|• Governor||Abdullahi Umar Ganduje (APC)|
|• Emir||Aminu Ado Bayero|
|• City||499 km2 (193 sq mi)|
|• Urban||251 km2 (97 sq mi)|
|Elevation||488 m (1,601 ft)|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||5,700/km2 (15,000/sq mi)|
|• Urban density||14,100/km2 (37,000/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+1 (WAT)|
Kano (Ajami: كانو) is the capital city of Kano State, which is the most populous Nigerian state located in the North West zone. The city has been a major human settlement for millennia. It is the second most populous city by population within city limits, with over four million citizens in 5,700 km2 (2,200 sq mi). It is the traditional state of the two-centuries old Dabo dynasty who since the 19th century have remained the traditional rulers of the city-state until the Battle of Kano when the city was absorbed into the British Empire. Kano Emirate Council is the current traditional institution inside the city boundaries of Kano, and under the authority of the Government of Kano State.
The city located in the Sahel, south of the Sahara, is one of the medieval Hausa seven kingdoms and the principal inhabitants of the city are the Hausa people. Centuries before British colonization, Kano was strongly cosmopolitan with settled populations of Arab, Kanuri, Berber and Fula and remains so with the Hausa language spoken as a lingua-franca by over 70 million speakers in the region. Islam arrived the city in the 11th century or earlier primarily through the trans-Saharan trade and as a result became wealthy and the commercial nerve centre of the region and Northern Nigeria, and is still associated as the "centre of commerce".
In the 7th century, Dala Hill, a residual hill in Kano, was the site of a hunting and gathering community that engaged in iron work (Nok culture); it is unknown whether these were Hausa people or speakers of Niger–Congo languages. Kano was originally known as Dala, after the hill, and was referred to as such as late as the end of the 15th century and the beginning of the 16th by Bornoan sources.
The Kano Chronicle identifies Barbushe, a warrior priest of Dala Hill female spirit deity known as Tsumbura, Barbushe is from the lineage of the hunter family (maparauta) who were the city's first settlers. (Elizabeth Isichei notes that the description of Barbushe is similar to those of Sao people.) While small chiefdoms were previously present in the area, according to the Kano Chronicle, Bagauda son of Bawo and grandson of the mythical hero Bayajidda, became the first king of Kano in 999, reigning until 1063. His grandson Gijimasu (1095–1134), the third king, began building city walls (badala/ganuwa) at the foot of Dala Hill. His own son, Tsaraki (1136–1194), the fifth king, completed them during his reign.
In the 12th century Ali Yaji as King of Kano renounced his allegiance to the cult of Tsumburbura, converted to Islam and proclaimed the Sultanate that was to last until its fall in the 19th century. The reign of Yaji ensued an era of expansionism that saw Kano becoming the capital of a pseudo Habe Empire.
In 1463 Muhammad Rumfa (reigned 1463–1499) ascended the throne. During his reign, political pressure from the rising Songhai Empire forced him to take Auwa, the daughter of Askiyah the Great as his wife. She was to later become the first female Madaki of Kano. Rumfa reformed the city, expanded the Sahelian Gidan Rumfa (Emir's Palace), and played a role in the further Islamization of the city, as he urged prominent residents to convert. The Kano Chronicle attributes a total of twelve "innovations" to Rumfa.
According to the Kano Chronicle, the thirty-seventh Sarkin Kano (King of Kano) was Mohammed Sharef (1703–1731). His successor, Kumbari dan Sharefa (1731–1743), engaged in major battles with Sokoto as a longterm rivalry.
Fulani conquest and rule
At the beginning of the 19th century, Fulani Islamic leader Usman dan Fodio led a jihad affecting much of central Sudan which demolished the Habe kingdom, leading to the emergence of the Sokoto Caliphate. In 1805 the last sultan of Kano was defeated by the Jobe Clan of the Fulani, and Kano became an Emirate of the Caliphate. Kano was already the largest and most prosperous province of the empire. This was one of the last major slave societies, with high percentages of enslaved population long after the Atlantic slave trade had been cut off. Heinrich Barth called Kano the greatest emporium of central Africa; he was a German scholar who spent several years in northern Nigeria in the 1850s and estimated the percentage of slaves in Kano to be at least 50%, most of whom lived in slave villages. By 1851, the city of Kano produced 10 million pair of sandals and 5 million tanned hides annually for export.
The city suffered famines from 1807 to 1810, in the 1830s, 1847, 1855, 1863, 1873, 1884, and from 1889 until 1890.
British colonization and rule
In March 1903 after a scant resistance, the Fort of Kano was captured by the British, It quickly replaced Lokoja as the administrative centre of Northern Nigeria. It was replaced as the centre of government by Zungeru and later Kaduna and only regained administrative significance with the creation of Kano State following Nigerian independence.
From 1913 to 1914, as the peanut business was expanding, Kano suffered a major drought, which caused a famine. Other famines during British rule occurred in 1908, 1920, 1927, 1943, 1951, 1956, and 1958.
In May 1953, an inter-ethnic riot arose due to southern newspapers misreporting on the nature of a disagreement between northern and southern politicians in the House of Representatives. Thousands of Nigerians of southern origin died as a result a political sparked riot.
Ado Bayero became emir of Kano in 1963. Kano state was created in 1967 from the then Northern Nigeria by the Federal military government. The first military police commissioner, Audu Bako, is credited with building a solid foundation for the progress of a modern society. Most of the social amenities in the state are credited to him. The first civilian governor was Abubakar Rimi.
In the late 1960s, a ground tracking station was established on the hill called Goron Dutse overlooking Kano to track NASA's Mercury and Gemini spacecraft when they passed over Africa.
In November 2007, political violence broke out in the city after the People's Democratic Party (PDP) accused the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) of rigging the November 17 local government elections. (The ANPP won in 36 of the state's 44 local Government Areas.) Hundreds of youths took to the streets, over 300 of whom were arrested; at least 25 people were killed. Buildings set on fire include a sharia police station, an Islamic centre, and a council secretariat. 280 federal soldiers were deployed around the city.
In January 2012, a series of bomb attacks killed up to 162 people. Four police stations, the State Security Service headquarters, passport offices and immigration centres were attacked. Jihadist insurgents Boko Haram claimed responsibility. After the bombings, Kano was placed under curfew. The Boko Haram insurgency continued with mass murders in March 2013, November 2014 and February 2015.
Kano is 481 metres (1,578 feet) above sea level. The city lies to the north of the Jos Plateau, in the Sudanian Savanna region that stretches across the south of the Sahel. The city lies near where the Kano and Challawa rivers flowing from the southwest converge to form the Hadejia River, which eventually flows into Lake Chad to the east.
Kano has a tropical savanna climate. The city has on average about 980 mm (38.6 in) of precipitation per year, the large majority of which falls from June through September. Like the vast majority of Nigeria, Kano is very hot for most of the year, peaking in April. From December through February, the city is less hot, with nighttime temperatures during the months of December, January and February having average low temperatures of 14 to 16 °C (57 to 61 °F).
|Climate data for Kano (1981–2010)|
|Average high °C (°F)||29.0
|Average low °C (°F)||13.7
|Average rainfall mm (inches)||0.0
|Average rainy days (≥ 0.2 mm)||0||0||0||1||5||8||13||15||24||6||0||0||72|
|Average relative humidity (%) (at 15:00 LST)||17.0||13.2||13.2||19.1||29.5||44.5||58.9||63.6||55.0||30.1||18.1||17.4||31.6|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||244.9||232.4||238.7||234.0||263.5||261.0||229.4||220.1||240.0||266.6||264.0||260.4||2,955|
|Mean daily sunshine hours||7.9||8.3||7.7||7.8||8.5||8.7||7.4||7.1||8.0||8.6||8.8||8.4||8.1|
|Source 1: World Meteorological Organization|
|Source 2: NOAA (sun and relative humidity, 1961–1990)|
Notable educational institutions include:-
Places of worship
Among the places of worship, they are predominantly Muslims mosques. There are also Christian churches and temples : Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), Presbyterian Church of Nigeria (World Communion of Reformed Churches), Nigerian Baptist Convention (Baptist World Alliance), Living Faith Church Worldwide, Redeemed Christian Church of God, Assemblies of God, Roman Catholic Diocese of Kano (Catholic Church).
The city has an airport, the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport.
After a hiatus of many years, the railway line from Kano to Lagos was rehabilitated by 2013. The train trip to Lagos takes 30 hours and costs the equivalent of US$12, only a quarter of the equivalent bus fare.
From 2006 to 2015, backed by high oil prices, major highways, overhead bridges and other transportation infrastructure were built by the state government. The most notable of these are the Silver Jubilee flyover bridge at Kofar Nassarawa, the Kofar Kabuga underpass and various 6-lane highways in the city.
In 2017, a 74-km, four-line light rail network was announced by the Kano State Ministry of Works, Housing & Transport; with a US$1.8 billion contract signed with China Railway Construction Corporation.
The economic significance of Kano dates back to the pre-colonial Africa when Kano city served as the southernmost point of the famous trans-Sahara trade routes. Kano was well connected with many cities in North Africa and some cities in southern Europe. Formerly walled, most of the gates to the Old City survive. The Old City houses the vast Kurmi Market, known for its crafts, while old dye pits—still in use—lie nearby. In the Old City are the Emir's Palace, the Great Mosque, and the Gidan Makama Museum.
The products exported from Kano to North Africa include textile materials, leather and grains. Kano was connected with trans-Atlantic trade in 1911 when a railway line reached Kano. Kano is a major centre for the production and export of agricultural products like hides, skins, peanuts, and cotton. Kano houses a railway station with trains to Lagos routed through Kaduna, while Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport lies nearby. Because Kano is north of the rail junction at Kaduna, it has equal access to the seaports at Lagos and Port Harcourt. The city maintains its economy and business even in the 21st century with it producing the richest black man—Aliko Dangote—whose great grand father Alhassan Dantata was the richest during Nigeria's colonial period.
Ado Bayero became emir of Kano in 1963. Kano state was created in 1967 from the then Northern Nigeria by the Federal military government. The first military police commissioner, Audu Bako, is credited with building a solid foundation for the progress of a modern society. He started a lot of development projects—network of roads, a reliable urban water supply. He was a keen farmer himself and funded construction of number of dams to provide irrigation. Thanks to his policies Kano produced all types produce and export it to the neighbouring states.
Inconsistent government policies and sporadic electricity supply have hampered industry, so that Kano's economy relies on trade, retail and services. The emergence of large retail outlets starting from early 2000 with Sahad Stores and Jifatu departmental stores revived investor confidence in the sector which led to the construction of the Ado Bayero mall in, then the largest shopping mall in Nigeria with a retail space of 24,000 square metres (260,000 square feet) It has the popular filmhouse cinemas, the South African retail giants Shoprite and Game stores as anchor partners.
The emir of Kano hosts a Durbar to mark and celebrate the two annual Muslim festivals Eid al-Fitr (to mark the end of the Holy Month of Ramadan) and Eid al-Adha (to mark the Hajj Holy Pilgrimage). The Durbar culminates in a procession of highly elaborately dressed horsemen who pass through the city to the emir's palace. Once assembled near the palace, groups of horsemen, each group representing a nearby village, take it in turns to charge toward the emir, pulling up just feet in front of the seated dignitaries to offer their respect and allegiance.
- Muhammadu Abubakar Rimi former Governor of Kano state.
- Sani Abacha, former Nigerian Head of State
- Pamela Abalu, Nigerian-American entrepreneur and design leader.
- Lawan Musa Abdullahi, lawyer and politician
- Aliko Dangote, entrepreneur
- Alhassan Dantata, businessman
- Rabiu Kwankwaso, politician, Former Governor Of Kano State Also A Former Minister Of Defense and Water Resources Engr
- Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, Current Governor of Kano State
- Murtala Mohammed, Former Head of States, Federal Republic of Nigeria
- Abdullah al-Thani, Incumbent of Libya
- Isyaku Rabiu, businessman
- Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, banker
- Ibrahim Shekarau, politician, Former Governor Of Kano State And Former Minister Of Education, currently Nigerian Senate representing Kano Central
- Alhassan Yusuf, footballer, currently plays for IFK Göteborg in Sweden
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