Rufisque is a city in the
Dakar region of western Senegal, at the base
Cap-Vert Peninsula. It has a population of 179,797 (2002
census). In the past it was an important port city in
its own right, but is now a suburb of Dakar.
Rufisque is also the capital of the department of the same name and is
lying 25 kilometres (16 mi) south-east of Dakar, the capital of
2 Decline of port
5 See also
7 External links
Rufisque train station, 1910.
Lebou fishing village called Tenguedj (Wolof: Tëngéej),
Rufisque became important in the 16th century as the principal port of
the kingdom of Cayor, being frequented by Portuguese (who named it Rio
Fresco, in which the name of the city originated from, meaning in
English:"Freshwater River"), Dutch, French and English traders. A
Euro-African Creole, or Métis, community of merchants grew up there,
in close contact with similar communities in Saint Louis,
other places along the Petite Côte (Portudal, Joal) south to the
Rufisque, on the
Cap-Vert Peninsula, Senegal
In 1840 a couple of Saint Louis merchants built warehouses on the
waterfront to stock peanuts.
Gorée merchants followed suit. There
followed a period of commercial expansion as peanut production in
Cayor boomed. In 1859 a fort was built by the French and
annexed to the Colony of Senegal. The "Escale" commercial and
administrative neighborhood along the waterfront was laid out in
1862—the African inhabitants being pushed out in the process.
Rufisque became a "commune" in 1880 and its port was connected to the
Dakar-Saint Louis railroad in 1885. In 1909
Galandou Diouf (died 1941)
was elected to represent
Rufisque in the General Council of the colony
in Saint Louis, being the first African elected to that position.
Decline of port
Early in the 20th century the growth of neighboring Dakar, with its
superior port facilities, signaled the decline of Rufisque. No longer
an active port,
Rufisque has experienced steep decline of industrial
activities and is certainly the most neglected of Senegal's four
historic "communes", with no tourism sector and a chronic lack of
investment in public infrastructure.
Rufisque has a cement works.
Ndiawar Touré took office as Mayor of
Rufisque on 8 June 2002.
Mbaye-Jacques Diop was Mayor from 1987 to 2002, and he was
subsequently designated as Honorary Mayor.
Railway stations in Senegal
^ Europa Publications (2003). Africa South of the Sahara 2004.
Routledge. p. 937. ISBN 9781857431834. Retrieved
Rufisque News, online version of Rufisque-based newspaper.
Portions of this article were translated from French language
Coordinates: 14°43′N 17°16′W / 14.717°N 17.267°W /