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Bamako, population 646,163 (1987), is the capital of Mali. It is located on the Niger River, in the southwestern part of the country. Bamako is the nation's administrative center, as well as a river port and a major regional trade center. Manufactures include textiles, processed meat, and metal goods. There is commercial fishing on the Niger River. The city was a leading center of Muslim learning under the Mali empire, but by the 19th century it had declined. In 1883 the region was occupied by French troops, and in 1908, Bamako became the capital of the French Sudan[?].

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