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Niamey, Niger

Niamey is the capital city of Niger. It is located in the southwestern part of West Africa's second largest country along the Niger river.

Present-day Niger used to be occupied by the Songhai Empire in the west, Hausa kingdoms in central parts and the empire of Kanem-Bornu around Lake Chad to the east. These kingdoms traded in slaves, gold, and salt. Although their fortunes diminished during the French colonial years, trans-Saharan trade still continues, to some extent. Under French control, Niamey became the capital of colonial Niger in 1926.

Niamey grew rapidly after World War II - there were about 2000 people living there in 1940, while today, it has a population of around 600,000. Today, it has most of the amenities of a modern capital city, but at the same time maintains a distinct Sahel character. It has an international airport and has road links with Benin and Nigeria.

Most people in the city work in the service sector. Important buildings and institutions in the city includes the University of Niamey, National School of Administration, national museum, research institutes for geology, human sciences, oral tradition, tropical forestry and agriculture, veterinary studies.

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