Mali (GPS: 17 00 N, 4 00 W) located in interior Western Africa, southwest of Algeria, north of Guinea, Cote d’Ivoire, and Burkina Faso, west of Niger. The country’s area measurements are total: 1,240,192 sq km; land: 1,220,190 sq km, water: 20,002 sq km. This sovereign state is slightly less than twice the size of Texas. The total irrigated land is 3,780 sq km (2012).
One of the essential features of Mali: Landlocked (enclosed or nearly enclosed by land). Divided into three natural zones: the southern, cultivated Sudanese. The central, semiarid Sahelian. And the northern, arid Saharan.
It’s significant, and simultaneously, the principal city, Bamako’s GPS coordinates are 12 39 N 8 00 W. Bamako’s local time is 5 hours ahead of Washington DC during Standard Time. The capital’s time difference: UTC 0.
The Sudanese Republic and Senegal became independent of France in 1960 as the Mali Federation. When Senegal withdrew after only a few months, what formerly made up the Sudanese Republic was renamed Mali. Rule by dictatorship was brought to a close in 1991 by a military coup that ushered in a period of democratic rule. President Alpha Oumar KONARE won Mali’s first two democratic presidential elections in 1992 and 1997. In keeping with Mali’s two-term constitutional limit, he stepped down in 2002 and was succeeded by Amadou Toumani TOURE, who was elected to a second term in a 2007 election widely judged to be free and fair. Malian returnees from Libya in 2011 exacerbated tensions in northern Mali and Tuareg ethnic militias rebelled in January 2012. Low- and mid-level soldiers, frustrated with the rebellion’s poor handling, overthrew TOURE on 22 March.
Intensive mediation efforts led by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) returned power to a civilian administration in April with the appointment of Interim President Dioncounda TRAORE. The post-coup chaos led to rebels expelling the Malian military from the country’s three northern regions and allowed Islamic militants to set up strongholds. Hundreds of thousands of northern Malians fled the violence to southern Mali and neighboring countries, exacerbating regional food shortages in host communities.
A French-led international military intervention to retake the three northern regions began in January 2013 and within a month, most of the north had been retaken. In a democratic presidential election conducted in July and August of 2013, Ibrahim Boubacar KEITA was elected president. The Malian Government and northern armed groups signed an internationally mediated peace accord in June 2015, however, the parties to the peace accord have made little progress in the accord’s implementation, despite a June 2017 target for its completion. Furthermore, extremist groups outside the peace process made steady inroads into rural areas of central Mali following the consolidation of three major terrorist organizations in March 2017. In central and northern Mali, terrorist groups have exploited age-old ethnic rivalries between pastoralists and sedentary communities and inflicted severe losses on the Malian military. Intercommunal violence incidents such as targeted killings occur with increasing regularity. KEITA was reelected president in 2018 in an election that was deemed credible by international observers, despite some security and logistic shortfalls.
Mali’s names conventional long form: Republic of Mali, traditional short form: Mali, local long form: Republique de Mali, local transient state: Mali, former: French Sudan and Sudanese RepubliC. Note: name derives from the West African Mali Empire of the 13th to 16th centuries A.D.. Name derives from the West African Mali Empire of the 13th to 16th centuries A.D..
Mali’s terrain is typically mostly flat to rolling northern plains covered by sand; savanna in south, rugged hills in northeast. The country’s mean elevation: 343 m, elevation extremes; lowest point: Senegal River 23 m, highest point: Hombori Tondo 1,155 m.
The general climate in the country; subtropical to arid: hot and dry (February to June): rainy, humid, and mild (June to November): cool and dry (November to February).
The total number of border countries is 7, Algeria 1,359 km, Burkina Faso 1,325 km, Cote d’Ivoire 599 km, Guinea 1,062 km, Mauritania 2,236 km, Niger 838 km, Senegal 489 km are the neighboring nations with the indicated border lengths. Mali’s coastline is 0 km (landlocked country), while its marital claims are: none. Waterways: 1,800 km (downstream of Koulikoro; low water levels on the River Niger cause problems in dry years; in the months before the rainy season the river is not navigable by commercial vessels) (2011). Land use: agricultural land: 34.1%; arable land 5.6%; permanent crops 0.1%; permanent pasture 28.4%; forest: 10.2%; other: 55.7% (2011 estimate).
The population in Mali 18,429,893 (July 2018 estimate), urban population: 39.9% of total population (2015), major urban area’s population: BAMAKO (capital) 2.515 million (2015), while Mali has the overwhelming majority of the population lives in the southern half of the country, with greater density along the border with Burkina Faso. Their spoken languages are: French (official language), Bambara 46.3%, Peul/Foulfoulbe 9.4%, Dogon 7.2%, Maraka/Soninke 6.4%, Malinke 5.6%, Sonrhai/Djerma 5.6%, Minianka 4.3%, Tamacheq 3.5%, Senoufo 2.6%, Bobo 2.1%, unspecified 0.7%, other 6.3%. Note: Mali has 13 national languages in addition to its official language language (2009 estimate). Main religions in Mali are Muslim 94.8%, Christian 2.4%, Animist 2%, none 0.5%, unspecified 0.3% (2009 estimate). The nation uses civil law system based on the French civil law model and influenced by customary law; judicial review of legislative acts in Constitutional Court. It is a(n) semi-presidential republic, National holiday(s) Independence Day, 22 September (1960).
Economic overview for the country: Among the 25 poorest countries in the world, landlocked Mali depends on gold mining and agricultural exports for revenue. The country’s fiscal status fluctuates with gold and agricultural commodity prices and the harvest; Cotton and gold exports make up around 80% of export earnings. Mali remains dependent on foreign aid. Economic activity is largely confined to the riverine area irrigated by the Niger River; About 65% of Mali’s land area is desert or semidesert.
About 10% of the population is nomadic and about 80% of the labor force is engaged in farming and fishing. Industrial activity is concentrated on processing farm commodities. The government subsidizes the production of cereals to decrease the country’s dependence on imported foodstuffs and to reduce its vulnerability to food price shocks. Mali is developing its iron ore extraction industry to diversify foreign exchange earnings away from gold, but the pace will depend on global price trends. Although the political coup in 2012 slowed Mali’s growth, the economy has since bounced back, with GDP growth above 5% in 2014-2017, although physical insecurity, high population growth, corruption, weak infrastructure, and low levels of human capital continue to constrain economic development. Higher rainfall helped to boost cotton output in 2017, and the country’s 2017 budget increased spending more than 10%, much of which was devoted to infrastructure and agriculture. Corruption and political turmoil are strong downside risks in 2018 and beyond.
Natural resources of Mali: gold, phosphates, kaolin, salt, limestone, uranium, gypsum, granite, hydropower. Note: bauxite, iron ore, manganese, tin, and copper deposits are known but not exploited.
Main export partners for Mali, Africa are Switzerland 48.5%, China 9.4%, India 9.1%, Bangladesh 8%, Thailand 4.5%, Indonesia 4.4% (2015) for cotton, gold, livestock, while the main import partners for the country are: Cote dIvoire 9.9%, France 9.5%, Senegal 7.7%, China 7% (2015) for petroleum, machinery and equipment, construction materials, foodstuffs, textiles.
When you visit this country in Africa, consider the natural hazards in Mali: Hot, dust-laden harmattan haze common during dry seasons, recurring droughts, occasional Niger River flooding, while infectious diseases are degree of risk: very high food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever vectorborne diseases: malaria and dengue fever water contact disease: schistosomiasisrespiratory disease: meningococcal meningitis animal contact disease: rabies (2016). Also, note that Mali faces the following environmental issues: Deforestation, Soil erosion, Desertification, Loss of pasture land, Inadequate supplies of potable water.