OFFICIAL NAME: Republic of Mali
CAPITAL: Bamako
SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT: Multiparty Republic
AREA: 1,240,021 Sq Km (478,775 Sq Mi)
ESTIMATED 2000 POPULATION: 10,352,500


Direct Link to Political MapDirect Link to Physical MapLOCATION & GEOGRAPHY: Mali is a landlocked country located in West Africa. It is bound by Algeria to the northeast, Mauritania to the northwest, Senegal to the west, Guinea to the southwest, Ivory Coast to the south, Burkina Faso to the southeast and Niger to the east. The country is flat except for the south, where the Futa Djallon Highlands and Manding Mountains rise to the border, and to the east, where the Bandiagara Plateau and Hombori Mountains also rise. The central area of the country consists of flood plains of the Niger Delta while northern Mali lies within the Sahara Desert and contains the vast plains of Tanezrouft and Taoudenni which are covered by shifting sand dunes called Ergs. The country is traversed by the Senegal and Niger Rivers with their tributaries. Major Cities (pop. est.); Bamako 646,200, Segou 88,900, Mopti 74,000, Sikasso 73,000 (1987). Land Use; forested 6%, pastures 25%, agricultural-cultivated 2%, other 67% (1993).


CLIMATE: Mali has three climatic zones. (1.) The Sudanic zone which receives 700 to 1,000 mm (28 to 39 inches) of annual precipitation. (2.) The Sahelian zone which receives 200 to 400 mm (8 to 16 inches) of precipitation and (3.) the Saharan zone which accounts for 40% of the land area and receives little or no rain. In general, there are also three seasons, (1.) a wet season from June to October, (2.) a cool dry season from November to February and (3.) a hot dry season from March to May. The northeasterly Alize wind blows cool air from November to January while in February the Harmattan, which is a dry dust laden wind from the Sahara Desert, prevails. Average temperature ranges in Bamako are from 16 to 32 degrees Celsius (61 to 91 degrees Fahrenheit) in January to 24 to 39 degrees Celsius (75 to 102 degrees Fahrenheit) in April.


PEOPLE: Mali has over 20 tribal groups with each having its own language, territory and social infrastructure. The vast majority of these tribes are Negroid and around 50% of the population belong to the Mande group which includes the tribes of Bambara, Malinke and Sarakole. Other tribes include the Peul who account for 17% of the population while the Voltaic account for 12%, the Songhai for 6% and the Tuareg and Moor for 5%.


DEMOGRAPHIC/VITAL STATISTICS: Density; 7 persons per sq km (17 persons per sq mi) (1991). Urban-Rural; 25.5% urban, 74.5% rural (1993). Sex Distribution; 48.9% male, 51.1% female (1993). Life Expectancy at Birth; 43.0 years male, 47.0 years female (1992). Age Breakdown; 47% under 15, 26% 15 to 29, 14% 30 to 44, 8% 45 to 59, 4% 60 to 74, 1% 75 and over (1990). Birth Rate; 51.0 per 1,000 (1990). Death Rate; 21.0 per 1,000 (1990). Increase Rate; 30.0 per 1,000 (1990). Infant Mortality Rate; 116.0 per 1,000 live births (1990).


RELIGIONS: Around 90% of the population are Muslims while 9% follow local native tribal beliefs and 1% are Christians.


LANGUAGES: The official language is French, although the most widely spoken languages belong to the Mande group with 60% of the population speaking Bambara. Other tribal languages such as Fulani and Songhai are also widely spoken.


EDUCATION: Aged 25 or over and having attained: no formal schooling 95.4%, primary 3.8%, secondary 0.6%, higher 0.2% (1976). Literacy; literate population aged 15 or over 32.0% (1990).


MODERN HISTORY - WWII TO 1993: In Nov. 1958 French Soudan became a self governing republic within the French Community and in 1959 French Soudan and Senegal united to form the Federation of Mali. In Jun. 1960 the Federation of Mali gained complete independence and in September, Senegal withdrew from the federation. On Sept. 22, 1960 the Republic of Mali was declared with a single party political system and Modibo Keita as its first President. In Feb. 1968 Keita dissolved the National Assembly and in Nov. a group of military leaders overthrew Keita. The military set up a Military Committee for National Liberation (CMLN) and Moussa Traore took power. In 1974 Malians approved a constitution that called for the gradual establishment of an elected president and legislature. During the 1970's and early 1980's severe droughts struck Mali and widespread famine followed. In Dec. 1985 brief skirmishes broke out with Burkina Faso, when their troops crossed the border and then retreated as the Malian army launched an offensive. In Feb. 1978 there was an unsuccessful coup attempt to remove Traore from power and in 1990 clashes erupted between the Libyan-armed nomadic Tuaregs and government forces. In early 1991 mass pro democracy demonstrations were violently suppressed by Pres. Traore troops and on Mar. 26, 1991 a military coup overthrew the government and ousted Pres. Traore. The military established a new National Reconciliation Council headed by Lt.-Col. Amadou Toure who appointed Soumana Sacko, a civilian, as Prime Minister of a transitional government in April 1991. In July 1991 there was an abortive counter-coup while throughout the year there were clashes between government forces and the Tuaregs despite the Jan. 1991 Tamanrasset Accords that promised a reduction in the government troops in the north. In early 1992 local, legislative and presidential elections were held with Alpha Oumar Konare winning the presidential elections while his Alliance for Democracy in Mali (ADEMA) won a clear majority in the National Assembly. On April 11, 1992 the government and Tuaregs signed a National Peace Pact, although skirmishes broke out along the Mali-Mauritania border throughout the remainder of the year. On June 8, 1992 Konare was inaugurated as President with Younoussi Toure as Prime Minister. On July 7, 1992 the government announced that CFAF 5.7 billion was missing from the Treasury. In Aug. 1992 the Cabinet granted an amnesty for Lt.-Col. Amadou Toure in appreciation for his role in the restoration of democracy while on Nov. 26, 1992 the trial of former Pres. Traore and 32 colleagues resumed. Also in Aug. 1992 the IMF and World Bank agreed to grant Mali CFAF 16 billion toward a structural adjustment program. On Feb. 12, 1993 former Pres. Traore and three high ranking officials were sentenced to death for their part in the killing of some 106 demonstrators in March 1991. Also in Feb, 1993 the government agreed to incorporate some 600 Tuareg militia members from two factions into the Malian Army. On April 5, 1993 mass demonstrations and riots in Bamako by disgruntled students resulted in universities and schools being temporarily closed. On April 9, 1993 after four days of protests in which the National Assembly, other buildings and cars were set afire Prime Minister Toure resigned. Following which Pres. Konare appointed Adboulaye Sekou Sow as Toure's successor.


CURRENCY: The official currency is the CFA Franc (Communaute Financiere Africaine-CFAF) divided into 100 Centimes.


ECONOMY: Gross National Product; USD $2,744,000,000 (1993). Public Debt; USD $2,506,000,000 (1993). Imports; CFAF 179,900,000,000 (1993). Exports; CFAF 96,700,000,000 (1993). Tourism Receipts; USD $11,000,000 (1993). Balance of Trade; CFAF -32,100,000,000 (1993). Economically Active Population; 3,437,489 or 44.7% of total population (1987). Unemployed; 0.8% (1987).


MAIN TRADING PARTNERS: Its main trading partners are France, Ivory Coast, Germany and the UK.

MAIN PRIMARY PRODUCTS: Cotton, Fish, Ground Nuts, Livestock, Maize, Millet, Rice, Sorghum, Sugar Cane, Vegetables.

MAJOR INDUSTRIES: Agriculture, Fishing, Processed Foods.

MAIN EXPORTS: Cotton, Ground Nuts, Livestock, Rice.


TRANSPORT: Railroads; route length 646 km (401 mi) (1988), passenger-km 731,916,000 (454,791,000 passenger-mi) (1988), cargo ton-km 432,235,000 (296,038,000 short ton-mi) (1988). Roads; length 18,000 km (11,185 mi) (1987). Vehicles; cars 29,346 (1987), trucks and buses 7,556 (1987). Merchant Marine; nil. Air Transport; passenger-km 110,000,000 (68,351,000 passenger-mi) (1983), cargo ton-km 600,000 (410,940 short ton-mi) (1983).


COMMUNICATIONS: Daily Newspapers; total of 1 with a circulation of 40,000 (1994). Radio; receivers 350,000 (1994). Television; receivers 10,000 (1994). Telephones; units 13,800 (1993).


MILITARY: 7,350 (1995) total active duty personnel with 93.9% army, 0.7% navy and 5.4% air force while military expenditure accounts for 2.2% (1993) of the Gross National Product (GNP).


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