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Makeni is located in Sierra Leone
Location in Sierra Leone
Coordinates: 8°52′54″N 12°02′39″W / 8.88167°N 12.04417°W / 8.88167; -12.04417
CountryFlag of Sierra Leone.svg Sierra Leone
ProvinceNorthern Province
DistrictBombali District
ChiefdomBombali Shebora
 • TypeCity Council
 • MayorSunkarie Kabba-Kamara (APC)
 • Deputy MayorIsatu Fofanah (APC)[1]
 • Governing BodyMakeni City Council
(2013 estimate)
 • Total112,428 [2].
Time zoneUTC±0 (GMT)

Makeni is the largest city in the Northern Province of Sierra Leone. The city is the capital of Bombali District, and is the economic center of the Northern Province. Makeni is the fifth largest city in Sierra Leone by population. The city of Makeni had a population of 80,840 in the 2004 census[1] and a 2015 estimate of 125,970.[2] Makeni lies approximately 137 kilometers (85 miles) east of Freetown.

Rogbane Road in the centre of Makeni

The city is home to the University of Makeni, the largest private university in Sierra Leone.[3] It also owns St. Francis Secondary School, one of the most prominent secondary schools in Sierra Leone.

Makeni is one of Sierra Leone's six municipalities and is governed by a directly elected city council, headed by a mayor, in whom local executive authority is vested. The mayor is responsible for the general management of the city. The Mayor and members of the Makeni City Council are directly elected every four years in a municipal election in the city. The current mayor of Makeni is Sunkarie Kabba-Kamara of the All People's Congress party. Sunkarie Kabba-Kamara easily won the Mayor of Makeni with 86.95% in the 2012 Makeni Mayoral election.[4]

The population of Makeni is ethnically diverse, though the Temne people make up the largest ethnic group in the city. The Krio language is used as the primary language of communication among the different ethnic groups in the city. The population of Makeni is predominantly muslim, though with a large Christian minority population in the city. The Wesleyan Methodists are the largest and main Christian denomination in Makeni.

Like the rest of Sierra Leone, Football is by far the most popular sport in the city. The Sierra Leone professional football club the Wusum Stars, that is based in Makeni, represent the city in the Sierra Leone National Premier League. Wusum Stars is very popular in Makeni and in Bombali District. Makeni has also hosted home games of the Sierra Leone under-17 and under-20 teams at the city's Wusum Sports Stadium.

Makeni is the hometown of former Sierra Leone's president Ernest Bai Koroma, as he was born and raised in the city. Like most parts of Northern Sierra Leone, Makeni is a reliable political stronghold of the ruling All People's Congress (APC) political party.


The city of Makeni is one of Sierra Leone's six municipalities and is governed by a city council which is headed by a mayor in whom executive authority is vested. The mayor is responsible for the general management of the city and is elected directly by the residents of Makeni in municipal elections held every four years. The current mayor of Makeni is Sunkari Kabba-Kamara of the All People's Congress (APC). Sunkari Kabba-Kamara first defeated the incumebent Mayor of Makeni Moses Musa Sesay in a primary election; and she went on to win easily in the 2012 Makeni mayoral election with an overwhelming majority of 86.95%, defeating the main opposition SLPP candidate Abu A Koroma, who took only 5.79%.[4]

The city of Makeni, along with the entire Bombali District is a reliable political stronghold of the APC party. The city and the entire Bombali District overwhelmingly support the APC in a large majority in Presidential, Parliamentary, and local councils elections.


Makeni is home to one of Sierra Leone's biggest and oldest football clubs called the Wusum Stars. The club plays in the Sierra Leone National Premier League, the top football league in the country. The club represents Makeni and the entire Bombali District. They won the Sierra Leonean FA Cup in 1979.


The local radio station that serves Makeni and the Bombali District is Radio Mankneh 95.1. Sierra Leone's national radio and television stations, SLBC (Sierra Leone Broadcasting Cooperation) are on the air in the city, as well as The BBC World Service, CNN International, and several other private stations are on the air for those who have satellite.


Like the rest of Sierra Leone, Makeni has an education system with six years of primary school (Class 1-6), and seven years of secondary school (Form 1-7); secondary schools are further divided into Junior secondary school (Form 1-3) and Senior secondary school (Form 4-7). 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.[5]

Aid from China[edit]

In March 2010, the Chinese ambassador to Sierra Leone, Qiu Shaofang traveled to the city on an official visit to donate one 16 kVA generator and nine sewing machines.[6]

Notable people from Makeni[edit]


  1. ^ Republic of Sierra Leone: 2004 Population and Housing Census: Analytical Report on Population Distribution, Migration and Urbanisation in Sierra Leone.
    Ibrahim Mohamed Sesay, Andrew A. Karam, Jinnah J. Ngobeh. Published November 2006.
  2. ^ "World Gazetteer: Makeni - profile of geographical entity including na…". 12 April 2013. Archived from the original on 12 April 2013.
  3. ^ Vanguard, The Patriotic (31 May 2012). "Response to UNIMAK Commentary".
  4. ^ a b "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-12-08. Retrieved 2013-11-14.
  5. ^ Ministry of Education Science and Technology, Sierra Leone
  6. ^ "China Donates to Makeni Council" Sierra Express Media 27 March 2010, accessed 11 October 2010

External links[edit]

Media related to Makeni at Wikimedia Commons

Coordinates: 08°52′54″N 12°02′39″W / 8.88167°N 12.04417°W / 8.88167; -12.04417