from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Freetown (Sierra Leone)
Coordinates 8 ° 29 ′  N , 13 ° 14 ′  W Coordinates: 8 ° 29 ′  N , 13 ° 14 ′  W
Western AreaWestern Area
coat of arms
coat of arms
Basic data
Country Sierra Leone


Western film
District Western Area Urban
Chiefdom none
height 0 m
surface 357 km²
Residents 1,050,000 (2015)
density 2,941.2  Ew. / km²
founding 1787
Website (English)
mayor Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr (2018)
Political party APC
Aerial view of Freetown
Aerial view of Freetown

Freetown is the capital of the West African state of Sierra Leone and has around 1.05 million inhabitants (as of 2015). Freetown is located on the northwest tip of the Freetown Peninsula , a peninsula that extends into the Atlantic Ocean and lies on the delta of the Sierra Leone River .



The landscape around Sierra Leone is characterized by hills with tropical rainforest that extend to the sandy beaches. Much of the primary forest has been destroyed by slash and burn and logging . In 2010, the entire area of ​​the Peninsula was raised in its protection status as the Western Area Peninsular National Park in order to ensure the preservation of the existing forests. Mangroves and marshland are common in the southern part of the peninsula and at the estuaries . These are particularly threatened around Aberdeen Creek in the center of the city.


Climatic diagram Freetown

The climate in Freetown is tropical and humid with rainfall no less than 3000 millimeters per year. Freetown is one of the wettest capitals on earth.

The climate is divided into three seasons: a rainy season , a dry season and the harmattant season . The rainy season starts in May and ends in November. The peak between June and October is marked by daily thunderstorms and rainfall, which often last for weeks. The Harmattan, a dry Sahara wind , blows between December and February.

The dry season begins in mid-October and rainfall becomes less frequent. In December and January the climate is characterized by the Harmattan , a wind from the Sahara that brings dust and surprisingly cool air with it. February, March, April are the hottest months with rare rainfall.

The year-round temperatures are between 28 ° C and 31 ° C during the day  and between 23 ° C and 25 ° C at night. The annual average is 30 ° C during the day and 24 ° C at night. The Atlantic has a constant 26 to 27 ° C. The humidity rarely falls below 75 percent, between April and November it is usually well over 90 percent.

Average monthly temperatures and rainfall for Freetown
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Max. Temperature ( ° C ) 31 30th 31 31 31 30th 29 28 29 30th 31 31 O 30.2
Min. Temperature (° C) 24 25th 26th 25th 25th 24 24 24 24 24 25th 24 O 24.5
Temperature (° C) 27 28 28 28 28 27 26th 26th 26th 27 28 27 O 27.2
Precipitation ( mm ) 3.4 3.6 12.5 46.9 177.2 323.0 734.3 791.1 484.1 265.8 87.5 15.9 Σ 2,945.3
Hours of sunshine ( h / d ) 7.3 7.7 7.5 6.9 6.1 5.1 3.3 2.8 4.2 6.0 6.6 5.2 O 5.7
Rainy days ( d ) 0 0 1 4th 15th 22nd 27 27 24 21st 9 2 Σ 152
Water temperature (° C) 26th 26th 26th 26th 26th 26th 26th 26th 26th 26th 26th 26th O 26th
Humidity ( % ) 76 75 75 75 80 84 87 88 87 85 83 79 O 81.2
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec


First settlement

The area around Freetown was settled in 1787 by freed slaves , possibly around Thomas Peters , from England , Canada and the USA as well as the Jamaican Maroons. Bunce Island , a small island off Freetown, was for a long time the largest slave transhipment point in West Africa.

Freetown (1850)
Map of Freetown (1894)

Before the whites came to the coast, Freetown was called "Romarong", the "City of Lamentation". This name originated from the constant “screaming” and “crying” of the victims in the strong storms at the mouth of the Sierra Leone River . The first white settlers gave it the name "Granville Town".

Colonial times

Freetown (around 1905)

Between 1808 and 1874 Freetown was the capital of British West Africa . It was the most important location of the Royal Navy West Africa Squadron , which was supposed to enforce the prohibition of slavery. During this time, the population in Freetown increased significantly as numerous freed slaves were settled.

Younger story

In the late 1990s, bitter fighting between rebels and government forces took place in the city as part of the civil war . It was in 1998 by troops of the ECOWAS taken that back Ahmad Tejan Kabbah wanted as president. In 1999, troops from the Revolutionary United Front attacked the city and a ceasefire was agreed in May. But it was not until the beginning of 2002 that the civil war could be ended with the support of the United Nations ( UNAMSIL ). In the same year Freetown became the seat of the Special Court for Sierra Leone , which is supposed to bring those primarily responsible for war crimes to account.

For 2016, ISESCO has named Freetown as the capital of Islamic culture in the African region.


The population in Freetown is made up of practically all ethnic groups in the country . Currently (as of 2019) the city is recording a population growth of more than four percent per year. In 2015 Freetown had 1.05 million inhabitants. It is expected to double by 2028.

Politics and administration

Freetown is one of City Council ( City Council ) chaired by a mayor out. This office has been held by Sam Franklyn Gibson since 2012. The historical center of the city is the actual City of Freetown (see City of London ). The construction of a new central administration building for the city council has been planned since the end of 2017.

Map of Freetown city center

Politically, Greater Freetown is divided into three districts: East End , Central and West End , which in turn are divided into a total of 17 constituencies ( list of constituencies in Sierra Leone ).

Economy and Infrastructure


Freetown is the country's economic center. Most large companies have their headquarters or headquarters in the city. The port of Freetown , one of the largest natural harbors in the world, plays an important role. Industries in Freetown include beverage bottling (including Sierra Leone Brewery ), fish processing , rice milling , oil refining , diamond processing companies, and cigarette making .


View of Freetown from Tower Hill

One of the most famous tourist spots is the Cotton Tree . The tree has stood in downtown Freetown since at least 1787. The small Sierra Leone National Museum is also located here .

Other sights are the building of the Supreme Court, the so-called "Portuguese stairs", the gate to the Old Kings Yard and the three historic cannons on the city limits.

Among the places of worship , various churches are worth seeing such as St. John's Maroon (from 1820), St. George's Cathedral (1828), Jamiul Salaam Foulah Town Mosque (1830), Muammar al-Gaddafi Mosque , the Roman Catholic Sacred Heart Cathedral and Freetown Central Mosque .

Supreme Court

The National Railway Museum in Cline Town exhibits the largest and heaviest narrow-gauge locomotive ever built. In the hills outside Freetown is the Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary and Raising Area .

There are many small islands along the peninsula, including a. Bunce Island with the ruins of a fort. Lumley Beach in Freetown is a popular destination.

Other beaches are:

  • River No. 2 Beach (30 minutes from Freetown)
  • Lakka Beach
  • Toke Beach
  • Mamma Beach
  • Kent Beach

In 2017, Victoria Park in the city center was converted into Freetown Amusement Park , a small amusement park.


Typical street and traffic in Freetown

The port of Freetown traditionally plays an important role. It is the third largest natural harbor in the world and was approached again by large cruise ships for the first time at the end of 2013.

Connected to the international air traffic network through Lungi International Airport , on the other side of the Sierra Leone River, and the nearby Hastings airport .

Freetown is struggling with chaotic traffic conditions due to poor road conditions, because only the most important roads in Freetown are paved, high traffic volumes and missing street signs. Freetown is the largest city in the world that does not have any traffic lights .


The energy supply in Sierra Leone could not be guaranteed at any time in the last 50 years. Even today (as of April 2019) there is no continuous power supply in the city. With the construction of a power plant on the Bumbuna reservoir ( Bumbuna Hydroelectric Project ), the city administration has ensured four hours of public electricity a day since 2009.

In 2014, West Africa's largest solar park with a capacity of six megawatts was to be built near Freetown .

Water, sewage and waste

95 percent of the city's residents have no access to drinking water or are not connected to sewage systems. Outside of the city center (Central Business District) there is no public infrastructure of this kind. There are two waste dumps in the city. A cleaning day is held every month , during which the residents clean the streets and squares.

Education and sport


Former headquarters of Fourah Bay College (date unknown)

Tertiary education is primarily ensured by the University of Sierra Leone (USL) and Njala University . The second has a campus in Freetown, but its headquarters are in the city of Njala .

The Fourah Bay College (part of USL) is the oldest university in black Africa and why Freetown is also called the "Athens of West Africa". It was founded in 1827. Originally a missionary school, Fourah Bay quickly became a magnet for many educated people from all over West Africa. She achieved fame particularly in the fields of theology and education . Another campus belonging to the college is the Eastern Polytechnic in Kenema .

Njala University College has a campus both in Freetown (temporarily, originally in the city of Njala) and in the provincial capital Bo . Similar to a German university of applied sciences , technical and practical subjects such as agriculture and technology are taught here.

In addition to the universities, there are some polytechnics as well as numerous elementary and high schools as well as vocational schools, including:

  • Methodist Boys High School
  • American International School
  • Ayoub International School
  • Lebanese International School

Town twinning

Source: Freetown City Council, 2009

sons and daughters of the town

Pick born in Freetown
Selection of deceased in Freetown

Web links

Commons : Freetown  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Freetown  - explanations of meanings, origins of words, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. a b SIERRA LEONE 2015 POPULATION AND HOUSING CENSUS, PROVISIONAL RESULTS. Statistics Sierra Leone, March 2016, p. 4.
  2. ^ Disappearing Mangroves. Lost Freetown, December 13, 2016.
  3. a b Freetown Climate & Temperature. Retrieved December 16, 2015.
  4. ^ Geography. ( Memento of the original from December 22, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. Retrieved December 16, 2015. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  5. a b Thomas Peters (approx. 1738–1792) True Founder of Freetown. The Sierra Leone Web. Retrieved February 19, 2020.
  6. ^ A b Rosalind Shaw: Memories of the Slave Trade, Ritual and the Historical Imagination in Sierra Leone. (Mohamed Sheriff), University of Chicago Press 2002, p. 37.
  7. ^ Rosanne Marion Adderley: "New negroes from Africa" ​​slave trade abolition and free African settlement in the nineteenth-century Caribbean . Indiana University Press, Bloomington 2006, ISBN 978-0-253-21827-8 .
  8. a b c Our Freetown. Freetown City Council. Retrieved April 5, 2019.
  9. ^ Freetown City Council Complex Project. The Patriotic Vanguard, December 14, 2017.
  10. The Freetown Amusement Park is an added blessing to the tourism industry. National Tourist Board Sierra Leone, June 29, 2017.
  11. Jarrah Kawusu-Konte: Bumbuna Complete, His Excellency the President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma Launches Test Phase. (No longer available online.) In: Archived from the original on March 4, 2016 ; Retrieved November 9, 2016 . Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  12. ^ Solar lighting revolution underway in Sierra Leone. Voice of Africa, November 12, 2014 , accessed November 12, 2014.
  13. David Signer: The creative waste recycling from Kenema. Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone, is literally drowning in trash. A small town in the interior shows that there is another way . NZZ, Zurich July 2, 2019
  15. ( Memento of the original from June 23, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  16. ( Memento of the original from May 21, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  17. ^ Lebanese International School Official Site. In: Retrieved November 9, 2016 .
  18. ^ Sister Cities: Freetown. ( Memento of December 22, 2004 in the Internet Archive ) at: , February 9, 2008.
  19. Foreign Ministry PR China: 外交部.cn , March 6th of 2008.
  20. News. ( Memento from December 17, 2009 on the Internet Archive ) Freetown City Council, March 21, 2009.