Mali[lower-alpha 2] (/ˈmɑːli/ (listen); French pronunciation: [mali]), officially the Republic of Mali,[lower-alpha 3] is a landlocked country in West Africa. Mali is the eighth-largest country in Africa, with an area of over 1,241,238 square kilometres (479,245 sq mi). The population of Mali is 21.9 million.[10][11] 67% of its population was estimated to be under the age of 25 in 2017.[12] Its capital and largest city is Bamako. The sovereign state of Mali consists of nineteen regions and its borders on the north reach deep into the middle of the Sahara Desert. The country's southern part is in the Sudanian savanna, where the majority of inhabitants live, and both the Niger and Senegal rivers pass through. The country's economy centres on agriculture and mining. One of Mali's most prominent natural resources is gold, and the country is the third largest producer of gold on the continent of Africa. Mali is home to the richest man who has ever lived, known as Mansa Musa. [13] It also exports salt.[14]

Republic of Mali
République du Mali (French)
Motto: "Un peuple, un but, une foi" (French)
"One people, one goal, one faith"
Anthem: "Le Mali" (French)
Location of Mali (green)
Location of Mali (green)
and largest city
12°39′N 8°0′W
Official languagesFrench
Other languagesLanguages of Mali
Ethnic groups
GovernmentUnitary semi-presidential republic under a military junta[3]
Assimi Goïta (interim)
Choguel Kokalla Maïga (acting)
LegislatureNational Assembly
 Establishment of the Sudanese Republic
24 November 1958
 Merger with Senegal to create the Mali Federation
4 April 1959
 Independence from France
20 June 1960
 Dissolution of the Mali Federation
20 August 1960
 Declaration of the Republic of Mali
22 September 1960
1,240,192 km2 (478,841 sq mi) (23rd)
 Water (%)
 2022 estimate
21,473,764[4] (60th)
 November 2018 census
11.7/km2 (30.3/sq mi) (215th)
GDP (PPP)2022 estimate
Increase$56.05 billion[6] (115th)
 Per capita
Increase$2,609[6] (174th)
GDP (nominal)2022 estimate
Increase$18.4 billion[6] (123nd)
 Per capita
Increase$858[6] (175th)
Gini (2010)33.0[7]
HDI (2021)Increase 0.428[8]
low · 186th
CurrencyWest African CFA franc (XOF)
Time zoneUTC (GMT)
Date formatdd/mm/yyyy
Driving sideright[9]
Calling code+223
ISO 3166 codeML

Present-day Mali was once part of three extremely powerful and wealthy West African empires that controlled trans-Saharan trade: the Ghana Empire (for which Ghana is named), the Mali Empire (for which Mali is named), and the Songhai Empire. At its peak in 1300, the Mali Empire was the wealthiest country in Africa, covering an area about twice the size of modern-day France and stretched to the west coast of the continent.[15] Mali was also one of the wealthiest countries on earth, and its emperor at its zenith, Mansa Musa, is believed to be one of the wealthiest individuals in history.[16][17][18] Besides being an economic powerhouse, medieval Mali was a centre of Islam, culture and knowledge, with Timbuktu becoming a renowned place of learning with its university, one of the oldest in the world still active. The expanding Songhai Empire absorbed the empire in 1468, followed by a Saadian army which defeated the Songhai in 1591. In the late 19th century, during the Scramble for Africa, France seized control of Mali, making it a part of French Sudan. French Sudan (then known as the Sudanese Republic) joined with Senegal in 1959, achieving independence in 1960 as the Mali Federation. Shortly thereafter, following Senegal's withdrawal from the federation, the Sudanese Republic declared itself the independent Republic of Mali. After a long period of one-party rule, a coup in 1991 led to the writing of a new constitution and the establishment of Mali as a democratic, multi-party state.

In January 2012, an armed conflict broke out in northern Mali, in which Tuareg rebels took control of a territory in the north, and in April declared the secession of a new state, Azawad.[19] The conflict was complicated by a military coup that took place in March[20] and later fighting between Tuareg and other rebel factions. In response to territorial gains, the French military launched Operation Serval in January 2013.[21] A month later, Malian and French forces recaptured most of the north, although the conflict still continued. Presidential elections were held on 28 July 2013, with a second-round run-off held on 11 August, and legislative elections were held on 24 November and 15 December 2013.

In the early 2020s Mali experienced two military takeovers by Assimi Goïta.

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