Pointe-Noire

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Pointe Noire)
Jump to: navigation, search
This article is about the city in the Republic of the Congo. For the village in Guadeloupe, see Pointe-Noire, Guadeloupe. For the port and settlement in Quebec, Canada, see Pointe-Noire, Quebec. For the Peruvian district, see Punta Negra.
Pointe-Noire
Pointe Noire Railway Station
Pointe Noire Railway Station
Pointe-Noire is located in Republic of the Congo
Pointe-Noire
Pointe-Noire
Location in the Republic of the Congo
Coordinates: 04°46′43″S 11°51′49″E / 4.77861°S 11.86361°E / -4.77861; 11.86361
Country Flag of the Republic of the Congo.svg Republic of the Congo
Department Pointe-Noire Department
Commune Pointe-Noire
Founded 1883
Government
 • Mayor Roland Bouiti-Viaudo (MAR)
Area
 • Total 1,144 km2 (442 sq mi)
Elevation 14 m (46 ft)
Population (2007[1])
 • Total 715,334
 • Density 630/km2 (1,600/sq mi)
Area code(s) 242
Website www.pointenoireinformation.com

Pointe-Noire is the second largest city in the Republic of the Congo, following the capital of Brazzaville, and an autonomous department since 2004. Before this date it was the capital of the Kouilou region (now a separate department). It is situated on a headland between Pointe-Noire Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. Pointe-Noire is the main commercial centre of the country and has a population of 715,334 (2007),[2] expanding to well over 1 million when the entire metropolitan area is taken into account.

Climate[edit]

The climate is tropically hot and humid. September and October experience somewhat less rainfall than the rest of the year.

Climate data for Pointe-Noire
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 28
(83)
29
(85)
29
(85)
29
(85)
28
(82)
26
(78)
24
(76)
24
(76)
26
(78)
27
(80)
27
(81)
28
(82)
27.1
(80.9)
Average low °C (°F) 24
(76)
24
(76)
25
(77)
25
(77)
24
(75)
21
(70)
20
(68)
21
(69)
22
(72)
24
(75)
24
(75)
24
(75)
23.2
(73.8)
Precipitation mm (inches) 170
(6.7)
206
(8.1)
224
(8.8)
180
(7)
89
(3.5)
0
(0)
0
(0)
3
(0.1)
15
(0.6)
71
(2.8)
180
(7.1)
140
(5.5)
1,278
(50.2)
Source: Weatherbase [3]

Administration[edit]

Pointe-Noire is a commune divided into six urban districts (arrondissements):

History[edit]

Pointe Noire's (Black Point) name originated from Portuguese navigators who saw a block of black rocks on the headland in 1484. From then on, Pointe Noire, called Ponta Negra, became a maritime reference, and then a small fishing village from 1883, after the French signed a treaty with local people, Loangos.

In 1910, French Equatorial Africa (Afrique équatoriale française, AEF) was created, and French companies were allowed to exploit the Middle Congo (modern-day Congo Brazzaville). It soon became necessary to build a railroad that would connect Brazzaville, the terminus of the river navigation on the Congo River and the Ubangui River, with the Atlantic coast. As rapids make it impossible to navigate on the Congo River past Brazzaville, and the coastal railroad terminus site had to allow for the construction of a deep-sea port, authorities chose the site of Ponta Negra instead of Libreville as originally envisaged. Construction of the Congo-Ocean Railway began in 1921, and led to the foundation of Pointe-Noire on 22 May 1922.

In 1927, drinking water became available in the city, which had about 3,000 inhabitants. The airport was built in 1932. In 1934, Governor Raphael Antonetti inaugurated the Congo-Ocean Railway. The first hospital was built in 1936. That same year, Bank of West Africa (BAO) opened its first branch in the city. In 1942, the Pointe-Noire Harbour welcomed the first ship, and made the city the AEF's seaport.

In 1950, Pointe-Noire had 20,000 inhabitants, and became the capital of the Middle Congo, while Brazzaville was the capital city of the AEF. In 1957, the Middle-Congo became the Republic of Congo, although it was still not independent. Incidents which occurred during 1958 legislative elections led the leaders of the Democratic Union for the Defence of African Interests (Union démocratique pour la défense des interets africains, UDDIA) to transfer the capital to Brazzaville, since Pointe-Noire was under the influence of political opposition.

Pointe-Noire continued growing, and was the most modern city in 1960, when Congo gained independence. Then, the oil discovery around 1980 re-attracted people and factories (Elf Aquitaine). The population doubled by 1982, and reached 360,000 in 1994.

Civil wars in 1997 and 1999 caused an influx of refugees from the surrounding provinces (Lékoumou, Niari, Bouenza, Pool) towards Pointe-Noire, causing the population to climb to over 1 million inhabitants.

Recently The Government has proposed the development of a new bulk resource port to be constructed at Point Indienne, 30 km to the North of the Port of Pointe-Noire . A meeting was held on 18 December 2012 with a collective of 10 Congo Government Ministries and invited mining companies to discuss the future development opportunities.

Economy[edit]

Pointe-Noire is the essential center of the oil industry of the Republic of Congo, one of the main oil producers in Central Africa. Congolese oil has been largely exploited by the French company Elf Aquitaine since its discovery around 1980.

Pointe-Noire is also known for its fishing industry, which is often at odds with the oil development.[4]

Formerly, Pointe-Noire was home to a potash exploitation which led to the construction of a wharf, currently closed to the public. The city is twinned with the French city of Le Havre.

Notre Dame beach

Transport[edit]

Pointe-Noire is home to Agostinho Neto Airport, one of the most frequented international airports in the country. It is also the terminus of the Congo-Ocean Railway, the railway station being a notable building. As of 2014 the railway was operating the La Gazelle train service every other day to Brazzaville and intermediate destinations.[5]

Thanks to its rapid growth, the city now includes Tié-Tié Railway Station and Ngondji Railway Station, the next railway stations after the Pointe Noire terminus.

Pointe-Noire has a taxi-bus network that runs throughout the entire city.

On 22 June 2010 a train departing from Pointe-Noire derailed resulting in the deaths of at least 50 passengers.[6] The railway was built by the French between 1921 and 1934 during the French colonial rule in Congo, thousands of people have died while building the railway.[6]

Public transport in Point-Noire

Rankings[edit]

In the Mercer (consulting firm) Quality of Living Survey of 215 cities; Pointe Noire is ranked 209 in 2009. The rank for 2008 was 210.

International relations[edit]

Twin towns – Sister cities[edit]

Pointe-Noire is twinned with:

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Estimation at World Gazetteer". Archived from the original on 5 January 2013. 
  2. ^ Official INSEC figures
  3. ^ "Weatherbase: Historical Weather for Pointe-Noire, Republic of Congo". Weatherbase. 2011.  Retrieved on November 24, 2011.
  4. ^ Tati, Gabriel (2004). "Sharing Public Space in Pointe-Noire, Congo-Brazzaville: Immigrant Fishermen and a Multinational Oil Company". In Hansen, Karen Tranberg. Reconsidering informality: perspectives from urban Africa. Nordic Africa Institute, 2004. p. 235. ISBN 91-7106-518-0. 
  5. ^ 2014 Timetable, Lonely Planet, https://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/forums/africa/congo/la-gazelle-train-brazzaville-to-pointe-noire
  6. ^ a b Al Jazeera - Scores dead in Congo train crash
  7. ^ Florence, Jeanne. "Le Havre - Les villes jumelées" [Le Havre - Twin towns] (in French). Retrieved 2013-08-07. 
  8. ^ "Le Havre - Les villes jumelées" [Le Havre - Twin towns]. City of Le Havre (in French). Archived from the original on 2013-07-24. Retrieved 2013-08-07. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 04°48′S 11°51′E / 4.800°S 11.850°E / -4.800; 11.850