Bamako, population 1,809,106 (2009 Census, provisional), is the capital and largest city of Mali, and currently estimated to be the fastest growing city in Africa (sixth fastest in the world). It is located on the 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 center as well as a cercle, with a river port located in nearby Koulikoro, and a major regional trade and conference center. Bamako is the seventh largest West African urban center after Lagos, Abidjan, Kano, Ibadan, Dakar and Accra. Manufactures include textiles, processed meat, and metal goods. There is commercial fishing on the Niger River. Bamako is located at 12°39′N 8°0′W / 12.65°N 8°W / 12.65; -8. The name Bamako comes from the Bambara word meaning "crocodile river".
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