Niamey, population 665 918* is the capital of Niger and a capital of a department of Tilabery. It is Niger's largest city, lying at the Niger River, mostly on the right bank. It is an administrative, cultural and economic center.
The city is located in a peanut growing region, while manufacturing industries include bricks, ceramic goods, cement and weaving.
Niamey was probably founded in the eighteenth century, but was of little importance to most of the country until the French developed a colonial post in the 1890s. This rapidly grew into an important centre. In 1926 it became the capital of Niger, and the population gradually increased, from about 3,000 in 1930 to around 30,000 in 1960, 250,000 in 1980 and - by some estimates - 800,000 in 2000. The major cause of the increase has been in-migration during droughts.
Attractions in the city include the Niger National Museum, incorporating a zoo, a museum of vernacular architecture, a craft centre, and exhibits including dinosaur skeletons and the Tree of Tenéré. There are also American, French and Nigerien cultural centres, two major markets and a traditional wrestling arena.
The city is also the site of Diori Hamani airport, the National School of Administration, Abdou Moumouni University of Niamey, lying at the left bank of the river, and many institutes (Centre numerique de Niamey, IRD, Hidrologic Institute etc.
references: *planete afrique