Mali: Location, History, Size, Population, & Government

About the location, history, size, population, and government of the country Mali.



Location--Landlocked in West Africa. To the northeast, Algeria; to the east, Niger; to the west, Mauritania and Senegal; to the southwest, Guinea; to the southeast, Upper Volta; and to the south, Ivory Coast.

How Created--Borders were established by the conquering French, and subsequently altered many times for political reasons. Originally called French Sudan.

Size--478,822 sq. mi. (1,240,142 sq. km.).

Population--5.7 million: Mande (Bamabara, Malinke, Sarakolle), 50%; Peul, 17.2%; Voltaic, 12.2%; Songhai, 5.6%; Tuareg and Moors, 4.6%; other, 10.4%. 65% Muslim, 30% Animist, 1.6% Christian, 3.4% other.

Who Rules--The military; President of the National Liberation Committee is the nation's leader, Lieut. Moussa Traore.

Who REALLY Rules--Mali is trying to establish a capitalist system of free enterprise, which requires a good deal of foreign investment. Rather than depend upon any one nation, Mali, which is considered a radical independent state, remains neutral in world affairs and manages to carry on diplomatic relations with around 40 different countries. Mali's budget is well balanced, and her development programs are financed by aid from France, the U.S., West Germany, the U.S.S.R., East Europe, and China.

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