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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 coup that ushered in democratic government. 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.


Western Africa, southwest of Algeria

Geographic coordinates:

17 00 N, 4 00 W


total: 1.24 million sq km
land: 1.22 million sq km
water: 20,000 sq km

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


0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claims:

none (landlocked)


subtropical to arid; hot and dry (February to June); rainy, humid, and mild (June to November); cool and dry (November to February)


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)

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

Geography - note:

landlocked; divided into three natural zones: the southern, cultivated Sudanese; the central, semiarid Sahelian; and the northern, arid Saharan


11,716,829 (July 2006 est.)

Age structure:

0-14 years: 48.2% (male 2,857,670/female 2,787,506)
15-64 years: 48.8% (male 2,804,344/female 2,910,097)
65 years and over: 3% (male 146,458/female 210,754) (2006 est.)

Median age:

total: 15.8 years
male: 15.4 years
female: 16.3 years (2006 est.)

Population growth rate:

2.63% (2006 est.)

Birth rate:

49.82 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Death rate:

16.89 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Net migration rate:

-6.6 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.96 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.7 male(s)/female
total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2006 est.)

Infant mortality rate:

total: 107.58 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 117.32 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 97.54 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 49 years
male: 47.05 years
female: 51.01 years (2006 est.)

Total fertility rate:

7.42 children born/woman (2006 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

1.9% (2003 est.)

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 is a high risk in some locations
water contact disease: schistosomiasis
respiratory disease: meningococcal meningitis (2005)


noun: Malian(s)
adjective: Malian

Ethnic groups:

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


Muslim 90%, indigenous beliefs 9%, Christian 1%


French (official), Bambara 80%, numerous African languages


definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 46.4%
male: 53.5%
female: 39.6% (2003 est.)

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:




Administrative divisions:

8 regions (regions, singular - region); Gao, Kayes, Kidal, Koulikoro, Mopti, Segou, Sikasso, Tombouctou


22 September 1960 (from France)

National holiday:

Independence Day, 22 September (1960)


adopted 12 January 1992

Legal system:

based on French civil law system and customary law; judicial review of legislative acts in Constitutional Court (which was formally established on 9 March 1994); has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction


18 years of age; universal

Legislative branch:

unicameral National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale (147 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: last held 14 and 28 July 2002 (next to be held July 2007)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - Hope 2002 coalition 66, ADEMA 51, other 30

Judicial branch:

Supreme Court or Cour Supreme

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 sturdy 5% average in 1996-2005. 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):

$11.86 billion (2005 est.)

GDP (official exchange rate):

$5.433 billion (2005 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:

5.5% (2005 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):

$1,000 (2005 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 45%
industry: 17%
services: 38% (2001 est.)

Labor force:

3.93 million (2001 est.)

Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 80%
industry and services: 20% (2001 est.)

Unemployment rate:

14.6% (2001 est.)

Population below poverty line:

64% (2001 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: 1.8%
highest 10%: 40.4% (1994)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:

50.5 (1994)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

4.5% (2002 est.)


revenues: $764 million
expenditures: $828 million; including capital expenditures of $NA (2002 est.)

Agriculture - products:

cotton, millet, rice, corn, vegetables, peanuts; cattle, sheep, goats


food processing; construction; phosphate and gold mining

Electricity - production:

820 million kWh (2003)

Electricity - consumption:

762.6 million kWh (2003)

Electricity - exports:

0 kWh; note - recent hydropower developments may be providing electricity to Senegal and Mauritania (2003)

Oil - consumption:

4,250 bbl/day (2003 est.)


$323 million f.o.b. (2004 est.)

Exports - commodities:

cotton, gold, livestock

Exports - partners:

China 31.3%, Pakistan 9.9%, Thailand 6.9%, Italy 6.9%, Germany 5.1%, India 4.8%, Bangladesh 4.4% (2004)


$1.858 billion f.o.b. (2004 est.)

Imports - commodities:

petroleum, machinery and equipment, construction materials, foodstuffs, textiles

Imports - partners:

France 14.3%, Senegal 9.7%, Cote d'Ivoire 8.5% (2004)

Debt - external:

$2.8 billion (2002)

Economic aid - recipient:

$472.1 million (2002)

Currency (code):

Communaute Financiere Africaine franc (XOF); note - responsible authority is the Central Bank of the West African States

Fiscal year:

calendar year

Telephones - main lines in use:

74,900 (2004)

Telephones - mobile cellular:

400,000 (2004)

Telephone system:

general assessment: domestic system unreliable but improving; provides only minimal service
domestic: network consists of microwave radio relay, open-wire, and radiotelephone communications stations; expansion of microwave radio relay in progress
international: country code - 223; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (1 Atlantic Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean)

Radio broadcast stations:

AM 1, FM 28, shortwave 1
note: the shortwave station in Bamako has seven frequencies and five transmitters and relays broadcasts for China Radio International (2001)

Television broadcast stations:

1 (plus repeaters) (2001)

Internet country code:


Internet hosts:

270 (2005)

Internet users:

50,000 (2005)


28 (2005)

Airports - with paved runways:

total: 9
2,438 to 3,047 m: 4
1,524 to 2,437 m: 4
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2005)

Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 19
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 5
914 to 1,523 m: 5
under 914 m: 8 (2005)


total: 729 km
narrow gauge: 729 km 1.000-m gauge (2004)


total: 15,100 km
paved: 1,827 km
unpaved: 13,273 km (1999)


1,815 km (2005)

Ports and terminals:


Military branches:

Army, Air Force, National Guard

Disputes - international:


Refugees and internally displaced persons:

refugees (country of origin): 6,185 (Mauritania) (2005)