Mayor Joseph Samba Kaifala (SLPP)[1]
 • Deputy Mayor Esther Kaisamba (SLPP)[2]
 • Governing Body Kenema City Council
Population (2015 census)
 • Total 200,354[3]
Time zone GMT (UTC-5)
Collage of images of downtown Kenema
Downtown Kenema

The city of Kenema had a population of 200,354 in the 2015 Sierra Leone census[4]. Kenema lies approximately 320 kilometres (200 mi) south-east of Freetown [1] and about 60 kilometres (40 mi) south of Bo.

Kenema is one of the most ethnically diverse cities in Sierra Leone and is home to significant numbers of many of the country's ethnic groups. The Krio language is by far the most widely spoken language in the city, and is the primary language of communication in the city.

The city of Kenema is one of Sierra Leone's six municipalities and is governed by a directly elected city council form of government, headed by a mayor, in whom executive authority is vested. The mayor is responsible for the general management of the city. The mayor and members of the Kenema City Council are directly elected every four years in a municipal election. The current mayor of Kenema is Joseph Samba Kaifala of the Sierra Leone People's Party, who was elected mayor in the 2012 Kenema Mayoral election with 74.99%[5].

Like the rest of Sierra Leone, football is by far the most popular sport in the city. The Sierra Leone professional club called the Kamboi Eagles, which is based in Kenema, represent the city in the Sierra Leone National Premier League.

Kenema has a strong history of being the hometown of some of Sierra Leone's most famous international soccer stars. Sierra Leone's most famous international soccer star Mohamed Kallon is a native of Kenema Other notable Sierra Leonean international footballers from Kenema include Sierra Leone's current top striker Kei Kamara, others include retired Sierra Leonean International soccer stars Paul Kpaka, Kemokai Kallon and Musa Kallon.

The city grew along with a now-closed railway, around the logging and carpentry industries, and recently with diamond mines first discovered in 1931.

Contents

2014 Ebola outbreakEdit

Kenema was the first place in Sierra Leone to report Ebola.[6]

GovernmentEdit

The city of Kenema is one of Sierra Leone's six municipalities and is governed with a city council form of government, which is headed by a mayor, in whom executive authority is vested. The mayor is responsible for the general management of the city. The mayor is elected directly by the residents of Kenema in a municipal elections held every four years. The current mayor of Kenema is Joseph Samba Keifala, a member of the Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP), who won the 2012 Kenema Mayorship election with 74.99%, defeating his main opponent Ishmail Sesay of the APC, who tok 19.36%[7]. Kenema is a political stronghold of the SLPP party, the main opposition party in Sierra Leone.

DemographicsEdit

Kenema is one of the most ethnically diverse cities in Sierra Leone. The city is home to all of the country's ethnic groups, though the Mende people make up the largest ethnic group.

EducationEdit

 
The clock tower in Kenema

As in the rest of Sierra Leone, Kenema has an education system with six years of primary school (Class 1-6), and six years of secondary school (Form 6-12); 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. Prominent schools in Kenema include The Government Secondary School(GSSK), The Holy Trinity Secondary School, Ahmadiyya Secondary School, Holy Rosary Secondary School, and Islamic Secondary School.

The Eastern Polytechnic situated at the main Combema Road is the highest learning institution in the city, offering certificates and degree courses.

HealthEdit

Kenema and Bo are endemic areas for a highly contagious tropical hemorragic fever known as Lassa fever. The Kenema Government Hospital is the centre of an international effort to combat the disease with support from the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNAMSIL. New laboratories to improve rapid diagnosis are being installed at the hospital, which admits between 250 and 500 suspected cases per year.

TransportationEdit

The city is served by the Kenema Airport.

SportEdit

As in the rest of the country, football is by far the most popular sport in Kenema. The city two popular football clubs, the Kamboi Eagles and Gem Stars play in the Sierra Leone National Premier League, the top football league in country.

MediaEdit

The five main radio stations in Kenema are Eastern Radio 101.9, Radio Nongowa - SPIN FM 101.3, City Radio 103.3, Starline Radio 98.4 and Sierra Leone's national radio and television stations, SLBS TV, and SLBS Radio are on the air in Kenema. The BBC World Service, CNN International, and several other international stations are on the air in Kenema on satellite only.

 
Kenema shopping mall

Notable peopleEdit

NamesakesEdit

There are a number of places in Sierra Leone with this name.

GalleryEdit

External linksEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Lebanese shops looted in S Leone". BBC News. 2007-10-26. Retrieved 2015-08-03.