Kano is a city in Nigeria and the capital of Kano State in Northern Nigeria. Its metropolitan population is the second largest in Nigeria after Lagos. The Kano Urban area covers 137 km2 and comprises six Local Government Area (LGAs) – Kano Municipal, Fagge, Dala, Gwale, Tarauni and Nassarawa – with a population of 2,163,225 at the 2006 Nigerian census. The Metropolitan Area covers 499 km2 and comprises eight LGAs – the six mentioned above plus Ungogo and Kumbotso – with a population of 2,828,861 at the 2006 Nigerian census.
The principal inhabitants of the city are the Hausa people. As in most parts of Northern Nigeria, the Hausa Language is widely spoken in Kano. The city is the capital of the Kano Emirate, and the current Emir, Ado Bayero, has been on the throne since 1963. The city is home to the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, the main airport serving northern Nigeria and was named after Nigerian politician Aminu Kano.
The Emir of Kano hosts a Durbar to mark and celebrate the two annual Muslim festivals and Eid-ul-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 towards the Emir, pulling up just feet in front of the seated dignitaries to offer their respect and allegiance.
Kano is strategically located and owing to its leading position as commercial hub in the sub-Saharan Africa. Kano is linked to many African cities by road. Fleets of trucks and buses and other link Kano with many cities in Niger, Chad, Cameroon and Republic of Benin. Kano is also linked to Europe, Middle east, and north Africa. Kano Airport is served by Egypt Air, Saudi Arabian Airlines, Middle East Air, KLM. It is also connected to Lagos and Abuja by several domestic airlines (IRS, Dana Air, Bellview, Arik and others)