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Not to be confused with Khao Lak.
The Mosque in Medina Baay, Kaolack
The Mosque in Medina Baay, Kaolack
Kaolack is located in Senegal
Coordinates: 14°1′N 16°15′W / 14.017°N 16.250°W / 14.017; -16.250
Country  Senegal
Region Kaolack Region
Population (2002)
 • Total 172,305
Time zone GMT (UTC+0)

Kaolack (Kawlax in Wolof) is a town of 172,305 people (2002 census) on the north bank of the Saloum River and the N1 road in Senegal. It is the capital of the Kaolack Region, which borders The Gambia to the south. Kaolack is an important regional market town and is Senegal's main peanut trading and processing center. As the center of Ibrahimiyya branch of the Tijaniyyah Sufi order founded by Ibrayima Ñas, it is also a major center of Islamic education. The Medina Baay mosque (right) in Kaolack is one of the largest and best known in Senegal.

Central Kaolack

Kaolack is situated on the Saloum River about 100 kilometers from its mouth. It is the successor city to Kahone, historic capital of the kingdom of Saloum. Kahone, originally a place marked by a sacred tree on the right bank of the Saloum River facing the island of Kouyong, became capital of the mostly Sereer kingdom of Saloum in the early 16th century. In the 17th and 18th centuries it consisted of a number of distinct neighborhoods separated by open fields, each of which was under the jurisdiction of a different dignitary or official. One of these wards, Kaolack (eight km down river), was founded by two Sereer princesses from Baol. Another, Maka Kahone, was inhabited by Muslims and administered by clerics. Otherwise, the population of the town practiced traditional religion and court ceremonies centered on the river bank, Kouyong Island, and various monumental baobab trees.

French interests in the Saloum River increased in the early 19th century as legitimate articles of trade were sought to replace trade in slaves. By mid-century peanut production had been introduced to the kingdom of Saloum and, with the permission of its king, a fortified factory was established by the French on the riverfront at Kaolack.

Kaolack Market

Kaolack was more favorably placed for shipping than Kahone. The French laid out a first grid of lots in 1860, in what would become the city center, or "Escale" neighborhood. The construction of a rail spur from the port to the Dakar-Niger line in 1911 caused the town to boom as a peanut processing and export center. Its population grew rapidly, rising from 5,600 in 1925 to 44,000 in 1934.

It is at this time that Kaolack became an important center for the Tijaniyyah Sufi order, with a first major zâwiyah, or “lodge”, opening in Leona neighborhood in 1910 and a second one opening in Madina Baye in the early 1930s. The Tijaniyyah of Madina Baye is an international institution with disciples in many cities, including Kano, Nigeria, and Chicago, Illinois.

There is a peanut oil processing plant with its own port facilities in the downstream suburb of Lyndiane, while Salt pans across the Saloum river constitute the city’s only other major industrial activity

Among Kaolack's many neighborhoods are:

Children in 2007
  • Lewna (Léona in French), which includes much of the city center. It includes Lewna Ñaseen (Léona Niassène in French), the headquarters of the branch of the Tijānī Islamic order founded in 1910 by Allaaji Abdulaay Ñas after his exile in Gambia.
  • Jaleñ (Dialègne in French), between Lewna Ñaseen and Medina Mbàbba.
  • Medina Mbàbba (Médina Mbaba in French), also called "Medina I", named after Baabakar Njaay, nicknamed "Mbàbba Njaay," who was the Serer chief of the village when it was incorporated into Kaolack.
  • Medina Baay (Médina Baye in French), also called "Medina II", on the northeast edge of the city. It is the center of the Ibrāhīmiiya branch of the Tijānī order founded in 1930 by Allaaji Abdulaay Ñas's son, Ibrayima Ñas, known to his followers as "Baay" ("Father" in Wolof). The name in Arabic means "The City of Baay." Ahmad Tijani Ali Cisse is the current Grand Imam of the mosque and the spiritual leader to the 100 million members of the Tijaniyya Sufi order in western Africa.
  • Saam (Sam in French), west of Medina Baay in the north of Kaolack, also founded by Ibrayima Ñas. Saam was originally designated as the fields and orchards of Ibrayima Ñas's disciples, but since the 1970s the trees have been replaced by houses.
  • Ndoorong (Ndorong in French), west of Saam, founded by Bashiru Mbàkke and his Murid disciples.
  • Coofog (Thiofoke in French), north of Saam, which existed before Kaolack as a Serer village ruled by the Gelwaar dynasty.

International relations[edit]

Twin towns — Sister cities[edit]

Kaolack is twinned with:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "National Commission for Decentralised cooperation". Délégation pour l’Action Extérieure des Collectivités Territoriales (Ministère des Affaires étrangères) (in French). Retrieved 2013-12-26. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 14°11′N 16°15′W / 14.183°N 16.250°W / 14.183; -16.250

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaolack — Please support Wikipedia.
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1980 news items

Le Soleil
Wed, 15 Oct 2014 07:51:49 -0700

... acquis du programme de renforcement des capacités pour le contrôle de la dégradation des terres et la promotion de leur valorisation dans les zones de sols dégradés mis en œuvre depuis 2011 avec l'appui de la Jica dans les régions de Fatick et ...

World Bank Group

World Bank Group
Mon, 20 Oct 2014 10:12:03 -0700

KAOLACK, October 20, 2014 - Dust tornados danced across stunted fields of maize, peanuts, and millet on the outskirts of Kaolack and Kaffrine, approximately 200 kilometers away from Senegal's capital city of Dakar. In the middle of “hivernage” or the ...


Thu, 16 Oct 2014 12:41:15 -0700

L'accord de partenariat international signé le 26juin 2014, par le recteur de l'Université du Sine Saloum de Kaolack,le Professeur Amadou Tidiane GUIRO et Marion GUILLON, Présidente du conseil d'administration de AGREENIUM entre dans sa seconde ...
Le Soleil
Wed, 01 Oct 2014 05:33:45 -0700

Le Conseil municipal de Kaolack, au cours de sa première session budgétaire présidée par le maire, Mariama Sarr, a voté, à l'unanimité des conseillers présents, la consécration de 40 millions de FCfa, reçus par la structure au titre des fonds de ...

Sud Quotidien

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Fri, 26 Sep 2014 02:22:30 -0700

Le ministre déléguée chargée de la Restructuration et de la Requalification des banlieues a annoncé hier, jeudi 25 septembre l'élargissement du programme de construction des logements sociaux aux régions de Thiès et de Kaolack. Fatou Tambédou a fait ...


Tue, 14 Oct 2014 03:18:45 -0700

SETAL.NET-Le Directeur du Port autonome de Dakar(PAD), Cheikh Kanté poursuit ses frasques financières. Kaolack : Cheikh Kanté offre 10 millions FCFA aux mourides. Venu présenter ses condoléances à la famille de Serigne Touba, suite au rappel à ...

AP Sénégalaise

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Mon, 29 Sep 2014 14:33:45 -0700

Venue présider les travaux du conseil, le maire de la commune de Kaolack, Mariama Sarr, a précisé que ''le budget du fonds de concours va être uniquement réservé à la prise en charge des problèmes d'éclairage public, à l'extension et à la maintenance ...


Sat, 04 Oct 2014 06:35:27 -0700

En effet, la mosquée de l'université Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar, ainsi qu'une partie de la communauté musulmane des villes de Kaolack et Rufisque, ont procédé ce matin à la prière rituelle, selon les informations de la Zik FM. Autres articles ...

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