World Travelling Guide
World Travelling Guide



Accommodation in Southern Africa and South Africa including accommodation in Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, Gauteng, Limpopo Province, North West Province, Free State, Kwazulu-Natal, Mpumalanga

List of Countries
Map of Africa

Mali Travelling Guide
Mali Travelling Guide

General background: The Sudanese Republic and Senegal became independent of France in 1960 as the Mali Federation. When Senegal withdrew after only a few months, the Sudanese Republic was renamed Mali. Rule by dictatorship was brought to a close in 1991 with a transitional government, and in 1992 when Mali's first democratic presidential election was held. Since his reelection in 1997, President KONARE continued to push through political and economic reforms and to fight corruption. In 1999 he indicated he would not run for a third term, in keeping with the Malian constitution's two-term limit.

Area comparative: Slightly less than twice the size of Texas.

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

Population: 11,340,480 (July 2002 est.)

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

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

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

Government type: Republic

Capital: Bamako

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.

Economic overview: Mali is among the poorest countries in the world, with 65% of its land area desert or semi-desert. Economic activity is largely confined to the riverine area irrigated by the Niger. About 10% of the population is nomadic and some 70% of the labour 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. In 1997, the government 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 African franc in January 1994 have pushed up economic growth to a sturdy 5% average in 1996-2000. In 2001, GDP decreased by 1.2% mainly due to a 50% drop in cotton production in 2000-01.

Communication/Telephone system: Domestic system unreliable but improving; provides only minimal service.

Places of interest: Beautiful artwork, weird castellated mosques made entirely of mud, pink sandstone villages carved into cliff faces, and undulating desert scenes.

Travel tips: Travelers are advised to avoid the Mauritanian border regions and the remote north and east of the country, as they are the domain of desert bandits.