Located at an altitude of 1,680m (5,500ft) above sea level, Nairobi is the capital city of Kenya. It has been Kenya's capital ever since the country gained independence in 1963.
Nairobi started as a British colonial railway settlement in the 1890's. It became the British colonial capital of Ukamba province in 1899. Nairobi also became a trade center from 1900 with the establishment of an Indian bazaar. In 1905, it became British East Africa Protectorate's capital. Ultimately, it achieved city status in 1954, and remained the capital of the country after Kenya's independence in 1963. The Nairobi Special Area was formed, which expanded Nairobi's municipal area. The area is administered by the Nairobi City Council.
Today, Nairobi is a leading industrial and commercial city. Major industries include railways, tourism, and light-manufacturing industries like beverages, cigarettes and processed food. It is well connected by roads, railways and air with the rest of the country and to neighboring countries. Nairobi is a gateway for trips to most of Kenya's National Parks. The Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, named after Jomo Kenyatta - one of the principal freedom fighting figures in Kenya, is a major international airport in Africa.
Prominent buildings in the city include the Kenyatta Conference Centre, the Parliament building and city hall, courts, Roman Catholic Cathedral, University of Nairobi and its constituent institutions. Also, present in the city are the Central Government Archives, National Museum of Kenya, McMillan Memorial Library, Kenyan National Theatre.
Nairobi has a population of around 1 million, and is a cosmopolitan city.
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