Bamako (Bambara: ߓߡߊ߬ߞߐ߬ Bàmakɔ̌) is the capital and largest city of Mali, with a 2009 population of 1,810,366. In 2006, it had been estimated to be the fastest-growing town in Africa and sixth-fastest on the planet. It is located on the Niger River, near the rapids that divide the upper and middle Niger valleys in the southwestern part of the nation.
Bamako is the country's administrative centre. The town proper is a cercle in its own right. Bamako's river port is situated in nearby Koulikoro, together with a significant regional trade and conference centre. Bamako is the seventh-largest West African urban centre after Lagos, Abidjan, Kano, Ibadan, Dakar, and Accra. Locally manufactured goods include textiles, processed meat, and metal products as well as mining. Commercial fishing occurs on the Niger River.
The title Bamako (ߓߡߊ߬ߞߐ߬ Bàmakɔ̌ in Bambara) comes in the Bambara word meaning"crocodile tail".