Nairobi

/nuy roh"bee/, n.
a city in and the capital of Kenya, in the SW part. 650,000.

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City (pop., 1999: 2,143,254), capital of Kenya.

It is located in south-central Kenya at an elevation of about 5,500 ft (1,680 m). Founded с 1899 as a colonial railroad site, it became the capital of British East Africa in 1905. As a government and trade centre, it attracted many settlers from rural Kenya, making it one of the largest cities in Africa. When Kenya gained independence in 1963, it remained the capital, with its area greatly expanded by the new constitution. It is Kenya's principal commercial and industrial city, producing beverages, processed food, cigarettes, and furniture. The city exports many products via the port of Mombasa. Noted institutions and landmarks include the University of Nairobi and the National Museum of Kenya. Tourism is an important industry, with Nairobi National Park attracting many visitors.

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Kenya
 city and capital of Kenya. It is situated in the south-central part of the country, in the highlands at an elevation of about 5,500 feet (1,680 metres). The city lies 300 miles (480 km) northwest of Mombasa, Kenya's major port on the Indian Ocean.

      The city originated in the late 1890s as a colonial railway settlement, taking its name from a water hole known to the Masai people as Enkare Nairobi (“Cold Water”). When the railhead arrived there in 1899, the British colonial capital of Ukamba province was transferred from Machakos (now Masaku) to the site, and in 1905 Nairobi became the capital of the British East Africa Protectorate. From about 1900 onward, when a small Indian bazaar was established at Nairobi, the city was also a trading centre.

      As a governmental centre, Nairobi subsequently attracted a stream of migrants from rural Kenya that made it one of the largest cities in tropical Africa. It was declared a municipality in 1919 and in 1954 was granted city status. When Kenya gained independence in 1963, Nairobi remained the capital. The new nation's constitution expanded the city's municipal area; the enlarged municipality, known as the Nairobi Special Area, is an independent unit administered by the Nairobi City Council.

      Nairobi is the principal industrial centre of the country. The railways are the largest single industrial employer. Light-manufacturing industries produce beverages, cigarettes, and processed food. Tourism is also important. The city is located near eastern Africa's agricultural heartland, and a number of primary products are exported via Mombasa. Nairobi also plays an important role in the community of eastern African states; it is the headquarters of the East African Community's railways, harbours, and airways corporation.

      The city is well served by roads and railways. The main routes are southeast and south to Mombasa and Tanzania and northwest via the highlands to Lake Victoria and Uganda. Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, 9 miles (15 km) to the southwest, is one of the chief international airports in Africa.

      Among the city's architectural landmarks are the modern Kenyatta Conference Centre, the Parliament building and city hall, the law courts, and the Roman Catholic cathedral. There is also a well-planned commercial centre.

      The University of Nairobi (founded in 1956 as the Royal Technical College of East Africa), of which Kenyatta University College (1972) is a constituent part, is located in the city, as are Kenya Polytechnic (1961) and Kenya Institute of Administration (1961). Other institutions include the Central Government Archives, the National Museum of Kenya (natural history), the McMillan Memorial Library, and the Kenya National Theatre. Nairobi National Park, a large game reserve, is a popular tourist attraction. Pop. (1989) 1,324,570.

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Universalium. 2010.

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