Nairobi


Excellent arial picture of Nairobi, showing the locations of the American Embassy, and the Ufundi House
Nairobi, city, capital of Kenya, in Nairobi District, situated at an elevation of about 1660 m (about 5450 ft) in the highlands of the southern part of the country. Nairobi is Kenya's principal economic, administrative, and cultural center and is one of the largest and fastest growing cities in Africa. Manufactures include processed food, textiles, clothing, building materials, and communications and transportation equipment. The city also has a large tourist industry. The University of Nairobi (1956), Kenya Polytechnic (1961), and Kenya Conservatoire of Music (1944) are here.

Points of Interest

Nairobi National Park, a large wildlife preserve on the outskirts of the city, is a major tourist attraction. Other points of interest include the National Museum of Kenya, known for a display on early humans in Africa; the Parliament buildings; the law courts; City Hall; McMillan Memorial Library; the busy Municipal Market and nearby bazaar; the Kenya National Theatre; and Sorsbie Art Gallery.

History

Located in an area once frequented by the pastoral Masai, Nairobi was founded in the late 1890s as a British railroad camp on the Mombasa-to-Uganda railroad. From 1899 to 1905 it served as a British provincial capital. In 1905 the city became the capital of the British East Africa Protectorate (called Kenya Colony from 1920 to 1963). In 1963 Nairobi became the capital of independent Kenya and annexed neighboring areas for future growth. During the early 1990s, Nairobi suffered from civil unrest because of the growing popular opposition to Kenyan President Daniel arap Moi. Population (1990) 1,504,900.

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