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Sankarani River

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Title: Sankarani River  
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Subject: Niger River, Kennedy Bridge (Niamey), Mékrou River, River Niger Bridge (Onitsha), Anambra River
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Sankarani River

The Sankarani River is a tributary of the Niger River flowing northward from the Fouta Djallon highlands of Guinea, it crosses into southern Mali, where it joins the Niger approximately 40 km upstream of Bamako. It forms a part of the Côte d'Ivoire–Guinea border and a part of the Guinea–Mali border.

The Sankarani River watershed, traditionally well suited to crops and rich in iron and gold, covers some 35,500 km2, two thirds of which are in Guinea, where it is joined by its largest tributary, the Dion River. In Mali, it flows into the Niger River upstream of Bamako near the village of Kourouba. Prior to the construction of the Selingue Dam in 1980, the Sankarani had an average discharge where it met the Niger of 405 m3/s. From 1980 to 2004, this average has dropped to 265 m3/s.

At the height of its power, from the 13th to 16th centuries CE, the capital of the ancient Mali Empire is believed to have been at Niani, on the banks of Sankarani.


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  • J. D. Fage, Roland Anthony Oliver. The Cambridge History of Africa, Volume 3 Cambridge University Press (1975), p378. ISBN 0-521-20981-1

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