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Niamey(nyämā`), city (1988 pop. 398,265), capital of Niger and Tillabéry dept., SW Niger, a port on the Niger River. Niamey is Niger's largest city and its administrative and economic center. Much of its importance stems from its location on the Niger River at the crossroads of the country's two main highways. The city is the trade center for an agricultural region that specializes in growing peanuts. Manufactures include bricks, food products, beverages, ceramic goods, cement, and shoes. Niamey was a small town when the French colonized the area in the late 19th cent., but it grew after it became the capital of Niger in 1926. It is the site of the National School of Administration, a university, and the National Museum, which has ethnological and zoological collections.
the capital of the Republic of Niger; the principal political, economic, and cultural center of the country and the administrative center of Niamey Department. It is situated on the left bank of the Niger River, at a height of 163 m. It has a subequatorial climate; the mean annual temperature is about 25°C. Precipitation amounts to 350 mm a year. Population, approximately 100,000 (1973; 8,800, 1946; approximately, 60,000, 1966; 86,000, 1971).
In the late 19th century, a village existed on the site of present-day Niamey. The village became a French colonialist stronghold. In 1926 the capital of the French colony of Niger, first at Zinder, was transferred to Niamey. It has been the capital of the Republic of Niger since August 1960.
Niamey is an important transportation center. It is a highway junction and a port on the Niger River; it has an international airport. It is the commercial center of an agricultural region; livestock, hides and skins, peanuts, cotton, and other agricultural products are exported. There is a textile factory as well as enterprises engaged in the production of building materials, plastic products, furniture, and small agricultural implements. There is a gasworks and a food and condiment industry (a slaughterhouse, a flour mill, a soap works, a dairy, and enterprises producing beer and nonalcoholic beverages). Local handicrafts include the dressing of skins and leather products; pottery; and the manufacture of silver, gold, and wooden articles. There is a steam power plant.
A network of diagonal, rectilinear streets runs through Niamey. The city’s blocks have been built up with two- and three-story apartment houses and public buildings (the Presidential Palace, the Grand Hotel du Niger and the Terminus Hotel, and the building of the Nigerian Society for the Commercialization of the Peanut). Cottages belonging to the affluent segment of the population are situated on the Niger River. On the market square there is an obelisk commemorating the dead of World Wars I and II.
Niamey has a university (founded in 1973) and the National School of Administration. Among its scholarly institutions are the Bureau of Geology and Mining, the Center for Social Research, the Technical Center for Tropical Forestry, the Institute of Tropical Agronomy, and the Regional Center for the Study and Recording of Oral Folk Traditions. There is a library at the National School of Administration and a National Museum of Niger, which houses the Handicrafts Center.