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Bamako is the capital and largest city of Mali, with a population of 1.8 million. In 2006, it was estimated to be the fastest growing city in Africa and 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. The city proper is a cercle in its own right. Bamako's river port is located in nearby Koulikoro, along with a major regional trade and conference center. Bamako is the seventh largest West African urban center after Lagos, Abidjan, Kano, Ibadan, Dakar, and Accra. Locally manufactured goods include textiles, processed meat and metal goods. There is commercial fishing on the Niger River. The name Bamako comes from the Bambara word meaning "crocodile river". (via Freebase)