Mali fast facts

  • mali-flagPopulation: 12.7 million (UN, 2008)
  • Religions: Muslim 90% (mostly Sunni), Indigenous 9%, Christian 1%
  • Languages: French (official), Bambara (80%), Berber, Arabic
  • Life expectancy: 47
  • Literacy: 31
  • Main exports: cotton (50% – largest producer in Africa), gold, livestock
  • Independence: 22 Sept 1960 (from France)
  • Seasons: hot (Oct to Feb); very hot (Apr to June); wet (July to Aug)
  • River: Niger – 1,815 kms navigable (flows west to Niger and Nigeria)
  • Natural resources: gold, phosphates, kaolin, salt, limestone, uranium, hydropower
  • Deposits known, but not exploited: bauxite, iron ore, manganese, tin, copper

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