From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Nairobi (pronounced /naɪˈroʊbi/) is the capital and largest city of Kenya. The city and its surrounding area also forms the Nairobi Province. The name "Nairobi" comes from the Maasai phrase Enkare Nyirobi, which translates to "the place of cool waters". However, it is popularly known as the "Green City in the Sun" and is surrounded by several expanding villa suburbs.
Founded in 1899 as a simple rail depot on the railway linking Mombasa to Uganda, the town quickly grew to become the capital of British East Africa in 1907 and eventually the capital of a free Kenyan republic in 1963. During Kenya's colonial period, the city became a centre for the colony's coffee, tea and sisal industry. Nairobi is also the capital of the Nairobi Province and of the Nairobi District. The city lies on the Nairobi River, in the south of the nation, and has an elevation of 1795 m above sea-level.
Nairobi is the most populous city in East Africa, with a current estimated population of about 3 million. According to the 1999 Census, in the administrative area of Nairobi, 2,143,254 inhabitants lived within 696 km2 (269 sq mi). Nairobi is currently the 13th largest city in Africa, based on population and Fourth Largest in infrastructure development and its size.
Nairobi is now one of the most prominent cities in Africa politically and financially. Home to many companies and organisations, including the United Nations Environment Programme and the UN Office in Africa, Nairobi is established as a hub for business and culture. The Nairobi Stock Exchange (NSE) is one of the largest in Africa, ranked fourth in terms of trading volume and capable of making 10 million trades a day. The Globalisation and World Cities Study Group and Network (GaWC) defines Nairobi as a prominent social centre.