Kenema is the third largest city in Sierra Leone and the largest city in the Eastern Province of Sierra Leone. The city is the capital of Kenema District and is a major economic center of the Eastern Province.
The city of Kenema had a population of 200,354 in the 2015 Sierra Leone census. Kenema lies approximately 320 kilometres (200 mi) south-east of Freetown  and about 60 kilometres (40 mi) south of Bo.
Kenema is one of the most ethnically diverse cities in Sierra Leone and is home to significant numbers of many of the country's ethnic groups. The Krio language is by far the most widely spoken language in the city and is the primary language of communication in the city.
The city of Kenema is one of Sierra Leone's six municipalities and is governed by a directly elected city council form of government, headed by a mayor, in whom executive authority is vested. The mayor is responsible for the general management of the city. The mayor and members of the Kenema City Council are directly elected every four years in a municipal election. The current mayor of Kenema is Joseph Samba Kaifala of the Sierra Leone People's Party, who was elected mayor in the 2012 Kenema Mayoral election with 74.99%. Kenema is a political stronghold of the Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP), the main opposition party in Sierra Leone.
Like the rest of Sierra Leone, football is by far the most popular sport in the city. The Sierra Leone professional club called the Kamboi Eagles, which is based in Kenema, represent the city in the Sierra Leone National Premier League.
Kenema has a strong history of being the hometown of some of Sierra Leone's most famous international soccer stars. Sierra Leone's highest-profile athlete and its most famous retired international soccer star Mohamed Kallon is from Kenema. Other notable Sierra Leonean international footballers from Kenema include Sierra Leone's current top striker Kei Kamara, others include retired Sierra Leonean International soccer stars Paul Kpaka, Kemokai Kallon and Musa Kallon.
The city grew along with a now-closed railway, around the logging and carpentry industries, and recently with diamond mines first discovered in 1931.