Ashgabat (Turkmen: Aşgabat; Ашгабат, pronounced [ɑʃʁɑˈbɑt], Persian: عشق آباد; Russian: Ашхабад), formerly named Poltoratsk (Russian: Полтора́цк, IPA: [pəltɐˈratsk]) between 1919 and 1927, is the capital and the largest city of Turkmenistan. It is situated between the Karakum Desert and the Kopet Dag mountain range in Central Asia. It is also near the Iran-Turkmenistan border.
The city was founded in 1881 on the basis of an Ahal Teke tribal village, and made the capital of the Turkmen Soviet Socialist Republic in 1924.
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.