View of Agadez, from the mosque's minaret
|Elevation||520 m (1,710 ft)|
|Population (2012 census)|
|Official name||Historic Centre of Agadez|
|Designated||2013 (37th session)|
Agadez, formerly spelled Agades, is the largest city in central Niger, with a population of 88,569 (2005 census). It lies in the Sahara and is the capital of Aïr, one of the traditional Tuareg–Berber federations. The city is also the capital of the Agadez Region. As of 2011, the urban commune had a total population of 124,324 people.
The city was founded before the fourteenth century and gradually became the most important Tuareg city, supplanting Assodé, by growing around trans-Saharan trade. The city still sees the arrival of caravans, bringing salt from Bilma.
In 1449, Agadez became a sultanate, while around 1500 it was conquered by the Songhai Empire. 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 (and as a result Hausa language 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. Decline set in after the Moroccan invasion, and the population sank to less than 10,000. Agadez was the farthermost point of the Ottoman Empire in the African continent until the 19th century before being occupied by the French colonial empire.
The city was ruled by the French from 1900. A rebellion by Kaocen Ag Mohammed occurred in 1916, but was defeated by French forces. Later, Agadez became an important location in the Tuareg Rebellion of the 1990s.
Culture and tourism
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 popular local musicians have found recognition in the west, like Tuareg guitar player Bombino and his band Group Bombino, Group Inerane and others. Mdou Moctar's film, Akounak Teggdalit Taha Tazoughai, is set and filmed on location in Agadez.
As a result of the Second Tuareg Rebellion, sporadic violence and the displacement of numerous 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 were also suspended to Agadez from European airlines for the 2007–2008 tourist season (September - March). The burgeoning tourist industry, which prior to 2007 had surpassed that of the Niamey and the rest of the nation, was essentially ended. The entire region was placed under a Niger 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 Niger 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.
|Climate data for Agadez, Niger|
|Average high °C (°F)||27.9
|Daily mean °C (°F)||19.8
|Average low °C (°F)||11.7
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||0.0
|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|
- "Air" in the Encyclopædia Britannica, 11th ed., Vol. 1. 1911.
- "Annuaires_Statistiques" (PDF). Institut National de la Statistique du Niger. Retrieved 2 May 2013.
- "http://www.conceptoradio.net/2013/11/13/sahel-sounds-algunos-artistas-africanos-nunca-han-visto-un-vinilo/". conceptoradio. Retrieved 30 December 2013.
- "Agadez AERO Climate Normals 1961–1990". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved February 19, 2015.
- Aboubacar Adamou. "Agadez et sa région. Contribution à l'étude du Sahel et du Sahara nigériens", Études nigériennes, n°44, (1979), 358 p.
- Julien Brachet. Migrations transsahariennes. Vers un désert cosmopolite et morcelé (Niger). Paris: Le Croquant, (2009), 324 p. ISBN 978-2-914968-65-2.
- Louis Werner. Agadez, Sultanate of the Sahara. Saudi Aaramco World, January/February 2003. Volume 54, Number 1.
- Samuel Decalo. Historical Dictionary of Niger. Scarecrow Press, London and New Jersey (1979). ISBN 0-8108-1229-0
- Jolijn Geels. Niger. Bradt London and Globe Pequot New York (2006). ISBN 1-84162-152-8.
- Berber Sultanate of Aïr worldstatesmen.org: Chronology of the Berber Sultanate of Aïr, based in Agadez.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Agadez.|
- Agadez travel guide from Wikivoyage
- (English) Audio interview with Agadez resident about life in Agadez. Great place
- http://www.agadez.org Site covering Northern Niger. Photo Gallery by Michel Batlle "portraits de femmes touarègues"
- interactive Map of the Agadez region.
- http://www.agadez-niger.com/ Site covering Agadez and Touareg culture.
- Agadez, the touareg capital of the nigerien region of Air