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Mali - Introduction

Introduction to Mali

A meeting place for Dogon elders (the low roof prevents fights), Toguna

Mali is not the place to go for safaris. What it does have is a smorgasbord of surreal landscapes, beautiful artwork, Timbuktu, castellated mosques made entirely of mud, pink sandstone villages carved into cliff faces, and undulating desert scenes that look like outtakes from Lawrence of Arabia.

Full country name: Republic of Mali
Area: 1.24 million sq km
Population: 11.6 million
Capital City: Bamako
People: Bambara, Tuareg, Dogon, Songhaï, Senoufou, Fulani
Language: French, Bambara, Songhai, Arabic
Religion: Muslim 90%, traditional African religion 9%, Christian 1%
Head of State: President General Amadou Toumani Touré
GDP: US$8 billion
GDP per capita: US$790
Annual Growth: 4.6%
Inflation: 5%
Major Industries: cotton, livestock, gold mining and fishing
Major Trading Partners: France, Côte d'Ivoire, Senegal, Germany and Switzerland

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