Agadez

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Agadez
اغادیز
View of Agadez, from a minaret
View of Agadez, from a minaret
Agadez is located in Niger
Agadez
Agadez
Coordinates: 16°58′20″N 07°59′27″E / 16.97222°N 7.99083°E / 16.97222; 7.99083Coordinates: 16°58′20″N 07°59′27″E / 16.97222°N 7.99083°E / 16.97222; 7.99083
Country Niger
RegionAgadez Region
DepartmentTchirozerine Department
CommuneAgadez
Sultanate1449 CE
Government
 • MayorRhissa Feltou
Elevation
520 m (1,710 ft)
Population
 (2012 census)
 • Total110,497
Official nameHistoric Centre of Agadez
CriteriaCultural: ii, iii
Reference1268
Inscription2013 (37th Session)
Area77.6 ha
Buffer zone98.1 ha

Agadez, formerly spelled Agadès,[1] is the fifth largest city in Niger, with a population of 110,497 based on the 2012 census.[2] The capital of Agadez Region, it lies in the Sahara desert, and is also the capital of Aïr, one of the traditional TuaregBerber federations. The historic centre of the town has been designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

History[edit]

Agadez was founded before the 14th century, and, by growing around trans-Saharan trade, gradually became the most important city of the Tuareg people, supplanting Assodé. The city still sees the arrival of caravans, bringing salt from Bilma.

In 1449 Agadez became a sultanate, but was later conquered by the Songhai Empire in 1515,[3] remaining a part of that empire until 1591.[4] At this point, the city had a population of around 30,000 people and was a key passage for the medieval caravans trading between the West African cities of Kano (the source of the Hausa language which is the traditional lingua franca between different ethnic groups in the city, especially in the area of trade, religion and administration) and Timbuktu, and the North African oases of Ghat, Ghadames, and Tripoli, on the Mediterranean shore. Internal fighting led to the gradual decline of the sultanate, and by the mid 19th century the town was a shadow of its former self.[4]

Some contend that Agadez was the furthermost extent of the Ottoman Empire on the African continent until the 19th century, before being occupied by the French colonial empire, though this claim has not been verified by historians.[5] The city was ruled by the French from 1906.[4] A rebellion by Kaocen Ag Mohammed occurred in 1916, but was defeated by French forces.[4] The French, unable to effectively administer this remote region, ruled semi-indirectly via a restored sultan.[4] Later, Agadez became an important location in the Tuareg Rebellion of the 1990s in central and northern Niger.

2007 violence[edit]

As a result of the Second Tuareg Rebellion, sporadic violence and the displacement of thousands of people affected the Agadez area from late 2007 into 2009. All of northern Niger was placed on the United States State Department list of areas which are unsafe for travel by United States citizens, covering late 2007 to the end of 2008. Tourist flights to Agadez were suspended by European airlines for the 2007–2008 tourist season (September – March). The burgeoning tourist industry, which prior to 2007 had surpassed that of Niamey and the rest of the nation, essentially came to an end. The entire region was placed under a Nigerien government State of Exception (limiting travel, gatherings, political activities, etc.) in October 2007, renewed through early 2009. Roads to and from Agadez were reported to have been mined, and the government closed the area to international journalists and aid organizations. An unknown number (reported as several thousands) of internally displaced people converged on the city as a result of the unrest.

Immigration towards Europe[edit]

In the 2010s Agadez became a major transit town for West African migrants heading to Libya and then on to Europe.[6] Crackdowns in 2016 slowed the flow of migrants, but recent Displacement Tracking Matrix data showed a daily average of 1,212 individuals crossing at six monitored points in Niger,[7] many of whom would have been coming through Agadez.

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
YearPop.±%
197720,643—    
198849,424+139.4%
200177,060+55.9%
2012110,497+43.4%
source:[8]

Culture and tourism[edit]

The Grand Mosque

Today, Agadez flourishes as a market town and as a centre for the transportation of the uranium mined in the surrounding area. Notable buildings in the city include the Agadez Grand Mosque (originally dating from 1515 but rebuilt in the same style in 1844), the Kaocen Palace (now a hotel), and the Agadez Sultan's Palace. The city is also known for its camel market and its silver and leatherwork.

Some well-known musicians from the town include Tuareg guitar player Bombino and his band Group Bombino, and Group Inerane. Mdou Moctar's film, Akounak Teggdalit Taha Tazoughai, is set and filmed on location in Agadez.[9]

Airport and military usage[edit]

Mano Dayak International Airport

Agadez's air transport hub, Mano Dayak International Airport, was named after Mano Dayak, the Tuareg leader who is native to the region.

The United States is building Nigerien Air Base 201, a dedicated drone airbase in Agadez from which it can more easily monitor terrorist activities in West and North Africa, and the Sahel.[10][11] It was revealed in 2016 that the military base in Niger cost the U.S. $100 million.[12]

Climate[edit]

Agadez has a hot desert climate (Köppen climate classification BWh).

Climate data for Agadez, Niger
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 37
(99)
40
(104)
41
(106)
47
(117)
50
(122)
46
(115)
48
(118)
43
(109)
41
(106)
40
(104)
42
(108)
40
(104)
50
(122)
Average high °C (°F) 27.9
(82.2)
31.1
(88.0)
35.0
(95.0)
39.2
(102.6)
41.3
(106.3)
41.3
(106.3)
39.1
(102.4)
37.9
(100.2)
38.9
(102.0)
37.1
(98.8)
32.4
(90.3)
29.0
(84.2)
35.8
(96.4)
Daily mean °C (°F) 19.8
(67.6)
22.5
(72.5)
26.7
(80.1)
31.2
(88.2)
33.7
(92.7)
33.8
(92.8)
32.1
(89.8)
31.0
(87.8)
31.7
(89.1)
29.4
(84.9)
24.3
(75.7)
21.0
(69.8)
28.1
(82.6)
Average low °C (°F) 11.7
(53.1)
13.9
(57.0)
18.3
(64.9)
23.1
(73.6)
26.0
(78.8)
26.4
(79.5)
25.1
(77.2)
24.2
(75.6)
24.5
(76.1)
21.7
(71.1)
16.2
(61.2)
12.8
(55.0)
20.3
(68.5)
Record low °C (°F) −1
(30)
7
(45)
6
(43)
13
(55)
20
(68)
19
(66)
18
(64)
17
(63)
18
(64)
12
(54)
5
(41)
−1
(30)
−1
(30)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.1
(0.00)
2.0
(0.08)
5.5
(0.22)
10.4
(0.41)
35.2
(1.39)
49.7
(1.96)
8.2
(0.32)
0.3
(0.01)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
111.4
(4.39)
Mean monthly sunshine hours 297.6 280.0 294.5 288.0 297.6 270.0 288.3 285.2 285.0 306.9 303.0 294.5 3,490.6
Source 1: NOAA[13]
Source 2: Weatherbase[14]

Neighborhoods[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Air" . Encyclopædia Britannica. 1 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 442.
  2. ^ "Annuaires_Statistiques" (PDF). Institut National de la Statistique du Niger. Archived (PDF) from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 2 May 2013.
  3. ^ Idrissa, Rahmane; Idrissa, Abdourahmane; Decalo, Samuel (2012). Historical Dictionary of Niger. Scarecrow Press. p. 34. ISBN 978-0-8108-6094-0. Archived from the original on 1 December 2021. Retrieved 24 October 2020.
  4. ^ a b c d e Geels, Jolijn, (2006) Bradt Travel Guide - Niger, pgs. 157-200
  5. ^ "Ottoman dynasty still alive in Africa - World Bulletin". worldbulletin.net. Archived from the original on 28 July 2018. Retrieved 6 April 2018.
  6. ^ "A Dangerous Immigration Crackdown in West Africa". The Atlantic. 11 February 2018. Archived from the original on 3 June 2019. Retrieved 3 June 2019.
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 16 November 2019. Retrieved 3 June 2019.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ "Niger: Administrative Division population statistics". Archived from the original on 21 March 2020. Retrieved 21 November 2019.
  9. ^ "www.conceptoradio.net/2013/11/13/sahel-sounds-algunos-artistas-africanos-nunca-han-visto-un-vinilo/". conceptoradio. Archived from the original on 31 December 2013. Retrieved 30 December 2013.
  10. ^ "3 special forces troops are killed and 2 wounded in ambush in Niger". MSN.com. Archived from the original on 5 October 2017. Retrieved 5 October 2017.
  11. ^ "Pentagon set to open second drone base in niger as it expands operations in Africa". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on 7 April 2016. Retrieved 5 October 2017.
  12. ^ "U.S. MILITARY IS BUILDING A $100 MILLION DRONE BASE IN AFRICA". The Intercept. 29 September 2016. Archived from the original on 20 January 2018. Retrieved 14 January 2018.
  13. ^ "Agadez AERO Climate Normals 1961–1990". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 19 February 2015.
  14. ^ "Agadez, Niger Weather Averages Summary". CantyMedia. Archived from the original on 5 March 2020. Retrieved 20 April 2016.
  15. ^ Taub, Ben (10 April 2017). "The Desperate Journey of a Trafficked Girl". The New Yorker. Archived from the original on 3 April 2017. Most Nigerian brothels in Agadez are in the Nasarawa slum, a sewage-filled neighborhood a short walk from the grand mosque, the tallest mud-brick structure in the world.

References[edit]

External links[edit]