West Africa was integrated into the Mediterranean world through trans-Saharan trade. This trade that goes back in time, crossed the Sahara. It was done by camel, by caravan.
From the 13th century, Europeans settled on the shores of West Africa. (This trade gave birth to prosperous cities located on the edge of the Sahara, Djenné, Sikasso, Segou Timbuktu etc ...) gradually, the trans-Saharan trade declined in favor of a new trade; transatlantic trade. This new trade turns West Africa not towards the Maghreb, but towards Europe and America. This transatlantic trade integrates us into world trade.
This new trade requires heavy infrastructures (Roads, Ports, Stations) necessary for the new means of transport (Truck, Train, Boat). It is in this sense that in Guinea, France has built a port, roads and a railway.
The construction of the railway, the main equipment of our trade, was a true saga more than 10 years of work, millions of cubic meters of embankments. More than 15,000 workers requisitioned, to arrive from the coast, in Niger and Milo in the inter-land.
The railway was inaugurated in 1908 by the minister of the colonies, when the line stopped at koumis collars at Mamou. But the train arrived in Kankan in 1913. The telegraph had announced its arrival, the crowd had stormed the new station among them, a son of Samory Toure who had his concession boxes next to the buffet of the station.
The first train trip to Kankan was the opportunity to inaugurate the newly built but unfinished buffet. By allowing the development of commerce, the railway contributed to the birth and the rise of Guinea as a country, with it were born the cities: Kindia, Coyah, Kankan, Mamou etc...
We can safely say that without the railway, Guinea as we know it would not exist. The rails and rolling stock do not complete the railway. We need others equipment, workshops, housing, workers, ambulances, buffets, and without these amenities, there is no railway. In Guinea, these facilities were built by the new works of Marseille.
The Buffet offered the traveler a roof to put his bag and a table to eat and to build strength. In this sense, it replaced the caravanserais of the road of the convoys, whose railway followed the route. The Kankan Buffet was the most important because located at the end of the line in the inter-land. It quickly becomes a hotbed for white settlers and "evolved" blacks.
When the train stopped in the 1980s, The Diamond Exchange was housed there, Buffets continued to function. Management of the Buffet was entrusted to an economic operator E / A Hamidou Ngaté, who managed it somehow until his death.
It was then that the death of the Buffet, the hotel and the restaurant began, and the social events were organized. The buffet became a house of fortune before falling in ruins, overgrown with weeds. In town, but forgotten by everyone.
The Buffet of the station is like a piece of the machine that built Guinea, it is a historical heritage. In each corner of this building is a shadow of our past, each of these shadows is marked by the seal of our history; Our joy, our sorrows, our fears, our challenges and our hopes have left indelible traces.
The Buffet at the station was dead. With him, part of us; But that is reborn from the ashes like the bird. And with him, part of us