Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nepal, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Thailand
Republic of Mali
22 September (1960)
Mali is vast country in the heart of West Africa and although landlocked, it is a land of opportunity for neighbouring coastal countries, which all complete for the lucrative business Mali’s import and export flows bring to their ports and harbours.
The flourishing trade from Djenné and Timbuktu spread out along the Niger River, the region’s principal river. It is in this fertile basin that from one period to another, the greatest medieval empires emerged: Ghana, Mali and Songhai. At this crossroads of encounters and intermingling, open to the Maghreb and the East, trade was based on a number of products cola nuts, grain, cotton wool, silk.
Known for the legendary hospitality and openness of its people, the vivacity and diversity of its culture, its amazing landscape and its four UNESCO World Heritage sites (Djenné, Dogon Country, Timbuktu, and the Tomb of Askia), Mali will charm you with its strength of character.
Seven empires succeeded each other on Malian soil oven centuries: Ghana, Mali and Songhai, from the 7th to the 17th century, then Ségou and Macina from the 18th to the 19th century, and finaly the El Hadj Oumar Tall and Almaly Samory Toué empires towards the second half of the 19th century, just before the colonial conquest began. During the decline of these great entities, several kigdoms thrived in parallel. These were the Khasso, Kaarta, Bélédugu and kenedugu kingdoms.
The Republic of Mali, a unitary, Social, secular and democratic state, has a population of more than 18 million inhabitants mainly young (65%), mostly women (53%). With about a quarter living abroad. The capital is the District of Bamako: a large agglomeration, spread on both banks of the river which crosses it. It comprises six municipalities and more than two and a half million people.
Covering an area of over 1,241,238km2? Mali is the eighth largest country on the African continent. Mali consists of eight regions and its borders on the north reach deep into the middle of the Sahara Desert. River and water resources are considerable. West africa’s two great rivers, the Niger and the Senegal, along with their tributaries. irrigate the length and breadth of the country. Of the 4200km-long, Niger River, are 1780km are in Mali.
Bambara is the most spoken language in the country while French is the official language.
The different ethnic groups are:
- The Manding group: Bambara, Malinké, Dioula.
- The Voltaic group: Senufo, Bobo, Minianka, Mossi.
- The Sudanese group: Sarakolé, Songhoi, Dogon, Bozo.
- The Nomads: Peulh, Touareg, Moors.
There are other ethnic groups such as Toucouleur, Wolof, Khassonké or Ouassoulounké. The variety of ethnicities reflects a diversity of languages, dialects and cultures.