Mali

Introduction The Sudanese Republic and Senegal became independent of France in 1960 as the Mali Federation. When Senegal withdrew after only a few months, what formerly made up the Sudanese Republic was renamed Mali. Rule by dictatorship was brought to a close in 1991 by a military coup - led by the current president Amadou TOURE - enabling Mali's emergence as one of the strongest democracies on the continent. President Alpha KONARE won Mali's first democratic presidential election in 1992 and was reelected in 1997. In keeping with Mali's two-term constitutional limit, KONARE stepped down in 2002 and was succeeded by Amadou TOURE, who was subsequently elected to a second term in 2007. The elections were widely judged to be free and fair.
History

The area now constituting the nation of Mali was once part of three famed West African empires that controlled trans-Saharan trade in gold, salt, 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-speaking people. It expanded throughout West Africa from about A.D. 700 until A.D. 1078, when it collapsed due to invasions by the Almoravids.

The Mali Empire later arose on the upper Niger River, reaching the height of its power in the 14th century. Under the Mali Empire, the ancient trading cities of Djenné and Timbuktu were centers of both trade and Islamic learning. The empire later declined as a result of internal intrigue, ultimately being supplanted by the Songhai Empire in the 15 century. The Songhai people originated in what is now northwestern Nigeria; they had long been a major power in West Africa, though they had remained 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 part of the Mali Empire. The empire's eventual collapse was largely the result of a 1591 Berber invasion. 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 their significance.

In the colonial era, Mali fell under the control of the French beginning in the late 1800s. By 1905, most of the area was under firm French control as a part of French Sudan. In early 1959, the union of Mali (then the Sudanese Republic) and Senegal became the Mali Federation, which gained independence from France on June 20, 1960. Following the withdrawal of Senegal from the federation in August 1960, the Sudanese Republic became the independent nation of Mali on September 22, 1960, with Modibo Keïta as president. Keïta quickly established a one-party state, adopted an independent African and socialist orientation with close ties to the Eastern bloc, 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.[3] The subsequent military-led regime, with Traoré as president, attempted to reform the economy, but its efforts were frustrated by political turmoil and a devastating 1968-1974 drought.[3] The Traoré regime faced student unrest beginning in the late 1970s as well as three coup attempts, but it repressed all dissent until the late 1980s.[3] The government continued to attempt economic reforms, the populace became increasingly dissatisfied.[3] In response to growing demands for multiparty democracy, the Traoré regime allowed some limited political liberalization, but refused to usher in a full-fledged democratic system.[3] In 1990 cohesive opposition movements began to emerge, though the turbulent political situation was complicated by the rise of ethnic violence in the north following the return of many Tuaregs to Mali.[3]

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 1991 democratic uprising. Today, Mali is one of the most politically and socially stable countries in Africa.

Geography Location: Western Africa, southwest of Algeria
Geographic coordinates: 17 00 N, 4 00 W
Map references: Africa
Area: total: 1.24 million sq km
land: 1.22 million sq km
water: 20,000 sq km
Area - comparative: slightly less than twice the size of Texas
Land boundaries: total: 7,243 km
border countries: Algeria 1,376 km, Burkina Faso 1,000 km, Guinea 858 km, Cote d'Ivoire 532 km, Mauritania 2,237 km, Niger 821 km, Senegal 419 km
Coastline: 0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claims: none (landlocked)
Climate: subtropical to arid; hot and dry (February to June); rainy, humid, and mild (June to November); cool and dry (November to February)
Terrain: mostly flat to rolling northern plains covered by sand; savanna in south, rugged hills in northeast
Elevation extremes: lowest point: Senegal River 23 m
highest point: Hombori Tondo 1,155 m
Natural resources: gold, phosphates, kaolin, salt, limestone, uranium, gypsum, granite, hydropower
note: bauxite, iron ore, manganese, tin, and copper deposits are known but not exploited
Land use: arable land: 3.76%
permanent crops: 0.03%
other: 96.21% (2005)
Irrigated land: 2,360 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources: 100 cu km (2001)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural): total: 6.55 cu km/yr (9%/1%/90%)
per capita: 484 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural hazards: hot, dust-laden harmattan haze common during dry seasons; recurring droughts; occasional Niger River flooding
Environment - current issues: deforestation; soil erosion; desertification; inadequate supplies of potable water; poaching
Environment - international agreements: party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note: landlocked; divided into three natural zones: the southern, cultivated Sudanese; the central, semiarid Sahelian; and the northern, arid Saharan
Politics

Mali is a constitutional democracy governed by the constitution of January 12, 1992, as amended in 1999.[5] The constitution provides for a separation of powers among the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government.[5] 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.[5][6] 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.

Mali’s constitution provides for an independent judiciary, but the executive continues to exercise influence over the judiciary by virtue of its 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.

People Population: 12,324,029 (July 2008 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 48.2% (male 3,004,003/female 2,937,138)
15-64 years: 48.7% (male 2,976,314/female 3,028,433)
65 years and over: 3.1% (male 150,597/female 227,544) (2008 est.)
Median age: total: 15.8 years
male: 15.4 years
female: 16.2 years (2008 est.)
Population growth rate: 2.725% (2008 est.)
Birth rate: 49.38 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Death rate: 16.16 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Net migration rate: -5.97 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.66 male(s)/female
total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2008 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 103.83 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 113.41 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 93.97 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 49.94 years
male: 48 years
female: 51.94 years (2008 est.)
Total fertility rate: 7.34 children born/woman (2008 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 1.9% (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 140,000 (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths: 12,000 (2003 est.)
Major infectious diseases: degree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne disease: malaria
water contact disease: schistosomiasis
respiratory disease: meningococcal meningitis (2008)
Nationality: noun: Malian(s)
adjective: Malian
Ethnic groups: Mande 50% (Bambara, Malinke, Soninke), Peul 17%, Voltaic 12%, Songhai 6%, Tuareg and Moor 10%, other 5%
Religions: Muslim 90%, Christian 1%, indigenous beliefs 9%
Languages: French (official), Bambara 80%, numerous African languages
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 46.4%
male: 53.5%
female: 39.6% (2003 est.)
Government Country name: conventional long form: Republic of Mali
conventional short form: Mali
local long form: Republique de Mali
local short form: Mali
former: French Sudan and Sudanese Republic
Government type: republic
Capital: name: Bamako
geographic coordinates: 12 39 N, 8 00 W
time difference: UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions: 8 regions (regions, singular - region); Gao, Kayes, Kidal, Koulikoro, Mopti, Segou, Sikasso, Tombouctou
Independence: 22 September 1960 (from France)
National holiday: Independence Day, 22 September (1960)
Constitution: adopted 12 January 1992
Legal system: based on French civil law system and customary law; judicial review of legislative acts in Constitutional Court; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state: President Amadou Toumani TOURE (since 8 June 2002)
head of government: Prime Minister Modibo SIDIBE (since 28 September 2007)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the prime minister
elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held 29 April 2007 (next to be held April in 2012); prime minister appointed by the president
election results: Amadou Toumani TOURE reelected president; percent of vote - Amadou Toumani TOURE 71.2%, Ibrahim Boubacar KEITA 19.2%, other 9.6%
Legislative branch: unicameral National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale (147 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: last held 1 and 22 July 2007 (next to be held in July 2012)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - ADP coalition 113 (including ADEMA 51, URD 34, MPR 8, CNID 7, UDD 3, and other 10), FDR coalition 15 (including RPM 11, PARENA 4), SADI 4, independent 15
Judicial branch: Supreme Court or Cour Supreme
Political parties and leaders: Alliance for Democratic Change (political group comprised mainly of Tuareg from Mali's northern region); African Solidarity for Democracy and Independence or SADI [Oumar MARIKO, secretary general]; Alliance for Democracy and Progress or ADP (a coalition of political parties including ADEMA and URD formed in December 2006 to support the presidential candidacy of Amadou TOURE); Alliance for Democracy or ADEMA [Diounconda TRAORE]; Convergence 2007 [Soumeylou Boubeye MAIGA]; Front for Democracy and the Republic or FDR (a coalition of political parties including RPM and PARENA formed to oppose the presidential candidacy of Amadou TOURE); National Congress for Democratic Initiative or CNID [Mountaga TALL]; Party for Democracy and Progress or PDP [Me Idrissa TRAORE]; Party for National Renewal or PARENA [Tiebile DRAME]; Patriotic Movement for Renewal or MPR [Choguel MAIGA]; Rally for Democracy and Labor or RDT; Rally for Mali or RPM [Ibrahim Boubacar KEITA]; Sudanese Union/African Democratic Rally or US/RDA [Mamadou Bamou TOURE]; Union for Democracy and Development or UDD [Moussa Balla COULIBALY]; Union for Republic and Democracy or URD [Soumaila CISSE]
International organization participation: ACCT, ACP, AfDB, AU, ECOWAS, FAO, FZ, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NAM, OIC, OIF, OPCW, UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNMIL, UNMIS, UNWTO, UPU, WADB (regional), WAEMU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Abdoulaye DIOP
chancery: 2130 R Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 332-2249, 939-8950
FAX: [1] (202) 332-6603
Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Terrence P. MCCULLEY
embassy: located just off the Roi Bin Fahad Aziz Bridge just west of the Bamako central district
mailing address: ACI 2000, Rue 243, Porte 297, Bamako
telephone: [223] 270-2300
FAX: [223] 270-2479
Flag description: three equal vertical bands of green (hoist side), yellow, and red; uses the popular pan-African colors of Ethiopia
Culture

Malian musical traditions are derived from the griots or jalis The music of Mali is best known outside of Africa for the kora virtouso Toumani Diabaté, the late roots and blues guitarist Ali Farka Touré and his successors Afel Bocoum and Vieux Farka Touré, the Tuareg band Tinariwen, and several Afro-pop artists such as Salif Keita, the duo Amadou et Mariam, and Oumou Sangare.

Though Mali's literature is less famous than its music,[21] Mali has always been one of Africa's liveliest intellectual centers.[22] Mali's literary tradition is largely oral, with jalis reciting or singing histories and stories from memory. Amadou Hampâté Bâ, Mali's best-known historian, spent much of his life recording these oral traditions. 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, Ousmane Sembene, Modibo Sounkalo Keita, Maryse Condé, Massa Makan Diabaté, Moussa Konaté, and Fily Dabo Sissoko.

The varied everyday culture of Malians reflects the country's ethnic and geographic diversity. Most Malians wear flowing, colorful robes called boubous that are typical of West Africa. Malians frequently participate in traditional festivals, dances, and ceremonies.[24] Rice and millet are the staples of Malian cuisine, which is heavily based on cereal grains. Grains are generally prepared with sauces made from leaves such spinach or baobab leaves, with tomato, or with peanut sauce, and may be accompanied by pieces of grilled meat (typically chicken, mutton, beef, or goat).[ Malian cuisine varies regionally.

The most popular sport in Mali is football (soccer), which became more prominent after Mali hosted the 2002 African Cup of Nations.[27][29] Most towns have regular games;[29] the most popular national teams are Djoliba, Stad, and Real.[28] 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. Basketball is another major sport; the Mali women's national basketball team is the only African basketball team competing at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.Traditional wrestling (la lutte) is also somewhat common, though its popularity has declined in recent years. The game wari, a mancala variant, is a common pastime.

Economy Economy - overview: Mali is among the poorest countries in the world, with 65% of its land area desert or semidesert and with a highly unequal distribution of income. Economic activity is largely confined to the riverine area irrigated by the Niger. About 10% of the population is nomadic and some 80% of the labor force is engaged in farming and fishing. Industrial activity is concentrated on processing farm commodities. Mali is heavily dependent on foreign aid and vulnerable to fluctuations in world prices for cotton, its main export, along with gold. The government has continued its successful implementation of an IMF-recommended structural adjustment program that is helping the economy grow, diversify, and attract foreign investment. Mali's adherence to economic reform and the 50% devaluation of the CFA franc in January 1994 have pushed up economic growth to a 5% average in 1996-2007. Worker remittances and external trade routes for the landlocked country have been jeopardized by continued unrest in neighboring Cote d'Ivoire.
GDP (purchasing power parity): $14.18 billion (2007 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate): $6.936 billion (2007 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 4.3% (2007 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): $1,200 (2007 est.)
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 45%
industry: 17%
services: 38% (2001 est.)
Labor force: 5.4 million (2007 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 80%
industry and services: 20% (2005 est.)
Unemployment rate: 30% (2004 est.)
Population below poverty line: 36.1% (2005 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 2.4%
highest 10%: 30.2% (2001)
Distribution of family income - Gini index: 40.1 (2001)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 2.6% (2007 est.)
Budget: revenues: $1.5 billion
expenditures: $1.8 billion (2006 est.)
Agriculture - products: cotton, millet, rice, corn, vegetables, peanuts; cattle, sheep, goats
Industries: food processing; construction; phosphate and gold mining
Industrial production growth rate: NA%
Electricity - production: 804 million kWh (2006)
Electricity - production by source: fossil fuel: 41.7%
hydro: 58.3%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)
Electricity - consumption: 804 million kWh (2006 est.)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh; note - recent hydropower developments may be providing electricity to Senegal and Mauritania (2007 est.)
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2007)
Oil - production: 0 bbl/day (2006 est.)
Oil - consumption: 5,600 bbl/day (2006 est.)
Oil - exports: 0 bbl/day (2006)
Oil - imports: 5,600 bbl/day (2006 est.)
Oil - proved reserves: 0 bbl (1 January 2006 est.)
Natural gas - production: 0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 0 cu m (2005)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 0 cu m (1 January 2006 est.)
Exports: $294 million f.o.b. (2006)
Exports - commodities: cotton, gold, livestock
Exports - partners: China 26.8%, Germany 24.9%, Thailand 7.1%, Taiwan 4.9%, Bangladesh 4% (2006)
Imports: $2.358 billion f.o.b. (2006)
Imports - commodities: petroleum, machinery and equipment, construction materials, foodstuffs, textiles
Imports - partners: France 12.8%, Senegal 12.2%, Cote d'Ivoire 10.5% (2006)
Economic aid - recipient: $691.5 million (2005)
Debt - external: $2.8 billion (2002)
Market value of publicly traded shares: $NA
Currency (code): Communaute Financiere Africaine franc (XOF); note - responsible authority is the Central Bank of the West African States
Currency code: XOF
Exchange rates: Communaute Financiere Africaine francs (XOF) per US dollar - 493.51 (2007), 522.59 (2006), 527.47 (2005), 528.29 (2004), 581.2 (2003)
note: since 1 January 1999, the XOF franc has been pegged to the euro at a rate of 655.957 XOF francs per euro
Fiscal year: calendar year
Communications Telephones - main lines in use: 82,500 (2006)
Telephones - mobile cellular: 1.513 million (2006)
Telephone system: general assessment: domestic system unreliable but improving; provides only minimal service
domestic: fixed-line availability is gradually increasing, but subscribership remains less than 1 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular subscribership has increased sharply to 13 per 100 persons
international: country code - 223; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (1 Atlantic Ocean, 1 Indian Ocean)
Radio broadcast stations: AM 1, FM 230 (27 regional and government stations, and 203 private stations), shortwave 1 (2001)
Radios: 570,000 (1997)
Television broadcast stations: 2 (plus repeaters) (2007)
Televisions: 45,000 (1997)
Internet country code: .ml
Internet hosts: 28 (2007)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 13 (2001)
Internet users: 70,000 (2006)
Transportation Airports: 29 (2007)
Airports - with paved runways: total: 8
2,438 to 3,047 m: 4
1,524 to 2,437 m: 4 (2007)
Airports - with unpaved runways: total: 21
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 5
914 to 1,523 m: 7
under 914 m: 8 (2007)
Railways: total: 729 km
narrow gauge: 729 km 1.000-m gauge (2006)
Roadways: total: 18,709 km
paved: 3,368 km
unpaved: 15,341 km (2004)
Waterways: 1,800 km (2007)
Ports and terminals: Koulikoro
Military Military branches: Malian Armed Forces: Army, Republic of Mali Air Force (Force Aerienne de la Republique du Mali, FARM), National Guard (2008)
Military service age and obligation: 18 years of age for compulsory and voluntary military service; conscript service obligation - 2 years (2008)
Manpower available for military service: males age 18-49: 2,094,432
females age 18-49: 2,027,352 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service: males age 18-49: 1,244,176
females age 18-49: 1,226,226 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP: 1.9% (2006)
Transnational Issues Disputes - international: none
Refugees and internally displaced persons: refugees (country of origin): 6,165 (Mauritania) (2006)