Mali

Country Code: 223
ISO Code: MLI/ML

Mali, 2 6 whose full name is Republic of Mali (in French, République du Mali), is a state without level West Africa. It is the eighth largest country in Africa and the limitations to the north with Algeria, to the east with Niger, to the west with Mauritania and Senegal and to the south with Ivory Coast, Guinea and Burkina Faso. Its size is 1 240 192 km²3 and its population is estimated at around 14.5 million inhabitants (20094). Its capital is Bamako.

Comprised of eight regions, Mali has its borders, the north in the middle of the Sahara, while the southern region, where most of its inhabitants live, is close to the rivers of Niger and Senegal. The economic structure of the country focuses on agriculture and fishing. Despite some of its natural resources is gold, uranium and salt, it is one of the poorest nations in the world economically.

The present Malian territory was the seat of the three empires of Africa that controlled the trans-Saharan trade: the Empire of Ghana, the Empire of Mali (which Mali takes its name) and the Songhay Empire. At the end of the 19th century, Mali came under the control of France, becoming part of the French Sudan. In 1959 it obtained its independence with Senegal, thus becoming the Mali Federation, which would disintegrate a year later. After a time in which there was only one political party, a coup d’état in 1991, the drafting of a new constitution and the establishment of a democratic organization with a multi-party system. About half of the population lives below the international poverty line, set at $ 1.25 per day.

HISTORY

In ancient times, the territory of present-day Mali was home to the three great empires of West Africa that controlled trans-Saharan trade in salt, gold and other precious raw materials.These Sahelian kingdoms lacked both geopolitical boundaries and clearly delimited ethnic identities. The first of these empires was the Empire of Ghana, founded by the Soninke, a people of speech mandé. The kingdom expanded through West Africa from the eighth century until 1078, when it was conquered by the Almoravids.

Later, the Empire of Mali was formed on the upper course of the Niger River, which reached its maximum strength in the course of the fourteenth century.At the time of the Malian Empire, the ancient cities of Yenné and Timbuktu were important centers of commerce and Islamic learning. The empire later declined as a result of internal conflicts and was eventually replaced by the Songhai.The songhai people originated in present-day northwest Nigeria, whose empire had long been a West African power under the control of the Malian Empire.

At the end of the fourteenth century, the Songhay Empire gradually gained independence from Mali’s empire, finally encompassing the eastern region of this empire, its fall being the result of the Berber invasion of 1591 and marking the end of the regional function of commercial crossroads. After the establishment of maritime routes by the European powers, the trans-Saharan trade routes lost their importance.

In the colonial era, the region fell under French control at the end of the 19th century, and by 1905, most of the area was dominated by France, whose territory was called French Sudan.At the beginning of 1959, Mali (at that time the Sudanese Republic) and Senegal joined to form the Federation of Mali, which gained its independence from France on June 20, 1960. The Senegalese withdrawal of the federation in August 1960 allowed the former Sudanese Republic to form the independent nation of Mali on September 22, 1960. Modibo Keita, who was the head of government of the Federation of Mali until its dissolution, was elected first president.Keita quickly established a one-party state, adopting in turn an independent African and socialist orientation with strong ties with the Soviet Union, and carried out an extensive nationalization of economic resources.

In 1968, as a consequence of the growing economic decline, Keita’s mandate was overthrown in a bloody military coup led by Moussa Traoré.The subsequent military regime, with Traoré as president, tried to reform the economy. Despite this, their efforts were thwarted by political turmoil and a devastating drought that took place between 1968 and 1974. The Traore regime faced student unrest that began in the late 1970s, as well as three attempted coups d’etat . However, the dissidents were repressed until the end of the 1980s.

The Government continued to try to implement economic reforms, but its popularity among the population diminished more and more. In response to the growing demands of a multiparty democracy, Traoré consented to limited political liberalization, but refused to usher in a full democratic system. In 1990, coherent opposition movements began to emerge, but this process was interfered with by the increase in ethnic violence in the north of the country due to the return of many Tuaregs to Mali.The protests against the government in 1991 led to a coup, followed by a transitional government and the realization of a new constitution. In 1992, Alpha Oumar Konaré won the first democratic presidential elections in the country. After his re-election in 1997, President Konaré promoted political and economic reforms and fought against corruption. In 2002, he was replaced by Amadou Toumani Touré, a retired general who led the coup d’état against the military and imposed democracy in 1991.

On March 21, 2012, a group of soldiers overthrew President Amadou Toumani Touré in a bloody coup d’état; The military coup leaders, who justified their action by the insufficient support of Touré and his government to the military in their fight against the ethnic Tuareg separatist guerrillas in the north of the country, closed the borders of the country and formed a military junta of government. However, military loyal to Touré claimed that he was on a military base accompanied by members of the elite unit of the presidential guard, known as the “Red Berets” trying to resist the military coup. After the coup, the northern Tuareg took over several cities and gained positions, taking advantage of the power vacuum and on April 6, 2012, the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) proclaimed, unilaterally, the secession of the Azawad region. On the same April 6, the National Commission for the Recovery of Democracy and Restoration of the State is organized, which dictates a new constitutional charter for a celebration of presidential elections after forty days. Sanogo accepts his resignation to make way for the elections and Dioncounda Traoré (acting as president of the Senate) provisionally assumes the presidency of Mali on April 12. The escalation of the conflict in Mali causes the displacement of thousands of people, who end up as refugees in areas affected by famine in countries such as Mauritania, Burkina Faso, Niger or Algeria. On May 26, after the merger of the two Tuareg MNLA groups and the Islamist Ansar Dine that agreed to form a joint government and the convening of a consultative assembly or “shura”, the self-styled “Islamic State of Azawad” was proclaimed where the sharia it will be the “source of law.” However, some subsequent reports indicated that the MNLA had decided to withdraw from the pact, distancing itself from Ansar Dine. Finally, the clashes between the MNLA and Ansar Dine culminated in the Battle of Gao on June 27, in which the Islamist group Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa and Ansar Dine take control of the city, expelling the MNLA. The next day Ansar Dine announces that he has all the cities of northern Mali under his control. In January 2013, a military intervention was initiated by France to stop the expansion of the Islamic rebels in the north of the country.

ECONOMY

Mali is one of the poorest countries in the world, with an average per capita income of $ 1,500 per year. Between 1992 and 1995, the government implemented a program of economic adjustment that resulted in the growth of the economy and the reduction of negative balance sheets. The plan increased economic and social conditions allowed it to join the World Trade Organization on May 31, 1995. Gross domestic product (GDP) has risen since then: for 2002 amounted to $ 3,400,000,000, and in 2005 it increased to $ 5,800,000,000, resulting in an annual growth rate of approximately 17.6%.

The key to the Malian economy is agriculture. Cotton is the most exported crop in the country, and it is exported to Senegal and the Ivory Coast. During 2002, 620,000 tons of cotton were produced, but the prices of this crop decreased significantly since 2003. In addition to cotton, rice, millet, corn, vegetables, tobacco and tree crops are produced. Gold, cattle and agriculture account for 80% of exports. 80% of workers are employed in agriculture, while 15% do so in the service sector, however, seasonal variations leave many of the agricultural workers without temporary employment.

In 1991, with the help of the International Development Association, Mali relaxed compliance with the mining exploitation codes, which led to renewed interest and foreign investment in the mining industry.The gold is extracted in the southern zone, which it has the third largest gold production rate in Africa (after South Africa and Ghana) .The appearance of gold as the main export product since 1999 helped mitigate the negative impact of the cotton crisis and Côte d’Ivoire. Other natural resources are kaolin, salt, phosphate and limestone.

Electricity and water are maintained by Energie du Mali, or EDM, and textiles are produced by the Industry Textile du Mali, or ITEMA, Mali makes efficient use of hydroelectricity, which provides more than half of the electricity from the country. In 2002, more than 700 kWh of hydroelectric power was generated.

The government encourages foreign investment, in the fields of trade and privatization. Mali began its economic reform by signing agreements with the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund in 1988. Between 1988 and 1996, the Malian government reformed a large part of public enterprises. Since the agreement, sixteen companies have been privatized, twelve partially privatized and twenty liquidated.In 2005, the Malian government granted a railroad company to the American firm Savage Corporation.It is a member of the Organization for the Harmonization in Africa of Commercial Law (OHADA).

RELIGION

90% of Malians are, according to estimates, Muslim and most of these are Sunni; approximately 5% of the population is Christian (two thirds of the Catholic Church and another third Protestant); The remaining 5% corresponds to traditional or indigenous animistic beliefs, and atheism and agnosticism are not very common among Malians, of whom most practice their religion daily.

According to the annual report of the United States Department of State on religious freedom, Islam practiced in the country can be considered moderate, tolerant and adapted to local conditions, women participate in economic, social and political activities, and generally they do not use the burka The constitution establishes that Mali is a secular state and provides religious freedom, and the government respects this right to a large extent. The relationship between Muslims and religious minorities can be considered friendly and foreign missionary groups (both Muslim and non-Muslim) are tolerated Christian festivities, like the Muslim ones, are officially recognized and celebrated without any problem.

EDUCATION

Education is free and compulsory for nine grades, between seven and sixteen years of age. The system covers six years of primary education, beginning at seven, followed by six years of secondary education. However, the enrollment rate at the elementary school is low, largely because families do not have the necessary resources to cover the cost of uniforms, books and other requirements necessary to attend classes in the 2000-2001 school year. , the enrollment rate at primary school was 71% in boys and 51% in girls; At the end of the 1990s, the number of students enrolled in secondary education was only 15% (20% in men and 10% in women). The educational system suffers from the lack of schools in rural areas, as well as the Shortage of materials and teachers Estimates reveal that between 27% and 46.4% of the inhabitants suffer from illiteracy, with a significant decrease in this percentage in women compared to men.

HEALTH

Mali faces numerous challenges in the field of health related to poverty, malnutrition, hygiene and inadequate environmental sanitation. Mali’s health and development indicators are among the worst in the world.61 In 2000, only 63% of the population had access to drinking water and 69% to some type of health service. the sum of government health expenditures averaged $ 4 per capita, Malian medical facilities are very limited, and medicines are scarce, malaria and other diseases transmitted by arthropods are frequent in the country, as well as the number of infectious diseases such as cholera and tuberculosis, the population also suffers from a high rate of child malnutrition and a low rate of immunization, according to an estimate that 1.9% of the adult and child population was affected by HIV / AIDS, one of the lowest rates in Africa.

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