MALI

Date of establishment: June 20, 1960

Brief history:

  • The Middle Ages: The territory of present-day Mali was home to several powerful African empires during the Middle Ages, including Ghana, Mali, and the Songhai Empire. The Songhai Empire reached its peak in the 15th century.
  • Colonization: During the 19th century, Mali became a colony of the French Empire and was known as the French Sudan. French colonial rule lasted until independence in 1960.
  • Independence: On 22 September 1960, Mali gained independence from France and became an independent republic. The first president was Modibo Keïta, who launched socialist reforms and development programs.
  • 1960s and 1970s: Mali consolidated its position as a center of Afro-socialism and cooperation with other African states. However, during this time the country faced economic problems and political instability.
  • 1980s: Mali undergoes military coups and political changes. In 1991, President Moussa Traoré was deposed.
  • Democratization: Free elections were announced in 1992 and Mali became a democratic country. Alpha Oumar Konaré was elected president.
  • 21st century: It became an arena for conflict and instability, particularly in the northern Mali region, where Islamist militants and separatists have launched an insurgency. In 2012, there was a military coup and the deployment of international peacekeeping forces.
  • Present: Mali still faces security challenges, including terrorism and instability in some areas. The country also faces social and economic challenges.

 

International abbreviation: ML

 

Currency: West African CFA franc (XOF)

This currency is tightly linked to the Euro (EUR) and is managed by the French Central Bank. The West African CFA franc is divided into 100 centimes. Mali accepts this currency in its economic and trading system, although other currencies may be accepted in some parts of the country.

 

Internet domain: .ml

 

Dialing code: +223

 

Time zone: GMT 0

 

Geography:

Mali is a landlocked country in West Africa. Most of the southern part lies in the Sahel, which is a transitional area between the Sahara in the north and the savannah in the south. The northern part is part of the Sahara and includes vast desert areas.

It is home to several lakes, the largest of which is Faguibine. The Niger is the most important river, serving as a source of water for agriculture and transportation. There are also smaller rivers such as the Senegal and the Bani.

 

Highest peak: Hombori Tondo 1 155 m (3 789 feet) above sea level.

Hombori Tondo is part of the Hombori range, which is located in the central part of the country. The surrounding mountain ranges are significant geographical features in this area, which is mostly flat and arid.

 

Climate:

Most of the northern part belongs to the Sahara region and has a dry and hot climate. The area has extremely low rainfall and high temperatures, with summer temperatures reaching over 40 degrees Celsius (104oF). The rainy season is short and limited. The southern part, including the Sahel region, has a climate with lower temperatures and slightly higher rainfall than the north. The rainy season lasts from June to September and agriculture is more widespread here.

The southernmost parts fall into the tropical climate zone, where temperatures are higher and rainfall is common throughout the year. The area has two rainy seasons – a major one from May to October and a minor one from March to April. In some desert areas, such as the Gao Desert in the east of the country, there are significant microclimate differences. Nighttime temperatures can drop significantly after sunset.

 

Fauna and flora:

Mali is home to African elephants, although their population has been seriously threatened in the past due to poaching.

Lions, leopards, and cheetahs – these big cats live in some national parks and protected areas, including the Boucle du Baoulé National Park.

Mali is home to a variety of antelope species, including the impala, and dik-dik. These antelopes are usually seen in savannah and grassland areas.

Some rivers and lakes such as the Niger are home to crocodiles, including the Nile crocodile. The country has a rich population of birds, including falcons, bee-eaters, pelicans, cormorants, and many other species. Acacias are common in arid regions, especially in desert and savanna regions. The country is home to several species of baobabs, majestic trees with characteristic thick trunks and roots. In oases and near water sources, you can find different types of plants that are important for local ecosystems and agriculture.

 

Agriculture:

The main crops grown are millet, sorghum, maize, rice, and sweet potatoes. The country is one of the largest producers of cotton in sub-Saharan Africa. The raw material plays a significant role in the country’s economy and is the main export product.

In some parts, Arabica coffee is grown, which contributes to local markets and agricultural production. Raising cattle, sheep, goats, chickens, and other livestock is a common livelihood for many families in Mali. Watercourses, lakes, and rivers are rich in fish, which is an important source of food and livelihood for local people, especially in the Sahel region and the Niger water system.

 

Extraction of raw materials:

Mali is one of the largest African gold producers, with deposits in the northern and western parts, including the Kayes, Sikasso, and Koulikoro areas. Gold mining contributes to the country’s economic growth.

It has salt pans in some desert areas, especially near the town of Taoudenit in the northern part of the country. Salt is extracted in traditional ways and used for local consumption and trade.

Uranium was also mined in the past in Mali, which was used for the nuclear industry. We can also find significant diamond deposits here.

 

Industry:

Mali has a developed food industry, which includes food processing, production of beverages and other food products. Shea trees are an important source for the production of shea butter, which is used in the cosmetics industry and in the kitchen.

The textiles industry, which includes the production of traditional Malian textiles such as boubou and other fabrics decorated with various patterns and colors. These textile works are often handmade and have cultural significance.

The development of infrastructure in the country leads to the growth of the construction industry, which includes the construction of roads, bridges, schools, and other structures. The country has potential in renewable energy sources, especially solar and wind energy.

 

Services and other areas of the economy: services

 

Natural and historical attractions: the cities of Bamako, Timbuktu, Sikasso, and Djenné, the tomb of Askia, and Bandiagara Escarpment

Mali is known for its rich cultural history and is home to several ethnic groups such as the Tuareg, Songhai, Bambara, and Dogon. Tourists can visit traditional villages and ethnic markets and take part in cultural festivals and music, including the famous festival in the desert town of Essakane, which features Tuareg music.

Tourists often go on desert expeditions on camels. The country has several national parks and reserves including the Boucle du Baoulé National Park where you can spot wildlife such as lions, elephants, and antelopes.

It has several historical sites, including the city of Timbuktu, which was an important center of trade and education in West Africa in the past. You can also visit historic mosques, ancient villages, and archaeological sites.

 

Waterparks in Mali:

 

Form of government: semi-presidential republic

Mali is a unitary state unit and has a simple constitutional structure.

The main body of state power is the president, who is elected by general elections for a five-year term. The president has broad powers and is the head of state and commander-in-chief of the armed forces. The prime minister is appointed by the president and heads the government. The government is responsible to parliament and is composed of various ministers who manage individual departments. Parliament is unicameral and is called the National Assembly (Assemblée nationale). The National Assembly has 160 members, elected for five-year terms, 147 are elected in single-seat constituencies, while 13 are elected by Malians living abroad. Parliament has powers to enact laws, approve the budget and oversee the executive branch.

Currently, following a military coup, power is held by an interim government.

 

Capital city: Bamako

It lies on the Niger River, in the southern part of Mali, and is the political, economic, and cultural center of the country. Bamako was originally a small village. However, it became an important trading center during the 19th century, mainly due to its location on the Niger. In 1883, it became part of French Sudan (today’s Mali) and gradually grew.

 

Area: 1 240 192 km2 (478 879 square miles)

 

Population: 21 500 000 (2022)

Mali is home to several ethnic groups, the largest of which are the Bambara, who make up about 34% of the population. Other significant ethnic groups are the Fulba (14%), Songhai (9%), Tuareg (9%), Malinka (9%), and Dogon (8%). Each of these ethnic groups has its own culture, language, and traditions.

French is the official language and is used in government, education, and the media. In addition, many local languages such as Bambara, Fulfulde, Songhai, and others are used in everyday life.

Islam is the dominant religion, and the majority of the population is Muslim, mainly Sunni. In addition to Islam, there are also minorities practicing traditional African religions and Christianity.

Health care is one of the challenges facing Mali. The country has limited access to health care, especially in rural areas, which affects the health status of the population.

 

UNESCO World Heritage Sites: 4

 

  1. Djenné (1988) – A city over 2,000 years old. It is a center of trade and one of the spiritual centers of Islam.
  2. Timbuktu (1988) – The spiritual center of the spread of Islam, it has a number of Islamic monuments.
  3. Dogon Land and Bandiagara Escarpment (1989) – Cliffs and monuments built on them.
  4. Tomb of Askia (2004) – This 17-meter-high pyramidal structure was built in 1495 by Askia Muhammad, the ruler of the Songhai Empire, in its capital, Gao.

 

National parks: 4

 

  1. Bafing National Park
  2. Boucle du Baoulé National Park
  3. Kouroufing National Park
  4. Wongo National Park