From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
|Republic of Mali
République du Mali
|Motto: "Un peuple, un but, une foi"
"One people, one goal, one faith"
|Anthem: Le Mali
(and largest city)
12°39′N 8°0′W / 12.65°N 8°W
||Amadou Toumani Touré
||September 22, 1960
||1,240,192 km2 (24th)
478,839 sq mi
||April 2009 census
||▼ 0.371 (low) (178rd)
||West African CFA franc (
||not observed (UTC+0)
|Drives on the
Mali consists of eight regions and its borders on the north reach deep into the middle of the Sahara
, while the country's southern region, where the majority of inhabitants live, features the Niger
rivers. The country's economic structure centers around agriculture
. Some of Mali's natural resources include gold
, and salt
. Mali is considered to be one of the poorest nations in the world.
Present-day Mali was once part of three West African empires that controlled trans-Saharan trade
: the Ghana Empire
, the Mali Empire
(from which Mali is named), and the Songhai Empire
. In the late 1800s, Mali fell under French control, becoming part of French Sudan
. Mali gained independence in 1959 with Senegal, as the Mali Federation
. A year later, the Mali Federation became the independent nation of Mali. After a long period of one-party rule, a 1991 coup led to the writing of a new constitution and the establishment of Mali as a democratic, multi-party state. About half the population live below the international poverty line
of US$1.25 a day.
Mali was once part of three famed West African empires which controlled trans-Saharan trade
, slaves, and other precious commodities.
These Sahelian kingdoms
had neither rigid geopolitical boundaries nor rigid ethnic identities.
The earliest of these empires was the Ghana Empire
, which was dominated by the Soninke
, a Mande
The nation expanded throughout West Africa from the 8th century until 1078, when it was conquered by the Almoravids
The Mali Empire
later formed on the upper Niger River
, and reached the height of power in the fourteenth century. .^ From the city of Mopti in the centre of Mali come the traditional group 'Kanaga' and although they play instruments both traditional and modern its almost impossible to hear any modern sounds what so ever!
The empire later declined as a result of internal intrigue, ultimately being supplanted by the Songhai Empire
The Songhai people originated in current northwestern Nigeria
. The Songhai had long been a major power in West Africa subject to the Mali Empire's rule.
In the late 14th century, the Songhai gradually gained independence from the Mali Empire and expanded, ultimately subsuming the entire eastern portion of the Mali Empire.
The Songhai Empire's eventual collapse was largely the result of a Moroccan
invasion in 1591, under the command of Judar Pasha
The fall of the Songhai Empire marked the end of the region's role as a trading crossroads.
Following the establishment of sea routes by the European powers
, the trans-Saharan trade routes lost significance.
The worst recorded famine
occurred between 1738 and 1756, killing about half of the population of Timbuktu
In the colonial era, Mali fell under the control of the French beginning in the late 19th century.
By 1905, most of the area was under firm French control as a part of French Sudan
In early 1959, Mali (then the Sudanese Republic) and Senegal
united to become the Mali Federation
. The Mali Federation gained independence from France on June 20, 1960.
Senegal withdrew from the federation in August 1960, which allowed the Sudanese Republic to form the independent nation of Mali on September 22, 1960. Modibo Keïta
was elected the first president.
Keïta quickly established a one-party state, adopted an independent African and socialist orientation with close ties to the East, and implemented extensive nationalization of economic resources.
In November 1968, following progressive economic decline, the Keïta regime was overthrown in a bloodless military coup led by Moussa Traoré
The subsequent military-led regime, with Traoré as president, attempted to reform the economy. However, his efforts were frustrated by political turmoil and a devastating drought
between 1968 to 1974,
which killed thousands of people from famine.
The Traoré regime faced student unrest beginning in the late 1970s and three coup attempts. However, the Traoré regime repressed all dissenters until the late 1980s.
The government continued to attempt economic reforms, and the populace became increasingly dissatisfied.
In response to growing demands for multi-party democracy, the Traoré regime allowed some limited political liberalization, but refused to usher in a full-fledged democratic system.
In 1990, cohesive opposition movements began to emerge, and was complicated by the turbulent rise of ethnic violence in the north following the return of many Tuaregs
Anti-government protests in 1991 led to a coup, a transitional government, and a new constitution
In 1992, Alpha Oumar Konaré
won Mali's first democratic
, multi-party presidential election. Upon his reelection in 1997, President Konaré pushed through political and economic reforms and fought corruption. In 2002, he was succeeded in democratic elections by Amadou Toumani Touré
, a retired general, who had been the leader of the military aspect of the 1991 democratic uprising.
Today, Mali is one of the most politically and socially stable countries in Africa.
The country's climate ranges from tropical
in the south to arid
in the north.
Most of the country receives negligible rainfall; droughts
Late June to early December is the rainy season. During this time, flooding of the Niger River is common, creating the Inner Niger Delta
The nation has considerable natural resources, with gold, uranium, phosphates
, salt and limestone
being most widely exploited. Mali faces numerous environmental challenges, including desertification
, soil erosion
, and inadequate supplies
of potable water
Martin, p. 134.</ref> Each region has a governor.
Since Mali's regions are very large, the country is subdivided into 49 cercles
, totaling 288 arrondissements
Mayors and elected members of the city councils officiate the arrondissements.
Politics and government
Mali President Amadou Toumani Touré
Mali is a constitutional democracy governed by the constitution of January 12, 1992, which was amended in 1999.
The constitution provides for a separation of powers among the executive
, and judicial
branches of government.
The system of government can be described as "semi-presidential."
Executive power is vested in a president, who is elected to a five-year term by universal suffrage and is limited to two terms.
The president serves as chief of state
and commander in chief
of the armed forces.
A prime minister appointed by the president serves as head of government and in turn appoints the Council of Ministers.
The unicameral National Assembly is Mali’s sole legislative body, consisting of deputies elected to five-year terms.
Following the 2007 elections, the Alliance for Democracy and Progress
held 113 of 160 seats in the assembly.
The assembly holds two regular sessions each year, during which it debates and votes on legislation that has been submitted by a member or by the government.
Democracy-wise things looked positive after the local elections at the end of April 2009, though significant shortcomings and attempts at manipulation still existed. Philip Kusch sees the challenges Mali still faces. Compulsory and meaningful event
Mali’s constitution provides for an independent judiciary,
but the executive continues to exercise influence over the judiciary by virtue of power to appoint judges and oversee both judicial functions and law enforcement.
Mali's highest courts are the Supreme Court, which has both judicial and administrative powers, and a separate Constitutional Court that provides judicial review of legislative acts and serves as an election arbiter.
Various lower courts exist, though village chiefs and elders resolve most local disputes in rural areas.
Foreign relations and military
Malian President Amadou Toumani Touré with former U.S. President George W. Bush
Mali’s military forces
consist of an army, which includes land forces and air force,
as well as the paramilitary Gendarmerie and Republican Guard, all of which are under the control of Mali's Ministry of Defense and Veterans, headed by a civilian
The military is underpaid, poorly equipped, and in need of rationalization.
Organization has suffered from the incorporation of Tuareg
irregular forces into the regular military following a 1992 agreement between the government and Tuareg rebel forces
The military has generally kept a low profile since the democratic transition of 1992. The incumbent president, Amadou Toumani Touré
, is a former army general
and as such reportedly enjoys widespread military support.
In the annual human rights report for 2003, the U.S. Department of State rated civilian control of security forces as generally effective but noted a few "instances in which elements of the security forces acted independently of government authority."
Mali is one of the poorest countries in the world.
The average worker's annual salary is approximately US$1,500.
Between 1992 and 1995, Mali implemented an economic adjustment program that resulted in economic growth and a reduction in financial imbalances. The program increased social and economic conditions, and led to Mali joining the World Trade Organization
on May 31, 1995.
The gross domestic product (GDP) has risen since. In 2002, the GDP amounted to US$3.4 billion,
and increased to US$5.8 billion in 2005,
which amounts to an approximately 17.6% annual growth rate.
Mali's key industry is agriculture. Cotton is the country's largest crop export and is exported west throughout Senegal and the Ivory Coast.
During 2002, 620,000 tons of cotton were produced in Mali but cotton prices declined significantly in 2003.
In addition to cotton, Mali produces rice
, and tree crops. Gold, livestock and agriculture amount to eighty percent of Mali's exports.
Eighty percent of Malian workers are employed in agriculture while fifteen percent work in the service sector.
However, seasonal variations lead to regular temporary unemployment
of agricultural workers.
Mali's resource in livestock consists of millions of cattle, sheep, and goats. Approximately 40% of Mali's herds were lost during the Sahel drought
In 1991, with the assistance of the International Development Association
, Mali relaxed the enforcement of mining codes which led to renewed foreign interest and investment in the mining industry. Gold
is mined in the southern region and Mali has the third highest gold production in Africa (after South Africa and Ghana
The emergence of gold as Mali’s leading export product since 1999 has helped mitigate some of the negative impact of the cotton and Côte d’Ivoire crises.
Other natural resources include kaolin
, and limestone
Electricity and water are maintained by the Energie du Mali, or EDM, and textiles are generated by Industry Textile du Mali, or ITEMA.
Mali has made efficient use of hydroelectricity
, consisting of over half of Mali's electrical power. In 2002, 700 GWh
of hydroelectric power were produced in Mali.
The Malian government participates in foreign involvement, concerning commerce and privatization. Mali underwent economic reform, beginning in 1988 by signing agreements with the World Bank
and the International Monetary Fund
During 1988 to 1996, Mali's government largely reformed public enterprises. Since the agreement, sixteen enterprises were privatized, twelve partially privatized, and twenty liquidated.
In 2005, the Malian government conceded a railroad company to the Savage Corporation, which is based in Salt Lake City
, United States
Two major companies, Societé de Telecommunications du Mali (SOTELMA) and the Cotton Ginning Company (CMDT), are expected to be privatized in 2008.
In July 2009, Mali's population was an estimated 13 million, with an annual growth rate of 2.7%.
The population is predominantly rural
(68% in 2002), and 5–10% of Malians are nomadic
More than 90% of the population lives in the southern part of the country, especially in Bamako
, which has over 1 million residents.
Mali’s population encompasses a number of sub-Saharan
ethnic groups, most of which have historical, cultural, linguistic, and religious commonalities.
are by far the largest single ethnic group, making up 36.5% of the population.
Collectively, the Bambara, Soninké
, and Malinké
, all part of the broader Mandé
group, constitute 50% of Mali's population.
Other significant groups are the Peul
(17%), Voltaic (12%), Songhai
(6%), and Tuareg
Mali historically has enjoyed reasonably good inter-ethnic relations; however, some hereditary servitude relationships exist,
as do ethnic tensions between the Songhai
and the Tuareg
Over the past 40 years, persistent drought
has forced many Tuareg to give up their nomadic
way of life.
Mali’s official language is French, but numerous (40 or more) African languages
also are widely used by the various ethnic groups.
About 80% of Mali’s population can communicate in Bambara
, which is the country’s principal lingua franca
and marketplace language.
Health and education
faces numerous health challenges related to poverty
, and inadequate hygiene
Mali's health and development indicators rank among the worst in the world.
In 2000, only 62–65 percent of the population was estimated to have access to safe drinking water and only 69 percent to sanitation services of some kind.
In 2001, the general government expenditures on health totaled about US$4 per capita at an average exchange rate.
Medical facilities in Mali are very limited, and medicines are in short supply. Malaria
and other arthropod
-borne diseases are prevalent in Mali, as are a number of infectious diseases
such as cholera
Mali’s population also suffers from a high rate of child malnutrition
and a low rate of immunization
An estimated 1.9 percent of the adult and children population was afflicted with HIV
that year, among the lowest rates in Sub-Saharan Africa
High school students in Kati
Public education in Mali is in principle provided free of charge and is compulsory for nine years between the ages of seven and 16.
The system encompasses six years of primary education
beginning at age seven, followed by six years of secondary education
However, Mali’s actual primary school enrollment rate is low, in large part because families are unable to cover the cost of uniforms, books, supplies, and other fees required to attend.
In the 2000–01 school year, the primary school enrollment rate was 61% (71% of males and 51% of females); in the late 1990s, the secondary school enrollment rate was 15% percent (20% of males and 10% of females).
The education system is plagued by a lack of schools in rural areas, as well as shortages of teachers and materials.
Estimates of literacy rates in Mali range from 27–30% to 46.4%, with literacy rates significantly lower among women than men.
Malian musical duo Amadou et Mariam
are known internationally for their music combining Malian and international influences.
Though Mali's literature is less famous than its music,
Mali has always been one of Africa's liveliest intellectual centers.
Mali's literary tradition is passed mainly by word of mouth, with jalis
reciting or singing histories and stories known by heart. Amadou Hampâté Bâ
, Mali's best-known historian, spent much of his life writing these oral traditions down for the world to remember.
The best-known novel by a Malian writer is Yambo Ouologuem
's Le devoir de violence
, which won the 1968 Prix Renaudot
but whose legacy was marred by accusations of plagiarism.
Other well-known Malian writers include Baba Traoré, Modibo Sounkalo Keita, Massa Makan Diabaté
, Moussa Konaté
, and Fily Dabo Sissoko.
The varied everyday culture of Malians reflects the country's ethnic and geographic diversity. .^ In 1994 I had Sekou's album 'Diagneba' in stock which you may remember featured most of the Kouyate family and was a big hit across West Africa.
^ The 'Red' album is the pivotal set that launched Ali's career in the west, and the 'Green' album confirmed his status as one of Africa's most important artists.
^ In fact I think this album is one of the most beautiful of all the traditional albums that I've ever heard from West Africa, not just Mali.
Malians frequently participate in traditional festivals, dances, and ceremonies. Rice
are the staples of Malian cuisine, which is heavily based on cereal grains.
Grains are generally prepared with sauces made from leaves such spinach
leaves, with tomato
, or with peanut
sauce, and may be accompanied by pieces of grilled meat (typically chicken
, or goat
Malian cuisine varies regionally.
Malian children playing football in a Dogon
.^ One of the first African records I bought back in the early 80's which I was told came from Cameroon although now I am more inclined now to say Mali.
^ A little gem here from Hadja named after the national football team who are known as the 'Eagles of Mali'.
Most towns have regular games;
the most popular teams nationally are Djoliba AC
, Stade Malien
, and Real Bamako
, all based in the capital.
Informal games are often played by youths using a bundle of rags as a ball.
The country has produced several notable players for French teams, including Salif Keita
and Jean Tigana
. Frédéric "Fredi" Kanouté, named 2007 African Footballer of the Year, currently plays for Sevilla FC
in Spain's La Liga
. Also playing for major clubs in Spain are Mahamadou Diarra
, captain of the Mali national squad, for Real Madrid
and Seydou Keita
for FC Barcelona
. Other notable players currently on European squads include, Mamady Sidibe
), Mohammed Sissoko
), Sammy Traore
(Paris Saint-Germain), Adama Coulibaly
(AJ Auxerre), Kalifa Cisse
and Jimmy Kebe
), and Dramane Traoré
(Lokomotiv Moscow). Basketball
is another major sport;
the Mali women's national basketball team
, led by Hamchetou Maiga
, competed at the 2008 Beijing Olympics
. Traditional wrestling
) is also somewhat common, though popularity has declined in recent years.
The game wari
, a mancala
variant, is a common pastime.
- ^ Presidency of Mali: Symboles de la République, L’Hymne National du Mali
- ^ "Mali preliminary 2009 census". Institut National de la Statistique. http://instat.gov.ml/voir_actu.aspx?lactu=44. Retrieved January 12, 2010.
- ^ a b c d "Mali". International Monetary Fund. http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/weo/2009/02/weodata/weorept.aspx?sy=2006&ey=2009&scsm=1&ssd=1&sort=country&ds=.&br=1&c=678&s=NGDPD%2CNGDPDPC%2CPPPGDP%2CPPPPC%2CLP&grp=0&a=&pr.x=45&pr.y=14. Retrieved 2009-10-01.
- ^ Which side of the road do they drive on? Brian Lucas. August 2005. Retrieved 2009-01-28.
- ^ Human Development Indices, Table 3: Human and income poverty, p. 35. Retrieved on 1 June 2009
- ^ a b c Mali country profile, p. 1.
- ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Mali country profile, p. 2.
- ^ Len Milich: Anthropogenic Desertification vs ‘Natural’ Climate Trends
- ^ a b c d e f g Mali country profile, p. 3.
- ^ "Mali's nomads face famine". BBC News. August 9, 2005.
- ^ Mali country profile, p. 4.
- ^ USAID Africa: Mali. USAID. Last accessed: May 15, 2008. Retrieved on: June 3, 2008.
- ^ a b c d e Mali country profile, p. 5.
- ^ a b DiPiazza, p. 37.
- ^ Imperato, Gavin (2006). "From Here to Timbuctoo: A story of discovery in West Africa". Haverford. http://www.haverford.edu/publications/Fall%2006/Timbuctoo.htm. Retrieved 2008-06-03.
- ^ a b c d e f Mali country profile, p. 14.
- ^ Constitution of Mali, Art. 30.
- ^ Constitution of Mali, Art. 29 & 46.
- ^ Constitution of Mali, Art. 38.
- ^ a b c d e f Mali country profile, p. 15.
- ^ Constitution of Mali, Art. 59 & 61.
- ^ (French) Koné, Denis. Mali: "Résultats définitifs des Législatives". Les Echos (Bamako) (August 13, 2007). Retrieved on June 24, 2008.
- ^ Constitution of Mali, Art. 65.
- ^ Constitution of Mali, Art. 81.
- ^ Constitution of Mali, Art. 83-94.
- ^ a b c d e f g Mali country profile, p. 17.
- ^ CIA - The World Factbook - Mali
- ^ a b c d e Mali country profile, p. 18.
- ^ a b c d e f g h i j Central Intelligence Agency (2009). "Mali". The World Factbook. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ml.html. Retrieved January 12, 2010.
- ^ a b c d e f g h i "Mali". U.S. State Department. May 2008. http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/2828.htm. Retrieved 2008-06-04.
- ^ "Mali". U.S. State Department. 2008-05. http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/2828.htm. Retrieved 2008-06-04.
- ^ Mali country profile, p. 9.
- ^ a b c Hale, Briony (1998-05-13). "Mali's Golden Hope". BBC News (BBC). http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/1945588.stm. Retrieved 2008-06-04.
- ^ a b c d Cavendish, p. 1367.
- ^ May, p. 291.
- ^ "Mali". U.S. Department of State.
- ^ Campbell, p. 43.
- ^ African Development Bank, p. 186.
- ^ OHADA.com: The business law portal in Africa, http://www.ohada.com/index.php, retrieved 2009-03-22
- ^ a b c d e f g h Mali country profile, p. 6.
- ^ "Kayaking to Timbuktu, Writer Sees Slave Trade". National Geographic News. December 5, 2002.
- ^ "Drought Forces Desert Nomads to Settle Down". NPR: National Public Radio. July 2, 2007.
- ^ a b International Religious Freedom Report 2008: Mali
- ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l http://lcweb2.loc.gov/frd/cs/profiles/Mali.pdf, p. 7.
- ^ a b c d e http://lcweb2.loc.gov/frd/cs/profiles/Mali.pdf Mali country profile, p. 8.
- ^ Michelle Crabill and Bruce Tiso. Mali Resource Website. Fairfax County Public Schools. January 2003. Retrieved on June 4, 2008.
- ^ Velton, p. 29.
- ^ a b c d Milet & Manaud, p. 128.
- ^ a b c d Velton, p. 28.
- ^ a b Pye-Smith & Drisdelle, p. 13.
- ^ a b c Velton, p. 30.
- ^ a b c Milet & Manaud, p. 146.
- ^ a b c Milet & Manaud, p. 151.
- ^ a b c d e f DiPiazza, p. 55.
- ^ a b c Hudgens et al., p. 320.
- ^ "Malian Men Basketball". Africabasket.com. Retrieved June 3, 2008.
- ^ Chitunda, Julio. "Ruiz looks to strengthen Mali roster ahead of Beijing". FIBA.com (March 13, 2008). Retrieved June 24, 2008.
- African Development Bank (2001). African Economic Outlook. OECD Publishing. ISBN 9264197044.
- Campbell, Bonnie (2004). Regulating Mining in Africa: For Whose Benefit?. Uppsala, Sweden: Nordic African Institute. ISBN 978-0761475712.
- Cavendish, Marshall (2007). World and Its Peoples: Middle East, Western Asia, and Northern Africa. Tarrytown, New York: Marshall Cavendish. ISBN 978-0761475712.
- Constitution of Mali. (French) A student-translated English version is also available.
- DiPiazza, Francesca Davis (2006). Mali in Pictures. Minneapolis, Minnesota: Learner Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0822565918.
- Hudgens, Jim, Richard Trillo, and Nathalie Calonnec. The Rough Guide to West Africa. Rough Guides (2003). ISBN 1-84353-118-6.
- Mali country profile. Library of Congress Federal Research Division (January 2005). This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
- Martin, Phillip L. (2006). Managing Migration: The Promise of Cooperation. Lanham, Maryland: Lexington Books. ISBN 978-0739113417.
- May, Jacques Meyer (1968). The Ecology of Malnutrition in the French Speaking Countries of West Africa and Madagascar. New York, New York: Macmillan Publishing Company. ISBN 978-0028489605.
- Mwakikagile, Godfrey. Military Coups in West Africa Since The Sixties, Huntington, New York: Nova Science Publishers, 2001.
- Milet, Eric & Jean-Luc Manaud. Mali. Editions Olizane (2007). ISBN 2-88086-351-1. (French)
- Pye-Smith, Charlie & Rhéal Drisdelle. Mali: A Prospect of Peace? Oxfam (1997). ISBN 0-85598-334-5.
- Velton, Ross. Mali. Bradt Travel Guides (2004). ISBN 1-84162-077-7.
- General information