General Information about Mali

The official name is the Republic of Mali (Republique du Mali, Republic of Mali).

Located in West Africa. The area is 1240 thousand km2, the population is 11.7 million people. (2002). The official language is French. The capital is Bamako (1 million people, 2002). Public holiday – Independence Day September 22 (since 1960). The monetary unit is the African franc (equal to 100 centimes).

Member of the UN (since 1960), AU (since 1963), associate member of the EU, etc.

Geography of Mali

It is located between 12°5’W and 4°5’E, 10°5′ and 25°N. Has no access to the sea. It borders Algeria to the north, Niger to the east, Senegal and Mauritania to the west, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire and Guinea to the south. The relief is predominantly flat with a height of 200-300 m above sea level. In the south are the Manding Plateau, Kenedugu, Dogon, and the Gandamia mountain range. In the northwest are the Adrar-Iforas mountains. The highest point is Mount Hombori (1155 m).

The subsoil is rich in valuable minerals: gold deposits have been discovered (explored reserves – 500 tons, probable – 1500 tons), manganese (10 million tons), bauxite (more than 1 billion tons), iron ore (1 billion tons), phosphorites (20 million tons ), lead-zinc ore (1.7 million tons), spodumene (lithium ore – 4 million tons), rock salt (53 million tons), gypsum (370 thousand tons), limestone (122 million tons), marble (11 million tons), lignite (1.7 million tons), bituminous shale (870 million tons), cassiterite (tin ore), copper, uranium, diamonds.

Desert tropical soils, reddish-brown, red-brown and red ferrallitic soils predominate. In the north, 65% of the territory is occupied by deserts or semi-deserts; in the south, savannah prevails. The climate is tropical, continental, hot. The average annual rainfall is 150 mm in the Sahara region and 1500 mm in the south. The main water arteries are the Niger and Senegal rivers. Niger crosses almost the entire territory of the country from west to east. The animal world is rich and diverse: antelopes, gazelles, mouflons, zebras, elephants, lions, cheetahs, baboons, macaques, etc.

Population Small

According to Countryaah, the average annual growth rate in 2000–02 was 2.49%. Birth rate 49.23%, mortality 19.1%. Life expectancy 47 years (men 46, women 48). Sex and age structure: 0-14 years – 47% (ratio of men and women 1.01), 15-64 years – 50% (0.91), 65 years and older – 3% (0.87). The ratio of men and women in the entire population is 0.96. Among the adult population, 62% are illiterate (men – 55%, women – 69%). Urban population 20%.

There are approx. 25 ethnic groups: Bambara (36%), Fulani (17%), Soninke (8%), Songhai (7%), Tuareg (5%), etc. Languages – French, of African Bambara and Fula are the most common.

90% of the population profess Islam, 9% adhere to traditional religions, 1% are Christians.

History of Mali

In the Middle Ages, early feudal states arose on the territory of modern Mali: Ghana (4th-7th centuries), Mali (13th-15th centuries), Songhay (15th-16th centuries), Segou, Kaarta, Masinier. In con. 19th century French colonization began. In 1890, the colony of French Sudan appeared on the political map of Africa, which later became part of French West Africa. The rise of the national liberation movement culminated in the granting of autonomy to the colony, and in June 1960 independence. On August 22, 1960, the independent Federation of Mali was proclaimed, uniting Sudan and Senegal and existing for 2 months. After its collapse, on September 22, 1960, the creation of the Republic of Mali was announced. The first president of Mali was M. Keita, secretary general of the Sudanese Union party, which led the national liberation struggle in the country and advocated a non-capitalist path of development. In November 1968, as a result of a military coup, power passed to the Military Committee of National Liberation, headed by M. Traore. In March 1979, the Democratic Union of the Malian People (General Secretary Traore) was created, which became the only and ruling party in the country that made the transition to a civilian form of government. In June 1979, Traore was elected president of Mali (he was in power from 1968–91). On March 25, 1991, a coup d’etat took place in the country, the Traore regime was overthrown. The formed Transitional Committee for the Salvation of the People, headed by A.T. Touré, announced the preparation of democratic reforms in the country. The National Conference, held in August 1991, decided to change the current political system, a multi-party system was introduced in the country, the Charter of Political Parties was adopted, and the Constitution was approved in January 1992. The transition to civilian forms of government ended in March 1992 with parliamentary and presidential elections in April. The Alliance for Democracy in Mali (ADEMA) became the party of the parliamentary majority, its leader A.U. Konare became the president. In the 1997 elections, ADEMA (128 out of 147 seats) and Konare repeated their success. The 2002 election campaign brought some surprises: Konaré could not run for a third term, Touré, an independent candidate, became president. In the National Assembly, the majority of seats were won by the Hope 2002 bloc (66 seats), a coalition of parties led by former Prime Minister I.B. Keith – and ADEMA (51st place).

People of Mali