2008/9 Schools Wikipedia Selection. Related subjects: Africa; Cities

View of Bamako
View of Bamako
Bamako (Mali)
Bamako within Mali
Country Mali
District Bamako
Population (2006)
 - Total 1,690,471

Bamakó, population 1,690,471 ( 2006), is the capital and largest city of Mali, and currently estimated to be the fastest growing city in Africa (6th fastest in the world). It is located on the Niger River">Niger River, near the rapids that divide the Upper and Middle Niger Valleys, in the southwestern part of the country. Bamako is the nation's administrative centre, as well as a river port and a major regional trade centre. Manufactures include textiles, processed meat and metal goods. There is commercial fishing on the Niger River. Bamako is located at .


The area of the city has been continuously inhabited since the Palaeolithic, but the founding of Bamako occurred in the seventeenth century by Seribadian Niaré and Soumba Coulibaly, or Bamba Sanogo, before its chiefdom passed to Diaoussadian Niaré. The city was an important market town. In 1883 the region was occupied by French troops, and in 1908, Bamako became the capital of the French Sudan. Its population has grown rapidly; in 1960 Bamako's population was approximately 160,000.

Avenue Al Qoods in central Bamako
Avenue Al Qoods in central Bamako

Layout of the city

Bamako is by the Niger River. This creates issues in that there are tributaries which affect development in the city and the city is on a flood plain, so much of the land bordering the river can not be used for construction. Bamako is relatively flat, except to the immediate north where there is an escarpment, being what remains of an extinct volcano. The Presidential Palace and main hospital are located here.

Originally, the city developed on the northern side of the river, but as it grew, bridges were developed to connect the north with the south. The first of these was the Pont des Martyrs and the Pont du Roi Fahd. Additionally there is an older bridge to the east of Bamako although this is underwater for much of the year.

Historically the city also contained a military airport to the west of the city. However, this has now been closed and is now a business area known as ACI 2000.

The traditional commercial centre of Bamako is to the north of the river, and contained within a triangle bounded by Avenue du Fleuve, Rue Baba Diarra and Boulevard du Peuple. This area contains the Marché Rose and Street Market. The city centre is highly congested, polluted, and expensive, and in general the city is growing to the west in districts such as ACI 2000. The Government of Mali has also signalled its commitment to peripheral locations, by development of a new Administrative City at the entrance to ACI 2000.

Notable landmarks in Bamako include the National Library of Mali, Tour BCEAO, Bamako Grand Mosque and the Pont du Roi Fahd. It is home to Mali's largest international airport, Senou International Airport, as well as the Dakar-Niger Railway, to Koulikoro in eastern Mali and Dakar in Senegal. Attractions include the Mali National Museum, the Muso Kunda Museum, the Bamako Regional Museum, Bamako Zoo, the Bamako Botanical Gardens and the Point G hill, containing caves with rock paintings. Bamako has hosted the biannual photography festival African Photography Encounters since 1994.

In 1988, Bamako was the location of a WHO conference known as the Bamako Initiative that helped reshape health policy of Sub-Saharan Africa.

The yearly held Budapest-Bamako rally has the endpoint in Bamako, with the Dakar Rally often passing through Bamako.


Sotramas in Bamako
Sotramas in Bamako
  • Hippodrome
  • Niarela
  • Lafiabougou

Sister cities

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