Mali is among the northern West African states and shares her borders with Algeria, Mauritania, Senegal, Guinea, Burkina Faso and Niger. Mali is landlocked and with an area of 1.2 million sq km, she is slightly less than twice the size of Texas. Mali is the largest West Africa country. The capital is Bamako and the country’s population is about 12 million.
Mali: Climate and Landscape
Much of Mali is flat with a few sand covered rolling plains. In the South, the country has savannah and rugged hills to the North East. The country’s climate varies between sub-tropical and arid. Mali is hot, dry from February to June, and rainy/humid from June to November.
Places to Visit in Mali
Though the tourism industry in Mali is poorly developed, the country receives almost 90,000 visitors annually. The country is famous for its earthen construction sites and these buildings (Mopti Mosque) have drawn restorers including the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC).he city of Djene is another popular architectural site famous for its distinctive mud brick buildings.
Mali: People and Language
French is the official Malian language and large portion of the population speaks Bambara (80%). The largest ethnic group in the country is the Mande (50%) and other ethnicities include Peul, Voltaic, Songhai, Tuareg, Moor and others (5%).
Other Facts from Mali
Historically Mali was once a part of the Great empires of Ghana, Songhai and Mali. Mali is 65% desert and is among the poorest countries in the world. Agriculture and economic activity is concentrated around the region irrigated by the Niger. The population is mainly engaged in subsistence activity with 10% living as nomads and another 80% engaged in agriculture and fishing. Mali is a major global cotton producer and has gold reserves that recently being exploited. There is also potential for irrigated agriculture as the Niger runs through almost two thirds of the country, down the middle. Mali has been working steadily to improve both literacy and eradicate poverty.