Mali -- Geography --
Official Name: Republic Mali
Languages: French (official),Arabian,tuareg,bambara,others
Official Currency: CFA frank
Land Area: 1 240 192 sq km
Landforms:Mostly plains, savanna in the south, steep hills to the northeast.
Land Divisions: 8 districts and a county, including the country's capital city of Bamako
Mali -- History --
With its 1 240 000 km? Mali is one of the biggest countries in Africa and is 24th in the world in area. No country landlocked. The total length of the border is
2 237 km with Mauritania
858 km with Guinea
821 km in Niger
532 km in Ivory Coast
419 km with Senegal
The climate is mostly dry from subtropical to desert. There are hot and dry season from February to June, hot and rainy season from June to November and moderately humid and cool season from November to February. The largest rivers passing through the territory of Mali are Niger and Senegal, the pool of the river Senegal is the lowest point (23 m altitude). The highest point is peak Hombori Tondo - 1 153 meters. Massive sand Adrar dez Ifogas known to saharski remains of ancient civilizations, is located in the northeastern part of the country. Mali is rich in natural resources, including gold, uranium, phosphorus, iron, bauxite, gypsum, granite, copper, kaolin, limestone and salt.
Mali -- Economy --
The economy Mali’s is basically an agricultural economy. Because the northern half of the country is occupied by the Sahara, most human activity is concentrated in the more southerly regions, in particular in the valleys of the Niger and Senegal rivers and their tributaries. Progress in the rural sector has been limited by an unfavourable climate, by periodic droughts since the late 1960s, and by low levels of technology. Other sectors are no further advanced: the development of Mali’s extensive mineral and water resources is limited, and the country’s industrial sector, which is still in its infancy, concentrates heavily on food processing. Foreign exchange is obtained chiefly from the export of primary commodities that have suffered from volatile world markets and foreign currency fluctuations. The revenue is insufficient to cover the cost of Mali’s highly processed imports from France and other Western nations. Added to its problems, Mali has suffered severely from resource mismanagement, and the national debt continues to grow. At the time of independence in 1960, the government adopted a policy of socialism. State companies and rural cooperative societies were organized to regulate both the production and the distribution of goods. Since the military coup d’etat in 1968, socialist policy has been mitigated by the encouragement of private business. Bilateral external aid is provided largely by France, the United States, the nations of the European Economic Community (EEC), and the nations of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). International aid is granted by such organizations as the United Nations, the European Development Fund (FED), and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Since 1981 the Mali government has responded to pressures from the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and aid donors to introduce measures to encourage private investment and enterprise, liberalization of domestic markets, and the general reduction of state control. Planning is based on five-year periods, and the plan of 1987–91 included in its objectives self-sufficiency in food, economic reforms, a campaign against desertification, and a scheme for protection and improvement of grazing land.
The economy » Resources: Mali’s natural resources remain relatively undeveloped. Iron is the most widespread mineral resource, but it is not currently exploited because of Mali’s limited infrastructure. Deposits are found in the west near the Senegal and Guinea borders. Bauxite deposits are located near Kayes and on the Mandingue Plateau. Manganese is also found, and there are phosphate deposits in the Ansongo region. Important deposits of gold are at Kalana near Bougouni, on the Mandingue Plateau, and in the Iforas Massif. Lithium has been discovered near Kayes and Bougouni, and there are uranium deposits in the Iforas. There are also traces of tungsten, tin, lead, copper, and zinc, as well as deposits of salt, marble, kaolin (china clay), and limestone.
The economy » Agriculture and fishing: Subsistence and commercial agriculture are the bases of the Malian economy. More than 80 percent of the working population is in subsistence agriculture, and the government supports the development of commercial products. Areas of cultivation are located in the Sudanese and Sahelian zones; an agricultural area of major importance is the inland Niger delta. Crops such as millet, rice, wheat, and corn (maize), as well as potatoes, yams, and cassava, are the main subsistence crops. Cotton and peanuts (groundnuts) are the important commercial crops; sugarcane, tobacco, and tea are also grown for market. Market gardens produce a variety of vegetables and fruits, including cabbages, turnips, carrots, beans, tomatoes, bananas, mangoes, and oranges. Irrigation projects have been developed on the Niger near the towns of Segou and Mopti. The major areas for the raising of livestock are the Sahel and the area around Macina. There are cattle, sheep, and goats in the country. Mali is one of the largest producers of fish in western Africa. The inland delta is a particularly important fishing ground, though the drought has caused a major setback to the industry.
The economy » Industry: Most industrial enterprises engage in the processing of food and other agricultural products. There are several rice mills, flour mills, and cotton gins. The oil and soap factory of Koulikoro satisfies domestic demands for its products. There are breweries, a tannery, and a refrigerated slaughterhouse at Bamako; a sugar refinery at Dougabougou; and cigarette and match factories at Djoliba. The Malian Company of Textiles (Comatex) produces cotton fibre and cloth, while the Textile Industry of Mali (Itema) manufactures printed cloth and blankets. There are also shops for the construction of motorcycles, the repair of machinery, and the assembly of radios. Although mineral resources are extensive, the mining industry is minimal. Exploited deposits are those of salt (at Taoudenni), marble and kaolin (at Bafoulabe), gold (at Kalana), and limestone (at Diamou). Electricity is largely produced in thermal power stations, but the role of hydroelectric power is growing. Thermal stations are located in Bamako and other large towns. Hydroelectric power is produced at the Sotuba and Markala dams on the Niger River, at the Felou Dam on the Senegal River, and at the Selingue Dam on the Niger near Bamako. Construction of the Manantali Dam on the Senegal is a joint venture with Senegal and Mauritania that will add substantially to power capacity. Mali has also begun to exploit solar energy; solar-powered pumps provide electricity to some 30 villages.
The economy » Finance and trade: The Central Bank of Mali, managed equally by Mali and France, controls the nation’s credit and the exchange rate between the CFA (Communaute Financiere Africaine) franc (the monetary unit of the country) and the French franc. The Development Bank of Mali finances development projects, while the Malian Bank of Credit and Deposits and the French-owned West African International Bank carry out credit and depository functions. Several French insurance companies maintain offices in Bamako. The most important export items are cotton, peanuts, live animals, and dried and smoked fish. Imports consist largely of textiles, food products, automobiles, iron and steel, and petroleum products. Mali is a member of the Organization for the Development of the Senegal River, which also includes Senegal and Mauritania. Despite strict customs controls, smuggling—especially of cattle and fish—is considerable.
Mali -- Culture --
Cultural life In spite of being one of the poorest nations in the world, Mali has long functioned as a crossroads between northern and western Africa and has developed a rich cultural tradition. Situated between the Arab world to the north and the black African nations to the south, it has for centuries been a cultural meeting place. Music and dancing are the most common cultural activities; they form an especially rich heritage among the Malinke and Songhai peoples. The Bambara and the Voltaic groups excel in the creation of wood carvings of masks, statues, stools, and objects used in animist worship. Architecture is well developed in the Niger valley. The Sudanic style finds typical expression in the storied houses and mosques of Djenne and Timbuktu. Localized handicrafts include jewelry making by the Mandingo people, leatherworking around the Niger Bend, the weaving of geometric designs into cotton cloth, and the carving of statues for the tourist trade. The Museum of the Institute of Research and Documentation at Bamako contains collections of art from most of the country’s regions. The National Archives of Mali, the National Library, and the Institute of Human Sciences are also located in Bamako, as is the Municipal Library.
Mali -- Political system, law and government --
President:Mali Amadou Toure Tumani is Semi Democratic
Republic, where the president headed Both the government and the country. Parliament is a multi-institution and plays the role of legislators and government hold executive. The judiciary is totally independent of the other two. Parliament has 160 members, each with a 5-year term. Malian living within the country elected 147 members and the remaining 13 are elected from outside the country malians.