- (City)The mud-walled city of Agadez lies in the far upper reach of the Republic of Niger, below the foothills of the Aïr Massif and west of the Tenere Sand Sea. It is the capital of Aïr, a historically major Tuareg town, and also the name of Niger's northern département. Established in 1430, the town's name is derived from the Berber term "Tadakest," meaning "visitor's meeting place." Given its remote location in the Sahara Desert, the town developed as a major caravan trade entrepôt and slave market in the 16th century. For more than 500 years, Agadez has been a crossroads for Berbers and sub-Saharan Africans, Arab traders, and European explorers, a place of Ghanaian gold and Makkan pilgrims, Barbary horses, and Ottoman brocades. The town is famous for its 16thcentury mosque and its 26.82-meter spiked minaret. With the discovery of uranium in the region, the town's population rose to about 30,000. During the Sahel droughts of the 1970s, the arrival of nomadic refugees caused a dramatic population increase to about 105,000. See also AGADEZ (Département).
Historical Dictionary of the Berbers (Imazighen) . Hsain Ilahiane. 2014.