World History

Mali | History, Capital, Language, Flag, Facts

History of Mali:

The land of Mali was once home to some of the great empires in Africa. The Ghana Empire was the first to emerge around AD 700. She ruled the area until 1075 and became an important trading nation. In the 11th century, the Malinké kingdom came to power. It reached its zenith in 1325 when it conquered Timbuktu and Gao. In 1465, the Songhai Empire took control. It reached its peak under a ruler named Askia Mohammad I and its main city, Timbuktu, became the center of commerce and Islam. The Songhai Empire was destroyed by the Moroccans in 1591.

The French invaded the area in the late 1800s. They controlled the area until 1960, when the Republic of Sudan and Senegal established the Mali Federation and gained independence from France. Senegal withdrew from the federation after a few months and the Republic of Mali became its own independent state.

Information about Mali:

Capital Bamako
Population 23,422,290(Source: 2023 worldometer)
Major Cities Bamako (capital), Timbuktu, Mopti, Sikasso, Segou, Djenne, Gao, Koulikoro, Kayes
Borders North by Algeria, East by Niger and Burkina Faso, South by Côte d’Ivoire and Guinea, and West by Senegal and Mauritania
Gross Domestic Product (GDP) $18,827,176,532 (2022 worldometer)
Currency Communaute Financiere Africaine franc (XOF); note – responsible authority is the Central Bank of the

Flag of Mali:

Mali Economy Key Industries:

Mali Major Industries: food processing; construction; phosphate and gold mining

Mali Agricultural Products: cotton, millet, rice, corn, vegetables, peanuts; cattle, sheep, goats

Mali Natural Resources: gold, phosphates, kaolin, salt, limestone, uranium, gypsum, granite, hydropower

Mali Major Exports: cotton, gold, livestock

Mali Major Imports: petroleum, machinery and equipment, construction materials, foodstuffs, textiles

The Geography of Mali:

Total Size of Mali: 1.24 million km² (source: wikipedia)

Geographical Low Point of Mali: Senegal River 23 m

Geographical High Point of Mali: Hombori Tondo 1,155 m

Climate of Mali: subtropical to arid; hot and dry (February to June); rainy, humid, and mild (June to November); cool and dry (November to February)

General Terrain of Mali:  mostly flat to rolling northern plains covered by sand; savanna in south, rugged hills in northeast

World Region or Continent of Mali: Africa

Geographical Coordinates: 17 00 N, 4 00 W

The People of  Mali & Culture

Mali Government Type: republic

Mali Nationality: Malian (s)

Mali National Holiday: Independence Day, 22 September (1960)

Mali Independence: 22 September 1960 (from France)

Mali National Symbol:

Mali National Anthem or Song: Le Mali (Mali)

Mali Languages Spoken: French (official), Bambara 80%, numerous African languages

Mali Religions: Muslim 90%, indigenous beliefs 9%, Christian 1%

Interesting Facts about Mali:

Malians regularly participate in traditional ceremonies, dances and festivals. This country has a unique musical tradition.

Dancing has an important role in Mali. The festival is celebrated with a traditional mask dance. The Dogon people of central Mali have more than 75 different ritual masks.

Once a bustling intellectual center of Africa, Mali’s literary tradition is transmitted mainly by word of mouth. The “Jalises” told by the heart or stories of a community.

The most popular sport in Mali is football, and the most popular teams are all based in the country’s capital. The game called “wari” is also a popular pastime.

Askia’s Tomb in Gao is said to be the burial place of Askia Mohammad I, one of the most prolific emperors of the Songhai Empire. It was built in the late 15th century and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004.

Of the 146 mammal species found in Mali, two are critically endangered, three are endangered, ten are vulnerable and three are near-threatened.

Among these endangered species are the addax, the lady antelope, the chimpanzee, the rhim and the African wild dog.

Mali lions are currently only found around the Faleme River. The Niger River manatee is no longer hunted for meat due to its threatened status and protection laws.

Endemic species found only in Mali include the Mali sparrow, the Mali howler frog, the Bata swamp toad, and the freshwater whale.

A legume of the Fabacear family found only in Mali. Cram cram and other grasses are scattered throughout Mali.

Fishing is an important food industry and there are about 200 species of fish in Mali. The most famous is the captain.

The delta inside the Niger River is rich in herons. Seventeen Important Bird Areas (IBAs) are designated in Mali, ten of which include wetlands (nine of which are located in the Inner Plains).

Islam was introduced to West Africa in the 11th century and remains the dominant religion in much of the region. An estimated 90% of Malians are Muslim, about 5% are Christian, and the remaining 5% follow indigenous or traditional animist beliefs.

The legal drinking age in Mali is 18. Since it is a predominantly Muslim country, locals advise against drinking even though it is not prohibited. Arrests and beatings of locals and foreigners have been reported.

Djablani is a local specialty drink. It is made from the juice of the hibiscus plant or baobab mixed with ginger. This juice is usually sold in polythene bags and is said to have a very refreshing effect.

Termites are found in many obscure places, in their “clay castles”. White flying ants also known as white flying ants are termite populations that live there.