16 Facts About Bamako


Bamako is the seventh-largest West African urban center after Lagos, Abidjan, Kano, Ibadan, Dakar, and Accra.

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Name Bamako comes from the Bambara word meaning "crocodile river".

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Bamako became a center of commerce and Islamic learning, but declined when Mali was overthrown by the Songhai.

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Bamako estimated that the city at the time held 6000 inhabitants, but it would decline in importance up until the French conquest in 1883 and Bamako being named the capital of French Sudan in 1908.

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On 22 March 1991, a large-scale protest march in central Bamako was violently suppressed, with estimates of those killed reaching 300.

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Bamako is situated on the Niger River floodplain, which hampers development along the riverfront and the Niger's tributaries.

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Bamako is relatively flat, except to the immediate north where an escarpment is found, being what remains of an extinct volcano.

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Traditional commercial center of Bamako was located to the north of the river, and contained within a triangle bounded by Avenue du Fleuve, Rue Baba Diarra, and Boulevard du Peuple.

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Bamako is the headquarters of many large companies and administrative institutions.

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Bamako received much investment by Saudi Arabia for decades which saw a number of important structures being built.

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

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Music boom in Bamako took off in the 1990s, when vocalist Salif Keita and singer-guitarist Ali Farka Toure achieved international fame.

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Bamako is situated on both sides of the Niger River and three bridges connect the two banks: the Bridge of Martyrs completed in 1960 and renamed in memory of protesters killed in March 1991 by the regime of Moussa Traore, the King Fahd Bridge, named after the Saudi Arabian donor, and a third bridge, the Pont de l'amitie sino-malienne funded by the People's Republic of China.

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Second hospital of Bamako is the Gabriel Toure Hospital named after a young doctor and humanist Gabriel Toure who was born in 1910 in Ouagadougou and died in 1935 after having been contaminated by a patient with the pneumonic plague.

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Contract for the building of a new hospital in Bamako, to relieve pressure on the other hospital resources was signed on 27 December 2008.

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Bamako has provided the backdrop or been the subject of books and films such as Bamako, directed by Abderrahmane Sissako.

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