Mali By | Saturday, September 8   2012 at  15:54

Full Name
Republic of Mali (English)
République du Mali (French)
Origins: Named after the ancient West African Kingdom of Mali
Formerly: French Sudan and Sudanese Republic

Current Leader
Ibrahim Boubacar Keita

He was elected following a presidential run off between him and rival Soumaila Cisse on 11 Aug. 2013. Cisse has since conceded defeat.

Overview
Initially formed by the Sudanese Republic and Senegal following independence from France on the September 22, 1960
Senegal withdrew from the union; consequently what remained as the Sudanese Republic was renamed Mali

Form of government
Republic
Chief of State is the President
Head of Government is the Prime Minister
President is elected for a five-year term (eligible for a second term)

Government Structure
President, Prime Minister, Cabinet: Council of ministers appointed by the Prime Minister

Military Statistics
Manpower available for service : Males age 16-49 and Females age 16-48:
Military Expenditure : 1.9%of GDP
Branches : Malian Armed Forces: Army, Republic of Mali Air Force, National Guard

Former rulers
1965 - 1968 Modibo Keita
1968 - 1991 Moussa Traoré
1991 - 1992 Amadou Toumani Touré (1st time)
1992 - 2002 Alpha Oumar Konaré
2002 – March 2012 Amadou Toumani Touré (2nd time)

March 2002 - April 2002 Captain Amadou Sanogo

Capital
Bamako
Population: 1.3 million
Elevation: 327m

Population
Size: 14,533,511 (2012)
Life Expectancy: Men 52.1, Women 56.6
Gender distribution: Male 49.75, Female 50.25

GDP per capita
$1,098 (2011)

$1,073 (2010)

Geography
Area: 1,240,192sqkm
Boundaries: Algeria 1,376km, Burkina Faso 1,000km, Guinea 858km, Cote d'Ivoire 532km, Mauritania 2,237km, Niger 821km, Senegal 419km

Major languages
French (official), Bambara, Berber, Arabic, numerous African languages

Religions
Muslim 90%, Christian 1%, Indigenous beliefs 9%

National Make-Up
Mande 50% (Bambara, Malinke, Soninke), Peul 17%, Voltaic 12%, Songhai 6%, Tuareg and Moor 10%, other 5%

Natural Resources
Gold, Phosphates, Kaolin, Salt, Limestone, Uranium, Gypsum, Granite, Hydropower, Bauxite, iron ore, manganese, tin, and copper deposits are known but not exploited

Main Exports
Cotton, Gold, Livestock

Land Use
Arable land: 3.76%
Permanent crops: 0.03%
Other: 96.21%

Monetary Unit
CFA (Communaute Financiere Africaine) franc

Dialling Code
+223

Internet Code
.ml

Transport
Main Airport: Bamako Senou International Airport (IATA: BKO, ICAO: GABS)
Main Port: Has no seaports because it is landlocked, but Koulikoro on the Niger River near Bamako, serves as a principal river port. Traditionally, Abidjan in Côte d’Ivoire has been Mali’s main seaport, handling as much as 70 per cent of Mali’s trade

Modern Issues

Environmental
University Professor Aminata Sidibe made history by being the first woman in Mali to be cleared to run for presidential office in 2007, but it is also notable that she campaigned on a pro-environment platform
Desertification
Deforestation
Soil erosion
Drought
Inadequate supplies of potable water
According to the country’s Environment ministry, Mali’s population consumes 6 million tonnes of wood per year for timber and fuel. To meet this demand, 4,000sqkm of forest cover are lost annually, virtually ensuring destruction of the country’s savanna woodlands
The nation's wildlife is threatened by drought, poaching, and the destruction of the environment.

Political
Living up to his reputation as the “Soldier of Democracy”, Mr. Touré’s Cabinet included Mali’s first woman Prime Minister and two journalists! Mr. Touré was also a pillar of support in the restoration of civilian democratic rule in Niger

Economic
Mali remains one of the world’s poorest countries and currently ranks in the bottom five of the UN Human Development index. Sixty-five per cent of its land area is desert or semi-desert and it has a highly unequal distribution of income. Most of her economic activities centre around the riverine area irrigated by the River Niger, with 80 per cent of the country’s labour force engaged in farming and fishing. Ten per cent of the population is nomadic.
The country’s main exports are gold and cotton; Mali is extremely vulnerable to world price fluctuations.
The country is currently implementing a World Bank prescribed structural adjustment programmes as it seeks to diversify her economy, with what observers say have been tangible results.
The continued unrest in Cote d’Ivoire has negatively affected growth prospects though, for the landlocked country, but Mali is now building a road network that will connect it to adjacent countries, in addition to a railway line to Senegal.

Social
Mali suffers from extremely high rates of poverty, however, Mali has made significant progress to reduce household poverty since 2002

Mali has been in the limelight as a drug peddlers and child-trafficking haven. The nation has however taken strong measure to rein this in and in November 2011 relocated 104 Nigerian citizens suspected of being made to work as ‘sexual slaves’

Foreign Policy

Relations with the US are positive and Mali is a small market for trade and investment

Mali’s 51st independence day was marked by Mr. Touré inauguration of the third bridge of Bamako, called The China-Mali Friendship Bridge, the biggest project of this nature in West Africa

Major Conflicts
None

What to see
Bamako is rich in history and visiting museums is essential to learn about the culture. With civilisation dating back 150,000 years. It is one of the few areas on the planet that can claim such an ancient history.
Malanese National Museum: opened in 1953 by the French and features anthropological, archaeological exhibits, Malanese art and changing, special exhibits. Also the Bamako Regional Museum
Tomb of Askia: Located in Gao, the late 15th century pyramidal tomb and mosque were built by Askia Mohamed for the emperors of the Songhai empire. A World Heritage site
Djinguereber Mosque: Located in Timbuktu, this mosque was built in 1325 and housed what was then the largest library in the world.
Bandiagara Cliffs (Dogon Country): The 150km-long sandstone escarpment has served as home to the Dogon people, believed to be one of the oldest surviving African cultures.

Sports

Popular Sports
Soccer is the sport most followed in Mali
Basketball
Tennis

Famous Sportsmen and Sportswomen
Salif Keita: Malian football (soccer) player and the first recipient of the African Player of the Year award in 1970. Keita symbolised independent Africa’s football passion and prowess.
Frederic Kanoute- Plys his trade with Spanish La Liga team Sevilla
Mahamadou Diarra—Plays for Spanish team Real Madrid

Quirks
Mali is rapidly being swallowed up by the Sahara desert - about 65% of the country is now desert or semi-desert. Ongoing droughts, overgrazing, topsoil erosion, harsh desert winds, and the scavenging of trees for firewood are all to blame