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The French arrived in Mali and began colonizing around 1892. The French formed its colonies, with French Sudan and Senegal later becoming the Federation of Mali. The Republic of Mali achieved independence in 1960. Following independence, the country had many years of single-party rule, until it became a multiparty democracy in the 1990s.
Neighboring Countries :
Mali shares borders with Algeria, Niger, Burkina Faso, Cote d'Ivoire, Guinea, Senegal, and Mauritania.
- Major Cities
- Bamako (capital)
Mali is located in the Sahara desert, which covers about 65 percent of the country and is hot and arid. Mali's northern desert gives way to sandy rolling plains and subtropical savanna in the south. Africa's longest river, the Niger River flows through Mali, creating a large fertile delta, characterized by lakes and floodplains. The other major river in Mali is the Senegal River, which is the country's lowest point, with an elevation of 23 meters (75 feet). Mali has limited water resources as a landlocked nation located mostly in the desert.
In the Mopti Region of Mali, Mount Hombori is the country's highest point, standing at an elevation of 1,153 meters (3,782 feet).
Points of Interest :
Mali has several points of historical importance, including archaeological sites and several UNESCO World Heritage Sites. One of these is Bandiagara Escarpment, home to impressive cliffs and ancient architecture. Also known as the Land of the Dogons, the site once served as a ceremonial place of ritual and tradition, and its caves served as a high burial ground, to protect the graves from floods. The Great Mosque of Djenne is another UNESCO site, located along the Bani River. Built along the 13th century, the ornately designed adobe mosque is one of the country's best known landmarks. Other UNESCO sites located in Timbuktu are under insurgent control, and many of the landmarks have been destroyed, but the city is known for its historic buildings, mosques, and shrines.
For outdoor destinations, the plateau of Adrar des Ifoghas offers ancient rock paintings and old salt mines, while the Niger Inland Delta offers the country's main lake.
Mali's main airport is the Bamako-Senou International Airport, which is located in Bamako and offers service to other African countries as well as Europe. The country is also accessible by train, which offers transportation across the region of West Africa. Buses are available for certain long-distance routes, including from the capital to Segou. The country does have paved roads between urban areas and inside cities, but outside of cities the roads are not well maintained. In urban areas, there are many taxis and even more motorcycles, especially in the capital.
Last Updated On : October 04, 2013
Lat Long14.8128° N, 5.5030° W
Official LanguageFrench, Bambara, Peul/foulfoulbe
Major ReligionMuslim, mostly Sunni with strong Sufi tradition; approximately 5 percent are Christian
National dayIndependence Day, 22 September (1960)
Form of GovernmentUnitary semi-presidential republic
PresidentIbrahim Boubacar Keita
Prime MinisterOumar Tatam Ly
CurrencyWest African CFA franc (XOF)
GDP$17.983 billion 2012 estimate
Time ZoneGMT (UTC+0)