|City and urban commune|
Women merchants sell tomatoes, fruit, nuts and used clothing in stalls and on tables at the Sikasso Market, February 2008.
|Founded by||Mansa Douala|
|• Total||400 km2 (200 sq mi)|
|Elevation||410 m (1,350 ft)|
|Population (2009 census)|
|• Density||560/km2 (1,500/sq mi)|
|Time zone||GMT (UTC+0)|
Located 375 kilometres (233 mi) southeast of Bamako, 100 kilometres (62 mi) north of Côte d'Ivoire, and 45 kilometres (28 mi) west of Burkina Faso, Sikasso acts as a crossroads between the coastal countries (Togo, Bénin, Ghana, Côte d'Ivoire) and the landlocked Mali and Burkina Faso. Sikasso's ethnic groups include the Bamana, the Senufo (mainly the Supyire), the Bobo (or Bobo Fing, lit. 'black Bobo'), and the Minianka (Mamara Senufo).
Sikasso has abundant agriculture. Sikasso's fruit and vegetable production guarantees the city's self-sufficiency, sparing it from reliance on international food aid.
Sikasso was founded at the beginning of the nineteenth century by Mansa Douala. The town was a small village until 1876 when Tieba Traoré, whose mother came from Sikasso, became King of the Kénédougou Empire and moved its capital there. He established his palace on the sacred Mamelon hill (now home to a water tower) and constructed a tata or fortifying wall to defend against the attacks of both the Dyula conqueror Samori Ture and the French colonial army. The city withstood a long siege from 1887 to 1888 but fell to the French in 1898; rather than surrender to the colonial army, Tieba's brother Babemba Traoré, who had succeeded him as king, committed suicide, honoring the famous Bamanankan saying "Saya ka fisa ni maloya ye" (literally: death is preferable to shame).
Attractions today include the large market, Mamelon hill, the remains of Tieba Traoré's tata, and the nearby Missirikoro Grotto. The festival Triangle du balafon takes place every June, celebrating the traditional Malian instrument.
Sikasso's sister city is Brive-la-Gaillarde, France.
Sikasso receives just under 1,200 mm of rain each year, most of which falls between May and September. August is both the wettest and the coolest month. The highest temperatures are reached at the end of the dry season in March and April when the average daily maximum temperatures are just above 37°C.
|Climate data for Sikasso, Mali (1950-2000)|
|Average high °C (°F)||33.5
|Average low °C (°F)||15.3
|Precipitation mm (inches)||1.5
|Source: World Weather Information Service|
- "Common and Fundamental Operational Datasets Registry: Mali", United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. commune_mali.zip (Originally from the Direction Nationale des Collectivités Territoriales, République du Mali)
- Maps, Weather, and Airports for Sikasso, Mali
- Resultats Provisoires RGPH 2009 (Région de Sikasso) (in French), République de Mali: Institut National de la Statistique.
- Weather Information for Sikasso, World Weather Information Service, retrieved 15 May 2012
- Portions of this article were translated from French language Wikipedia's Sikasso.
- Plan de Sécurité Alimentaire Commune Urbaine de Sikasso 2007-2011 (in French), Commissariat à la Sécurité Alimentaire, République du Mali, USAID-Mali, 2007.
- L'économie locale de Sikasso, Mali. Ecoloc - Gérer l'économie localement en Afrique - Evaluation et prospective, Volume 1, Number 2, Décembre 2002, pp. 1–18 (18).