|République du Mali|
|Republic of Mali|
Motto : Un peuple, un but, une foi
( French for "One people, one goal, one belief")
|State and form of government||semi-presidential republic|
|Head of state||
Assimi Goïta (acting)
|Head of government||
Choguel Kokalla Maïga (acting)
|population||19.55 million (July 2020)|
|Population density||16 inhabitants per km²|
|Population development||+ 3.0% (estimate for 2019)|
gross domestic product
|Human Development Index||0.434 ( 184th ) (2019)|
|currency||CFA Franc BCEAO (XOF)|
|independence||June 20, 1960 (by France , as part of the Mali Federation )
September 22, 1960
|National anthem||Pour l'Afrique et pour toi, Mali|
|National holiday||September 22|
|Time zone||UTC ± 0|
|ISO 3166||ML , MLI, 466|
Mali ( German [ ˈmaːli ], French [ maˈli ], officially Republic of Mali ) is a landlocked country in West Africa . About 19.55 million people (as of July 2020) live in the approximately 1.24 million km² state. Its capital is Bamako . Most of the population lives in the southern part of the country, which is traversed by the two rivers Niger and Senegal . The north extends deep into the Sahara and is hardly populated.
In the area of what is now Mali, three empires have existed throughout history that controlled the Trans-Saharan trade: the Ghana Empire , the Mali Empire , after which the modern state is named, and the Songhai Empire . In Mali's golden age, Islamic scholarship, math, astronomy, literature, and the arts flourished. In the late 19th century, Mali became part of the French Sudan colony . Together with neighboring Senegal, the Mali Federation gained independence in 1960. Shortly thereafter, the federation broke up and the country declared itself independent under its current name. After a long one-party rule, a military coup in 1991 led to the adoption of a new constitution and the establishment of a democratic multi-party state.
In January 2012, the armed conflict in northern Mali escalated again. In the course of this, the Tuareg rebels proclaimed the secession of the Azawad state from Mali. The conflict was further complicated by the March 2012 coup and subsequent fighting between Islamists and the Tuareg. In light of the Islamists' territorial gains, Operation Serval began on January 11, 2013 , during which Malian and French troops recaptured most of the north. The UN Security Council supports the peace process by deploying MINUSMA .
The main industries are agriculture, fishing and, increasingly, mining. The most important mineral resources include gold , of which Mali is the third largest producer in Africa, and salt. Around half of the population lives below the poverty line . The country was ranked 184th on the Human Development Index in 2019 .
Mali has a long tradition in cultural areas. Especially in music, dance, literature and the fine arts, it leads an independent cultural life that is known far beyond its borders.
Mali is a landlocked country in the interior of West Africa with an area of 1,240,192 square kilometers, of which 20,002 km² is water. It is located in the greater Sudan landscape as well as in the Sahel . Mali shares its 7243 kilometer land border with seven neighboring countries. In the north-east and north with Algeria (1376 kilometers in length), in the north-west with Mauritania (2237 km), in the east with Niger (821 km) and in the south-east with Burkina Faso (1000 km). Mali is also bordered by Senegal (419 km) in the west, Guinea (858 km) in the southwest and the Ivory Coast (Côte d'Ivoire, 532 km) in the south. To the north of the Niger Arc lies the Sahara desert , which covers two thirds of the country's area.
The most common form of landscape in Mali is the plain. The monotonous, extensive plains such as the Kaarta , the Gourma or the Gondo plain are only loosened up locally by flat table mountains or dune formations. The south of the Affolé , the Mandingo Plateau , the Bandiagara Plateau or the Mahardates Plateau have subsoils made of sandstone . They are structured in many ways due to erosion and reach heights between 300 and 700 meters above sea level. In some regions the subsoil consists of the ancient rocks of the African shield, which tends to be expressionless and wide valleys: in the west and east of the country, in the southwest of the Affolé, in the Bambouk , in the Adrar des Ifoghas and in the foreland of the Tamboura stage . Dune landscapes, be the dunes of fossil or recent origin, cover large parts of the north and extend into the Kaarta in the south. Notable dune landscapes can be found in the Hodh , in the Erg of Niafunké, in the Gourma, in the Gondo plain, in the Ergs of Azaouad, Erigat, Mreyyé or Erg Chech . While the fossil dunes mostly run parallel to each other, chaotic and very mobile dune fields are widespread in the Aklé Aouana . Stratified levels, which form steep, hundreds of meters deep slopes, are generally characteristic of West Africa, for Mali the Bandiagara level , the Tamboura level or the Affolé level are to be mentioned. The few mountainous lands in Mali are dolerite formations that protrude over the plateaus. These include the Soninke surveys . The highest mountain in Mali is the Hombori Tondo at 1153 m.
Geology and soils
Mali lies entirely on the Lower African part of the Gondwana Urkraton . The basin and threshold structure dominates, with Mali largely in the Taoudenni Basin , which extends from the Niger Inland Delta to the central Sahara . The thresholds surrounding the basin consist of bulges of the crystalline primeval craton. It is often overlaid with sandstone, which was formed between the Paleozoic and Cenozoic periods through several phases of inundation with seawater. Tertiary deposits are less common. Since Mali, like the entire Sahel zone, belongs to the marginal tropical zone of excessive surface formation, extensive hull areas , which are interrupted by island mountains, are typical. Laterite crusts that can be several meters thick have formed widespread on the surface of sediments . The most recent geological formations run parallel in a northeast-southwest direction. They are old dunes that were formed in the Young Pleistocene , are up to 30 m high and are stabilized by savannah vegetation.
When it comes to soils, tropical red soils are the most common. They occur on crystalline subsoil or old sediment layers and are relatively sterile. Where these earths have formed laterite crusts , sparse Combretacean vegetation thrives . Weathering material can collect in pediment areas and form soil suitable for arable farming. Fersiallite , reddish-brown de-activated soils on Aeolian sands, are also widespread and form layers of 2 to 3 meters. They contain little humus and are susceptible to human soil degradation. With the appropriate use of fertilizer, they are suitable for growing millet or cotton. In the northern Sahel zone, subarid brown soils dominate , which on the one hand absorb the rarely falling precipitation well, but on the other hand tend to erosion. This soil, which is often overgrown with grass, is of great importance for nomadic grazing. The desert regions are characterized by raw soils , which are the result of physical weathering and which have hardly any organic proportions. Gley bottoms and vertisoles occur along the rivers, especially in the floodplains and in the inland delta of the Niger . They are highly fertile, but carry the risk of salinization and cracking in the event of drought. They are suitable for growing sorghum, rice, vegetables and other crops.
The Niger is the most important river in West Africa, it crosses Mali over a length of around 1700 km. Coming from Guinea , it flows into the territory of Mali in the south-westernmost tip of the country and, after Ségou, forms a large inland delta . At Mopti it takes up its largest tributary, the Bani , only to split into two arms, the Bara Issa and the Issa Ber , shortly afterwards . Here there is an alluvial plain about 100,000 km², which is covered by numerous shallow, seasonally existing lakes. Shortly before Diré the two arms come together, at Timbuktu the river turns east and at Bourem it turns south-east.
The Senegal River is the second major river in the region. At Bafoulabé it is created by the confluence of the Bafing and Bakoye rivers . On its way through the western part of Mali, the Senegal River takes in the water from Falémé , Kolimbiné and Karakoro .
The year-round lakes are on both sides of the Niger and are called Niangay and Faguibine . The latter is the largest lake in the country with a surface area of 590 km² in the rainy season. The numerous seasonal lakes fill with water in the rainy season, the most important of them being Débo , Fati , Teli , Korientze , Tanda , Do , Garou and Aougoundou . As a result of the falling rainfall since the severe droughts of the early 1980s and, above all, the construction of dams on the upper Niger, Niangay and Faguibine have recently been drying out regularly.
Fishing in rivers and lakes is an important industry. The swamps and wetlands that form along the Niger during the rainy season provide habitat for numerous species of birds.
The climate of Mali is primarily influenced by the country's location at the transition area between the humid savannah in the south and the fully arid Sahara in the north. The interaction between the inner-tropical convergence zone migrating northwards and the dry northeast trade winds ( Harmattan ) in winter gives all regions of the country a distinctive division into dry and rainy seasons. The dry season falls in winter and the rainy season in summer. The average annual precipitation decreases from over 1200 millimeters in the south to less than 25 millimeters in the north. Large-scale agriculture is practiced almost exclusively in the south because of the more favorable climatic conditions. In the north there are only small agricultural areas in the oases .
Not only the average annual precipitation, but also the rainy days per year, the length of the rainy season and the regularity of the precipitation behave much more favorably in the south than in the north. In Sikasso it rains an average of 97 days a year, in Bamako on 76 days, in Timbuktu on 29 and in Kidal on 18 days a year. While July and August account for far more than half of the annual precipitation in Kidal, the south enjoys a rainy season that begins in May, reaches its peak in August and subsides in October. The further north one goes, the more precipitation falls in the form of short, violent and locally limited thunderstorms. This makes agriculture even more difficult, because the crops often wither between two downpours, forcing the farmers to make several attempts at sowing.
The average annual temperatures in Mali are between 27 ° C and 30 ° C. They are largely independent of the geographical latitude. However, the annual amplitudes are significantly higher in the north than in the south: in Gao or Timbuktu the summers are hotter with average temperatures of up to 35 ° C and the winters with January temperatures are around 20 ° C colder. In Bamako, on the other hand, the average temperatures range between 25 ° C in winter and 32 ° C in April. The extreme temperatures are reported from the places on the edge of the Sahara: they are close to freezing point on cold winter nights and close to 50 ° C in the shade on summer days. Temperature amplitudes of 30 ° C within a day are normal there.
The amount of rain in a year depends largely on how far the intertropical convergence zone moves to the north and how uniform it is. If it is not steady, but wavy or interrupted, less rain falls or the rainy season starts later. If several years occur in a row with unfavorable characteristics of the intertropical convergence zone, periods of drought occur. This phenomenon occurs at irregular intervals in the Sahel region. However, since the 1960s, periods of drought have become more common. A long-term decrease in precipitation can also be demonstrated for this period. This is explained by reduced evaporation in the inner tropics due to environmental degradation. For the future, some scientists expect that precipitation in Mali will continue to decrease and that the vegetation zones will shift to the south. The impact on agriculture and food safety would be severe in this case.
Climate diagram by Sikasso (1950–2000)
Climate diagram of Bamako (1950–2000)
Timbuktu climate diagram (1950-2000)
Mali is home to some of the oldest cities in West Africa. Djenné developed in the 9th century through immigration from Soninke from the disintegrated Ghana to a trading center that reached its peak in the 13th century and whose architecture still serves as a model for the villages of the Niger Inland Delta. Timbuktu, located on the southern edge of the Sahara, developed into one of the most important cities in the region from the 12th century onwards, benefiting from its location at the northernmost point of the Niger Arc. While these old cities are showing declining populations, Mali is showing rapid urbanization overall, which is causing the new urban centers to grow rapidly. In addition to the generally high population growth, rural exodus contributes to rapid urbanization due to deteriorating ecological conditions, drought or political instability. In 1965, 9% of Malians lived in cities; in 2015 it is expected to be around 41%.
By far the largest city in the country is Bamako, which has grown from 6500 inhabitants in 1908 to over 1.8 million inhabitants in 2009. The city is the government and administrative center of the country and serves as a bridgehead abroad, especially for development aid. However, it has no cross-border significance. Other important cities are Sikasso (2009: 226,618 inhabitants), Ségou (133,501 inhabitants) and the center of the Malian cotton processing Koutiala (75,000 inhabitants 1998). Due to the influx of drought refugees, Mopti (81,000 inhabitants in 1998, 120,786 in 2009) and Sévaré grew strongly. The cities in the North Sahel such as Timbuktu (2005: 30,000 inhabitants, 2009 54,629) or Gao (2009 86,353) are affected by emigration, especially young people.
Flora and fauna
The vegetation in Mali is the result of centuries of human intervention. Natural vegetation is only available in very limited areas. The cultural landscape created by grazing, agriculture and slash and burn can be divided into four zones, depending on the amount of precipitation. With a few exceptions, what the plants in these zones have in common is that they sprout at the beginning of the rainy season and shed their leaves or the above-ground parts die off in the dry months.
The area of the dense to open dry forests in the southern part of the country is determined by tree species such as kapok tree ( Ceiba pentandra ), shea tree ( Vitellaria paradoxa ), African baobab ( Adansonia digitata ) or ana tree ( Faidherbia albida ). All of these trees are used intensively by humans. Combretum trees thrive in less favorable soil . Clump grasses such as Hyparrhenia , Pennisetum , Loudetia and Andropogon species form the grass layer. To the north of the dry forests, where less than 600 mm of annual precipitation falls, the Sahelian thorn bush savannah spreads out. Different types of acacia , desert date ( Balanites aegyptiaca ) or Combretum glutinosum , as well as the grass species Cenchrus biflorus or Aristida mutabilis dominate . Eragrostis tremula often colonizes areas where millet was grown. This savannah is the tiger bush ; there, areas with and without vegetation alternate in the form of strips.
The border between the thorn tree savannah and the northern Sahel is between 250 and 100 mm of annual precipitation. Acacia species, shrub species such as Leptadenia pyrotechnica or the important forage plants Maerua crassifolia or toothbrush tree ( Salvadora persica ) still thrive in the damp lowlands of the North Sahel . The Sahara begins where the annual precipitation falls below 100 mm. In these areas, acacia species only occur in wadis . Eerie grasses such as Aristida pungens , Aristida longiflora or Panicum turgidum thrive in favorable locations .
In Mali endemic species are Maerua de waillyi from the family of capparaceae , Elatine fauquei from the family of elatinaceae , Pteleopsis habeensis ( combretaceae ), Hibiscus pseudohirtus ( mallow ), Acridocarpus monodii ( malpighiaceae ) Gilletiodendron glandulosum ( legumes ), Brachystelmam edusanthernum (genus Brachystelma ), Pandanus raynalii ( screw tree family ).
Because of the overhunting by locals and other hunters, the desertification of large areas with severe drought and the increasing cultivation and competition with grazing animals, larger wild animals in particular are much rarer in Mali than in many other African countries. As in Mauritania , the extinction rates for populations of mammals in Mali were very high compared to other African countries, despite the low population density.
A total of around 140 species of mammals are native to Mali. Numerous species of large mammals have become extinct, including the once common saber antelope and the mendes antelope (which may still be found in the border area with Mauritania), or have been reduced to small residual populations. The West African giraffe was originally found in large parts in central Mali, but was reduced to a residual population in the border area to Niger through intensive hunting and is now also considered extinct. About 350 elephants live in the Gourma region on the border with northern Burkina Faso. The latter is the northernmost population of African elephants and they show periodic migration behavior in the border area, with the area in Mali making up the greater part of the range. The African manatee , a species of manatee , also occurs in Niger, the Niger Inland Delta, Lake Débo and Senegal . The endangered and internationally protected species occurs regularly, but the populations are declining due to hunting and the deterioration in water quality and should be given special protection in the future.
The chimpanzee is only found in the extreme southwest of the country in the border area with Guinea, where its presence was first documented in 1977. Their number was estimated at 500-1000 individuals in 1984, but in 1993 the number was between 1800 and 3500. The most important habitats are the forests interspersed with Gilletiodendron glandulosum from the legume family , which in the Gilletiodendron Forest offer around 60 edible plant species for chimpanzees . The groups there are larger than in those associations that live in the savannah. The most important protected area is the Réserve faunique du Bafing, established in 1990 . More in Mali encountered primates are the Patas , the Western Vervet monkey , the Baboon , and the Guinea Baboon (only in the far west) and the Senegal Bushbaby . In the past, carnivores such as lions and cheetahs were to be found in Mali, but their populations continued to decline, so that today, like the African wild dog , they are no longer available in the protected areas. Smaller predators such as the pale fox , the sand cat , the black cat , some crawling cats and martens still occur in Mali. Other mammals include some species of smaller antelopes , the maned goat , the aardvark and the hippopotamus , as well as numerous small mammals .
According to information from BirdLife International , a total of 562 bird species have been recorded for Mali, 117 of them water birds. 229 species are classified as migratory birds. Numerous bird species live mainly in the inland delta of the Niger, and many migratory birds from Europe winter in this area . It is worth mentioning the Mali amaranth , which is occasionally shown in travel guides as endemic to Mali, but can also be found in neighboring countries. Among the endangered birds of Mali include larger benthic birds like the African ostrich , bustards as the Arabian Bustard and Nubian bustard and guinea fowl .
Among the reptiles in Mali there are over 170 species of lizards, including monitor lizards and thorn-tailed agamas , and over 150 species of snakes. These include vipers such as the puff adder , various sand rattle otters and the desert horned viper as well as poisonous snakes such as several cobras and the boomslang , which is present in the south. The northern rock python is also part of the country's herpetofauna. In the Niger and other rivers, as in most of Africa's larger rivers, there are also crocodiles , especially the Nile crocodile . In addition to these species, 15 species of turtles have also been recorded for Mali.
The rivers and lakes of Mali are inhabited by over 140 species of fish, including 18 species of catfish , 14 species of tetras , 9 cichlids (including the Niltilapie , Sarotherodon galilaeus and Coptodon zillii ) and 4 carp fish . The largest fish in Mali is the plankton-eating African bonesweed .
Termites , which loosen the soil and form humus, are important for the ecosystems of the Sahel zone . The buildings of the Cubitermes fungifaber species are particularly striking . The weaver bird species are dreaded pests in the rice fields. Migratory locusts cause even more concern for the population . The desert locust , which breeds in the Maghreb , can migrate in huge swarms over the Sahara into the Sahel in years with sufficient rainfall and destroy natural vegetation and crops.
The only national park in Mali is the Boucle-du-Baoulé National Park in the west of the country, around 200 km north of Bamako. It covers an area of 5430 km² and serves to protect hippos, giraffes, waterbuck , roan antelopes , giant eland and lyre antelopes as well as warthogs, as well as a corresponding flora. However, its forests are just as endangered by agricultural and pastoral overexploitation as those of the Réserve de Fina to the south.
Mali's population is one of the fastest growing in the world. It increases by 3 percent every year. The population doubled from 2000 to 2020. This is mainly due to the very high fertility rate of 5.8 children per woman. Unlike in many African countries, fertility began to decline around 10 to 15 years later, namely only since the late 1990s - based on a value of over 7 children per woman. The population is correspondingly young. In 2019, 47.3% were under 15 years old. The median age in 2020 was an estimated 16.4 years. The life expectancy at birth increased from 29.7 years (1950) to 59.3 years (2019). Taken together, these factors have given the country a population growth that is unlikely to subside, but which cannot be sustained for long. In purely mathematical terms, if growth remained constant, Mali would have 43.5 million inhabitants in 2050, which is unthinkable in view of the ecological conditions. Thus, the country is on the way "into a disaster" of major social, demographic and ecological crises.
The population of Mali is made up of around 30 different ethnic groups . They have different languages and cultures. Migration and mobility have a long tradition for the peoples of Mali. Some of their early empires gained their prosperity and power through trading caravans. Nomadism was a part of life for many of the country's peoples until recently. The traditional movements of migrants run across the borders that were drawn only a few decades ago.
Since the country became independent, it has lost about 3 million citizens to foreign countries. In 2010, more than 1 million Malians lived abroad. That was 7.6% of the population. This proportion was twice as high among people with higher education. The most important destinations for Malian emigrants include its neighbors Ivory Coast , Nigeria , Niger , Burkina Faso , Senegal as well as France and Spain . In 2010, 162,000 foreigners lived in Mali. That was 1.2% of the population. Most of them came from neighboring states and about 6% were refugees.
The funds that emigrated Malians send home have become an important factor in the Malian economy. In 2009, these transfers totaled $ 400 million. That was three times as much as six years earlier. The amount of these transfers is four times the direct investment of foreign companies or less than half of the development aid.
Mali's borders are not along national or ethnic settlements. They were determined by colonial influences and administrative areas. Today in Mali there are peoples who differ in language, religion and other anthropological and ethnological characteristics. These people do not settle in Mali alone, but also in neighboring countries. The assignment to the ethnic groups and their names are partly constructs from the colonial era.
The dominant group in Mali is called the Mande , they make up around 40–45% of the population. The Bambara (35%), Malinke (5%) and Jula (2%) fall into this group . Their settlements are in the south-western triangle of the country. The Sudan peoples , who reach 21% of the population, include the Soninke or Sarakolle (8%), Songhai (7%), Dogon (5%) and the Bozo (1%). The Volta peoples are represented with about 12%. They mainly settle near the border with Burkina Faso. They include the Senufo (9%) and Bwa as well as Bobo (2%) and Mossi (1%).
While all of these groups are sedentary and of black African origin, the Fulbe (10%), Tuareg (6%) and “ Moors ” (3%) lead a nomadic or semi-nomadic life. Many nomads had to give up their traditional life due to climatic changes and armed conflicts in recent years. The Tuareg in particular are threatened by increasing marginalization .
In Mali, 35 languages are spoken, which belong to three different language families and which in turn break down into local variants and dialects. The language borders run along the ethnic lines. Bambara is the most important of these languages with an estimated 4 million native speakers. It is the lingua franca not only of the country, but of the entire region, and has played this role in the past. An estimated 5 million Malians speak Bambara as a second language today. Senufo has an estimated 2 million speakers in Mali alone, and Senufo is also widespread in neighboring countries. Other important languages are Songhai (1.5 million speakers), Fulfulde (also 1.5 million) and Maninka (1.2 million speakers). Tuareg languages and Arabic are widespread in the north of Mali , the people there regard Bambara as a means of developing power for the sub-Saharan peoples and for this reason refuse to learn this language. Tamascheq and Tamahaq together have around 800,000 speakers in Mali.
The French language is spoken in Mali only by a tiny minority as mother tongue, but it is still declared an official language by the Mali constitution . In addition to French, Malian law recognizes 13 languages as national languages ( Bambara , Bomu , Bozo , Escarpment Dogon , Maasina Fulfulde , Hassaniya Arabic , Mamara , Kita Maninkakan , Soninke , Koyra Senni , Senara , Tamascheq , Xaasongaxango ) and prohibits discrimination based on language . While parliamentary debates are held in French, courts usually hear in a national language . The documents are always prepared in French. The language of the ethnic group is mostly used in schools, but French is already widely used in primary schools. Higher education is offered in French alone. As a means of increasing social mobility, i.e. as a means of social advancement and regional mobility, the language of the former colonial power is of great importance. It is estimated that 2.2 million Malians can now read and write French.
Mali is a predominantly Muslim country. Between 85% and 90% of the population profess the Sunni Islam of the Maliki school of law. A trend of Islam that was widespread in West Africa and insisted on the equality of all Muslims had a strong influence in Mali by the 11th century at the latest. This variant of Islamization was carried out by Berber traders who, as Kharijites, traded with the Sudan zone. For a long time Islam was confined to the urban center elite. Ruling families, merchants and sages had converted to Islam, while the majority of the population adhered to traditional belief systems. Nevertheless, Islamic scholarship flourished in some cities in Mali from the 13th century. After 1800 Islamic states were formed in West Africa: by Usman dan Fodio , the founder of the Sokoto Caliphate, or by Seku Amadu Bari , who founded the theocratic Massina Empire . At the same time, many young men converted to Islam, which they saw as an alternative to European colonial culture; Only then did Islam penetrate the rural population of Mali. Mali's Islam has incorporated numerous elements of traditional religions over time. Sufism in particular gave people space for their ideas about spirits, demons and hidden powers. Religious specialists are still influential today. According to a widespread opinion, they derive their reputation from knowledge of the Arabic script, from knowledge of particularly powerful suras in the Koran and from a power of blessing inherited from their ancestors ( baraka ). Since the 1930s, under the influence of scholars who have studied in Saudi Arabia or Egypt, there has been a movement that campaigns against the esoteric practices in Malian Islam. However, the advocates of the hybrid religious practice defend their approach to Islam as walking on two paws . The Sufi tradition of the Qādirīya from the 11th century and the Tijānīya from the 18th century, as well as the intellectual exchange with other peoples of West Africa, have strongly shaped Malian Islam.
In the 1940s and 1950s, Wahhabism spread among Malian students and traders who had direct or indirect contact with the Middle East . During the regime of Moussa Traoré (1968–1991) the country experienced a creeping Islamization. Traoré has emphasized Mali's Muslim identity since the 1980s.
Before Islamization, ethnic religions prevailed . In their original form, they have been preserved in remote regions of the southwestern part of the country. Above all, they serve to maintain the rural subsistence society and include ancestor cult , belief in spirits and magic as well as the practice of making offerings and membership in secret societies. Each member of the community goes through different phases, with an initiation at the beginning of each of these phases . The next phase is also preceded by an acceptance ritual. Religious traditions are different for each of the country's many ethnic groups.
According to various sources, Christians make up 1–5% of the population. Most of them profess to the Catholic Church and belong to the Dogon and Bobo peoples . The Malian state respects the freedom of religion enshrined in the constitution . The Archbishop of Bamako , Luc Sangaré , was considered an influential figure, also respected by Muslims, until his death. Jean Cardinal Zerbo has been his successor since 1998 . Mali and the Holy See have diplomatic relations. Apostolic Nuncio has been Archbishop Tymon Tytus Chmielecki since March 2019 .
Malian society was characterized by respect for those of different faiths until the outbreak of the rebellion, but religious persecution has increased sharply in the recent past.
Until the end of French colonial rule, a modern educational system only existed in a few places. His main goal was to train administrators and translators for the colonial administration. After independence, the government of Modibo Keïta made the training of skilled personnel a priority for the development of the young state. At least one third of boys and one fifth of girls were attending school at the end of the 1960s. The dictatorship from 1968 brought setbacks in the education system: budgets were cut, the number of teachers fell, and the teachers' union was subjected to reprisals. At the end of the 1980s, only one in five children could go to school. In the 1990s, education became a priority again. The PRODEC program was launched in cooperation with the World Bank , primarily to improve the quality of primary school education and to enable all children to attend school. The education budget was increased and in 2004 it accounted for 30.06% of total government spending. This gave almost three quarters of all children access to education.
The Malian school system is based on that of other French-speaking countries. Less than 2% of children attend kindergartens (jardin d'enfants) . The children start school at the age of six, the primary school (premier cycle) lasts six years, followed by a three-year second cycle . After completing this second cycle , the students can attend a three-year lycée . There are academic educational institutions in Bamako and Ségou . In 2011, 80,000 students studied at the Université de Bamako . In 2011 the university was dissolved and four institutions were founded in its place according to their respective subject-specific orientations. This is how the Université des sciences sociales et de gestion , the Université des lettres et des sciences humaines , the Université des sciences, des techniques et des technologies and the Université des sciences juridiques et politiques as well as the École Normale d'Enseignement Technique et Professionnel came into being in Bamako .
Despite the advances made over the past 15 years, the Malian education system is facing numerous problems. Financial difficulties caused poor premises, a lack of teaching material and teachers: in 2006, one teacher had to look after 66 students on average. Political crises at home and abroad cause refugee flows that overload local schools. The proportion of students who drop out of school before graduation is very high, and access to the education system is unevenly distributed for cultural and financial reasons: girls have a much lower chance of education than boys, the rural population significantly fewer opportunities than the urban population . In 2015, 61.3 percent of all people at least 15 years of age were illiterate (also due to the previously lower proportion of school attendance).
Outside the formal education system, there are Koran schools where the children are instructed exclusively in the Arabic language and Koran verses and where they have to earn a living by begging. In Médersas the children are taught religious subjects, but also French, reading, writing and arithmetic.
Mali's health system is underdeveloped, especially outside of the capital Bamako. There are 5 doctors and 24 hospital beds available per 100,000 inhabitants (as of 1999). Due to malnutrition , contaminated drinking water and poor hygiene, infectious diseases such as malaria , cholera and tuberculosis occur regularly. 43% of the population can see a doctor in the event of illness or injury. In 2006, the population between 15 and 49 years, an HIV - prevalence detected by 1.3%, which corresponds to approximately 66 000 people. This number represents a decrease from the late 1990s when HIV prevalence was estimated to be up to 3%. Almost two thirds of the population know how HIV is transmitted. Nevertheless, (supposedly) HIV-positive people are socially marginalized. High blood pressure, which occurs more than average in Africa, affects 35% of men in Mauritania, which is the highest value in Africa, in Mali 33.2% of men (global: 24%); Mali is very high among women at 29.5% (global: 20%). The infant mortality rate has been reduced significantly. In 1950, 43% of children died before their 5th birthday, in 2018 it was around 10%. The infant mortality rate is 6.3%.
Mali is one of the countries where the circumcision of young girls is most widespread. In 2006, 85% of women reported being circumcised. Just as many women stated that they wanted to have their daughters circumcised. The practice is independent of income, level of education or religion: two thirds of women of the Christian religion are circumcised. Tuareg or Songhai women are less than a third circumcised, while the proportion of circumcised women among the Bambara or Malinké is 98%. Since the procedure is performed before the age of 5 and usually not by a medical professional but by a traditional circumciser, complications are common. Nonetheless, circumcision is so deeply rooted in the tradition of the Malian peoples that any initiatives to abolish circumcision have resulted in only a small decline in this practice.
|Name of the index||Index value||Worldwide rank||Interpretation aid||year|
|Fragile States Index||96 of 120||16 of 178||Stability of the country: Alarm
0 = very sustainable / 120 = very alarming
|Democracy index||3.93 out of 10||111 of 167||Authoritarian regime
0 = authoritarian regime / 10 = complete democracy
|Freedom in the World||41 out of 100||---||Freedom status: partially free
0 = not free / 100 = free
|Freedom of the press ranking||34.12 out of 100||108 of 180||Recognizable problems for the freedom of the press
0 = good situation / 100 = very serious situation
|Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI)||30 out of 100||129 of 180||0 = very corrupt / 100 = very clean||2020|
Mali was politically stable until the military coup in March 2012 . For two decades, the country was considered a successful example of democratization due to regular elections . At the same time, it remained one of the poorest and least developed countries in the world. The coup of 2012 revealed its susceptibility to crises and its institutional weaknesses: Inadequate institutions, inadequate supervision and enforcement of rights, but above all rampant corruption in government, business and the security forces, as well as in the education and health sectors. In addition, there was the misappropriation of funds from development aid. The loss of confidence in democracy was evident in voter turnouts below 40, mostly around 20%. Public service and pension services are mainly provided in exchange for “gifts” (magouille), purchase of offices is widespread, there is also the diversion of funds from government revenues, nepotism and favoritism, abuse of tenders and pre-emptive rights and bribery.
The unstable situation is having an impact on neighboring countries: the return of foreigners who were employed in Mali is putting pressure on the labor markets of neighboring countries. In the states concerned, spending on security and armaments increased.
Political life in Mali is based on the 1992 constitution that was passed in a referendum. The republican system of government is based on that of France and can be described as semi-presidential . It provides for a separation of powers into the executive, legislative and judicial branches.
Executive power lies in the hands of the President , who is elected every five years by direct election in two rounds. He is head of state and commander in chief of the armed forces. The term of office is limited to two legislative terms.
The President appoints a Prime Minister who proposes the ministers. The President is the chairman of the Council of Ministers. The Council of Ministers implements government policy and submits legislative proposals to the National Assembly for voting. The number of ministries is typically high (24 in 2004, 34 in 2013), the efficiency of the ministries can be described as low. In the unicameral system , the legislature is represented by the National Assembly . The 147 members of the National Assembly are elected by the people every five years. The President of Parliament is elected for the entire legislative term. All other offices in Parliament (the eight Vice-Presidents, the eight Parliamentary Secretaries and the two Quaestors) are reassigned each year. The government has to answer to parliament. The President has the power to dissolve Parliament.
The constitution provides for an independent judiciary. In practice, however, the government has considerable influence over the judicial system because it is allowed to appoint and oversee judges. The highest authorities are the Constitutional Court and the Supreme Court.
North Mali conflict
Conflicts between the sedentary population and the nomads of the Sahara, who mainly consist of Tuareg and Arab tribes, go back a long way in the history of West Africa. The fair-skinned nomads regularly invaded the villages of the dark-skinned sedentary farmers to steal food, cattle and slaves. The French colonial rulers did not bring the nomads under their control. The abolition of slavery in 1904 did not affect the Tuareg. A latent racial antagonism was incited by the French.
When the independence of French West Africa was on the way, the Tuareg were among the opponents of secession from France. From their point of view, French rule was the lesser evil compared to the rule of dark-skinned Africans - their former slaves. The policy of the first government of Mali tried to settle the Tuareg, to induce agriculture, to teach them Bambara and to make them part of the nation state. These attempts failed. After the first Tuareg uprising of 1957 was directed against the French colonial government, it came to an uprising in 1962/63, which was caused by tariffs on cattle exports and thus the threat to the nomads' livelihoods. This uprising was fought with great brutality against civilians by the Malian army. It ended when Algeria announced that it would not tolerate any insurgents on its territory. In the 1970s and 1980s, the nomads' economy was badly damaged by persistent drought, they lost up to 80% of their animals. Many Tuareg had to give up their nomadic existence and moved to the cities, where they worked as traders, or hired themselves as mercenaries with foreign armies. The government of dictator Traoré ignored the hardship and the many deaths in the camps of the nomads.
Against this background, the Tuareg uprising took place again in 1990/91, which initially had nationalist and later ethnic causes. The Malian military was too weak to end this uprising, which not least led to the overthrow of the dictator Moussa Traoré. With Algerian mediation, the new government negotiated the National Pact , which was signed in 1992 but not implemented by either side. The violence and the influx of refugees did not end. The realization that the conflict could not be resolved militarily gave impetus to a civilian program to resolve the conflict. In 1995 the violence subsided. Refugees returned to their homeland, the fighters were integrated into civil life. On March 27, 1996, in the presence of numerous guests of honor, the flame of peace was lit in Timbuktu and 3,000 weapons were burned.
Since 2006, the insurgent attacks in the north have had a new quality. The nationalistic or ethnic motives have given way to rivalries between smuggling gangs. The government successfully used the disagreement of the nomads to defeat the Tuareg in 2009 with the help of Arab militias.
The war of 2012 and 2013 began as the so-called fourth Tuareg rebellion. It was led by the MNLA , founded in 2011 , a reservoir for several Tuareg groups. Tuareg returned from Libya, who in addition to military training, brought heavy weapons with them, encouraged this rebellion. The first fighting broke out on January 17, 2012 east of Gao and reached a tragic climax with the brutal murder of 80 soldiers from the Malian army near Aguelhok . Within a short time, political and military state power collapsed in northern Mali. This not least because many influential posts had been given to Tuareg as part of the peace efforts. They went over to the MNLA and took the equipment supplied by the United States to the Malian army. Even at the beginning of the MNLA rebellion, elements of the Islamist organizations MUJAO , al-Qaida in the Maghreb and Ansar Dine were among the fighters. In June, the Islamists began fighting the MNLA and introducing Sharia law in the area they held called Azawad . The expansion of the conquered territory beyond the north and the threat of conquering Mali led to the intervention of the west in the form of the Opération Serval . While the Islamists have been driven from the cities with considerable efficiency, the causes of the conflict remain latent. Bad governance, smuggling, corruption and the deep gap between the fair-skinned nomads and the dark-skinned inhabitants of the south will pose major challenges for Mali, its neighboring states and the international community for the next few decades. After Serval, the Barkhane Opération followed in 2014 .
The peace agreement negotiated in 2015 between the Malian government and the two Tuareg groups CMA and the Platform of Armed Groups Mali (the Platform) in Algiers has always remained fragile and incomplete. The underlying causes of the conflict that broke out in 2012, in particular the marginalization of the Tuareg and the Arab communities in the north and the uneven distribution of resources to the detriment of the north, have not yet been fully resolved and continue to exist.
Due to the weakness of the Malian state, jihadist groups can continue to be active. In the meantime, Mali has even served them as a retreat from neighboring regions.
The numerous political parties are of central importance for political events in Mali. There are currently over 160 parties, of which "only" 12 are represented in parliament. The most important party is the Rassemblement pour le Mali (RPM) led by ex-President Keïta , which leads the party alliance Le Mali d'abord and thus dominates parliament. Other important parties are the RPM allied ADEMA and the opposition party Union pour la république et la démocratie (URD).
In Mali, parties are not an association of people with the same political or ideological sentiments, but vehicles of patriarchs who gather a group of clients around them. If the leader disappears, the party usually goes under too; the barriers to switching to another party are low. Although relevant regulations exist, the behavior of the parties is absolutely opaque. There are no membership lists, there is no accounting, donations are accepted in cash, donor registers are not compiled and influence on political decisions is sold to finance election campaigns. All Malian parties lack clear programs. In elections, buying votes is a common practice by the parties; Given the widespread poverty, voters are ready to vote for a party for just a few euros. Turnout is chronically low; In almost no other country in Africa does such a low proportion of the population vote in elections as in Mali.
Corruption and crime
The widespread corruption contributed significantly to the collapse of the Malian state order in 2012. Numerous sources agree that corruption was a problem during the years of the military dictatorship but got worse during democracy.
Corruption comes in many different forms in Mali. Citizens are regularly asked to pay bribes for government services that are actually supposed to be provided free of charge or at fixed prices. Lucrative posts in government or administration are routinely sold or given to partisans by influential politicians, even if criteria for filling the post in question are grossly violated. The embezzlement of government funds or funds from development aid is rampant to such a shameless extent that various foreign donors have temporarily put their programs on hold or ended. In government projects, corrupt officials regularly request kick-backs from the contractor . Government agencies issue counterfeit papers, including diplomatic passports, in exchange for payment. Corrupt local government officials cheat citizens into buying land; doctors who work and pay for state hospitals are actually working in private hospitals. State institutions and entire ministries evaded auditing for years . Since 2003, the office of a verificateur général has existed in Mali, who reports directly to the president and is supposed to monitor the correct use of state funds. In its report, the Vérificateur général brought together indications of embezzlement of US $ 479 million and recommended criminal proceedings against several high-ranking politicians. Further investigations by the public prosecutor, let alone arrests, were prevented by President Amadou Toumani Touré personally.
Mali's policy is linked to organized crime, especially smuggling and ransom extortion, in a number of ways. The Trans-Saharan trade with North Africa has a centuries-old tradition, since the 1960s in Algeria and Libya subsidized goods as well as cigarettes and cattle have been smuggled into the country. Since the early 2000s, drugs have been transported through Mali on their way from South America and Morocco to Europe and the Middle East. Weapons, especially since the collapse of Libya, and people, especially women, are among the most lucrative smuggled goods. The government of Mali has allowed militias of Arab background to participate in the smuggling business and the considerable profits that go with it, in order to finance the fight against Tuareg rebels, who are also involved in smuggling. There is ample evidence that high-ranking politicians in Bamako also make money from smuggling through the Sahara, although there is no direct evidence.
The ransom extortion business is mainly operated by AQIM and its splinter organizations. Between 2003 and 2014, Western foreigners were kidnapped several times in Mali or the border regions of the neighboring countries, and the ransom payments for the citizens concerned washed between 40 and 70 million US dollars into the terrorists' coffers, depending on the source. Sahel politicians who act as intermediaries between kidnappers and foreign governments usually receive a share of the ransom. Since the businesses of the smugglers and blackmailers complement each other, they have entered into alliances and symbioses with frequently changing intensity that blur the lines between independence fighters, terrorists and criminals. In order to regain control of northern Mali, Mali and the international community will have to work with criminals to some extent while depriving them of breeding ground.
During the war in Northern Mali, the rebels, Islamists, various militias and the state security forces committed gross violations of human rights; Human rights have been violated again and again since the rebels were driven out of the cities of northern Mali. The rebels and Islamists are specifically accused of having executed prisoners, of perpetrating sexual violence against women and girls and of carrying out corporal punishments like flogging , stoning or cutting off limbs in the dominated areas . As before, foreigners are kidnapped and sometimes murdered for the purpose of extorting ransom. The rebels as well as militias close to the government are accused of having recruited and used child soldiers.
The army and other state security agencies are alleged to have shot at refugee camps and civilians, and arbitrarily arrested and ill-treated people believed to have ties to the rebels. In connection with the 2012 military coup in particular, there were arbitrary arrests and executions without trial.
After its independence, Mali initially joined the socialist camp, but with this policy found itself increasingly isolated and thus oriented itself more and more towards the western camp. Especially since its democratization in 2002, the country has maintained good relations with the Western European states and the USA, not least of all during this time it was one of the largest recipients of aid in Africa. At the same time, the country was one of the most respected states in West Africa and mediated in the civil wars of Liberia , Sierra Leone and the Ivory Coast . Tensions with his neighbors mainly arose when their internal conflicts threatened to spill over to Mali.
Although Mali belongs to the Francophonie , it plays almost no role in the French diplomatic network known as Françafrique . Only a few French people live in Mali, the majority of them are of Malian origin and do not have the economic influence that French citizens do in the Ivory Coast or Gabon . The country's natural resources are not exploited by French companies. The most interesting raw materials for France's industry, especially uranium ore and oil , have not yet been sufficiently explored. Securing access to mineral resources as the sole explanation for France's military intervention in the Northern Mali conflict does not go far enough; Rather, it was about not allowing a permanent trouble spot to arise in the Sahel zone.
In the early 1990s, at the end of the military dictatorship, Mali had one of the strongest armies in West Africa. But the two democratically legitimized presidents gave priority to economic development and refrained from buying modern armaments. This made the existing material obsolete. Before the 2012 coup, the annual defense budget was the comparatively small sum of $ 174 million. At the same time, corruption and mismanagement also spread in the military: favoritism and buying positions led to a large number of officers whose high salaries consumed large parts of the national defense budget. The equipment was not maintained, funds for new purchases and for pay payments were partially embezzled. In northern Mali, parts of the army command began to work with smugglers and even with AQIM .
The support that the Malian army received under the Pan-Sahel Initiative and subsequently the Trans-Saharan Counterterrorism Initiative was largely ineffective. These two programs were launched by the US to improve the security situation in the Sahara and to avoid creating a safe haven for terrorists and criminals. The money and information were used by the recipient states, not just Mali, to fight domestic opponents. The army command's ignorance of the soldiers in the field, the wounded and the bereaved of the fallen led to very poor motivation of the troops. Thus, when the rebels took northern Mali in March and April 2012, they had an easy time of it with the Malian soldiers. Many of the officers, who had been dearly trained by the USA, defected to the insurgents in the first days of the fighting.
In order to rebuild the army, the African-led International Support Mission to Mali was transferred to the 11,200-man United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali , whose task it is to pacify the areas liberated from the hands of extremists; Meanwhile, a 1000-strong parallel troop is supposed to fight the terrorist groups. At the same time, the European Union's training mission is training 3,000 Malian soldiers. MINUSMA is still not adequately equipped in terms of personnel and material. Whether Mali receives a corruption-free national defense that is subordinate to the law in the course of these missions will not least depend on whether the local decision-makers are willing to give up their privileges and the additional income associated with them.
The state is divided into ten regions and the capital district. These are divided into 49 districts (cercles) and 703 communities (communes) . The regions are named after their capitals. Two of these ten regions, Ménaka and Taoudénit, were created by law in 2012. The establishment has been underway since 2016.
|Bamako (Capital District)||245 km²||1,809,106|
The information provided by the Gao and Timbuktu regions, from which the Ménaka and Taoudénit regions were spun off, reflect the status before the split.
In order to be able to integrate refugees and above all nomads into the administrative system, so-called Fractions ( Fractions Nomades , a term already used by the colonial government), which are mainly in the north near villages. Since the great dry spells, such administrative units have also emerged increasingly in the south as a result of migratory movements.
Rock paintings document the settlement of Mali since the Paleolithic . It is known that trade across the Sahara with North Africa was of great importance more than 2000 years ago and that it helped the trading centers on the southern edge of the Sahara to prosper. Around 300 BC The Jenne-Jeno culture flourished and is documented by archaeological finds.
Between the 4th and 11th centuries, the Ghanaian Empire of the Soninke dominated the region between Senegal and Niger . Its center was near today's Néma . Two centuries later, the Islamic reached Mali Empire of the Malinke hegemony over the region, its center was located on the upper reaches of the Niger. The Mali empire became famous through the records of Ibn Batuta , but also through the pilgrimage of its fabulously rich ruler Mansa Musa . Its decline in the 15th century was followed by the Songhaire empire with its center in Gao , which helped cities such as Djenné and Timbuktu (cf. the clay mosques of Timbuktu ) to flourish, including with university-like educational institutions.
The Songhai Empire was initially weakened by a Moroccan invasion at the end of the 16th century with the conquest of Timbuktu and Gao, and numerous small states emerged. From the 17th century, Bambara rulership centers built up along the Niger around Ségou ( empire of Bambara ). The Massina empire of the Fulbe came into being in the area of the Massina . At the end of the 18th century, rulers of the Tukulor people (other name: Toucouleur ) took power in almost all of what is now Mali.
In the 1880s, the French colonial army began to take control of what is now Mali, starting from the west. Against the background of British competition for West Africa, they tried to use military and diplomatic means to expand their influence over the entire Sahel. They met collaborators as well as militarily organized rivals, especially in Ségou and in the person of Samory Touré , who wanted to build an empire himself. By 1899, France conquered all of what is now Mali, although it was never able to bring the nomads in the Sahara under control. In 1893 Louis Albert Grodet became the first governor of the French Sudan colony . Bamako became the capital of the colony and in 1904 the railway line to Dakar was completed. The region remained of subordinate importance for the French, however, it mainly supplied soldiers who fought on the French side in the two world wars.
According to the Loi Lamine Guèye of 1946, all citizens had the right to vote in elections to the French parliament and also in local elections. The right to stand as a candidate was not specifically mentioned in the law, but it was not excluded either. In the elections to the Paris Parliament, there was no two-tier suffrage in French West Africa as in other French colonies, but there was for all local elections. In 1956, under the French colonial administration, the loi-cadre Defferre was introduced, which guaranteed active and passive universal suffrage. This introduced the right to vote for women .
After the French constitution of 1958 allowed the colonies full internal autonomy, the colonies of Senegal and French Sudan united on April 4, 1956 and declared themselves independent as the Mali Federation on June 20, 1960. The general right to vote and to stand as a candidate was confirmed. Due to differences between the leading politicians in the two parts of the country, Modibo Keïta and Léopold Sédar Senghor , the federation broke up on August 20 of the same year. On September 22, 1960, the former colony of French Sudan formally declared its independence under the name of the Republic of Mali.
After independence, Mali became a one-party state under President Keïta , whose power relied on the US RDA. He represented a socialist-oriented policy aimed at centralizing and mobilizing the masses through the party structures. Without breaking with France, closer cooperation with the Eastern bloc states was sought. The Keïtas regime became increasingly repressive due to the poor economic situation and growing dissatisfaction of the population. On November 19, 1968 , a group of young military officials led by Moussa Traoré came to power. The unity party UDPM became its power base . She continued the socialist policy of Keïta by and large, but began increasingly to seek connection with the western industrialized countries from the mid-1970s. Two devastating droughts fell in the Traoré era , the unrest of 1980 and to top it all off, the already weak Malian state twice became involved in armed border conflicts with neighboring Burkina Faso. In the north , the Tuareg revolted .
Traoré was again overthrown by a coup on March 26, 1991. In 1992 the first free elections in the history of the country took place, which was won by the history professor Alpha Oumar Konaré ( ADEMA-PASJ ). After two terms in office, Konaré succeeded the 1991 coup, Amadou Toumani Touré in office. During this phase, significant administrative and judicial reforms were carried out with foreign support. Although Mali was subsequently praised as a successful example of democratization in Africa, the state administration remained inefficient, corrupt and poverty was high. Both presidents also failed to find a solution to the Tuareg question .
Putsch 2012 and after
The North Mali conflict became acute after numerous heavily armed mercenaries and Islamists from the war in Libya came to Mali and allied themselves with the Tuareg rebels. In January 2012, Tuareg groups attacked the Malian military in the northeast of the country, three months later they had brought the entire north under their control and declared the area they controlled independent. The Mali army had nothing to oppose the rebels, at least it had the strength to overthrow the president from office . In March 2012, the government was overthrown and President Amadou Toumani Touré was dismissed by a group of low-ranking officers led by Captain Amadou Sanogo . The putschists justified their actions with the government's inability to control the Tuareg rebels of the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) in the Azawad region in the north of the country , which has been going on since mid-January 2012 . The UN Security Council , the African Union and EU Foreign Affairs Representative Catherine Ashton condemned the coup and sanctioned the military junta; Development aid was temporarily suspended. In contrast, the population took the coup calmly, and there were even demonstrations of solidarity with the coup plotters.
Meanwhile, the Tuareg rebels of the MNLA took all the cities of the Azawad region in the north of the country and on April 6, 2012 declared Azawad's unilateral independence. Between January and July 2012, over 250,000 Malians fled to the neighboring countries of Burkina Faso , Mauritania and Niger as a result of political instability, the insecure situation and poor access to food and water . In addition, there were around 105,000 internally displaced persons in northern Mali and around 69,000 internally displaced persons in southern Mali during the same period.
It was not until December 2012 that the United Nations approved a resolution that paved the way for western military intervention in Mali. When the rebels set out to conquer the south of the country in January 2013, interim president Dioncounda Traoré asked the former colonial power France for help. With Operation Serval , the Islamists were quickly defeated and command returned to African troops. The presidential election in Mali , which was postponed several times in 2013 , was won by the former Prime Minister Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta (IBK); he is considered a candidate for the oligarchy that was in power before the coup. At the same time, the situation remains unstable, especially in the north, with attacks by Islamists again and again, while the Moors and Tuareg minorities are subject to retaliation from the black African majority. In 2014 there were corresponding orders for the International Committee of the Blue Shield , based in The Hague , which is committed to protecting cultural assets from the effects of war and armed conflict, a necessity that is particularly seen in Mali. Work was also carried out on "No Strike Lists", which should also protect cultural assets from air strikes.
On August 19, 2020, a military junta took power and pretended to cooperate with the protest movement in the West African country. At midnight, the IBK announced his resignation after he was arrested in the context of the controversial parliamentary elections and massive demonstrations by putschists led by the opposition movement M5-RFP ( Mouvement du 5 Juin - Rassemblement des Forces Patriotiques ). Hours later, the newly formed National Committee for the Salvation of the People, or CNSP ( Comité national pour le salut du peuple ) took power. It was run by Assimi Goita . The coup was condemned in particular by the West African countries and they therefore announced partial economic sanctions, which were to extend to a complete trade embargo. At the end of September, the interim government appointed the former defense minister of Mali Ba N'Daou as interim president . Goita was nominated as Vice President. The aim of the transitional government should be to reform the constitution and hold elections within 18 months.
On May 24, 2021, interim President Bah N'Daw and Prime Minister Moctar Ouane, along with other members of the government, were arrested by the military and, as in the previous year, Ibrahim Boubakar Keita, were taken to the military camp in Kati. A few hours earlier, the transitional government had appointed a new cabinet by decree, in which the military occupied strategically important posts despite promises to the contrary. The ministries of defense, security, territorial administration and national reconciliation were headed by officers. However, some army officers have been expelled from the new government. After the coup, those arrested resigned and were released. The presidency was taken over by Colonel Assimi Goita. Goita promised a return to democracy. Until then, the West African economic community ECOWAS has suspended Mali's membership.
Mali is a developing country whose economy is mainly based on agriculture, mining and the export of raw materials and is heavily dependent on development aid. After the country gained independence, the government created a number of state-owned companies in industries it considered strategically important. The inefficiency, immobility and susceptibility of these state-owned companies to corruption, but also the poor infrastructure and the extremely low level of education of the people, hinder and impede the growth of the economy. By the 1980s, government policies had maneuvered the country into an economic crisis that resulted in the shrinking economy and agricultural production as well. Development aid donors forced the government to implement reforms that led to the withdrawal of the state from numerous sectors and decentralization. Although these reforms were criticized by numerous observers, the economy developed dynamically, as the OSCE found in 2008. Despite the rapid population growth, GDP per capita has also grown, from $ 269 in 2001 to 660 in 2014, a year when economic growth was 7.2%. The GDP per capita, adjusted for purchasing power, was USD 1,500 in 2014. In the Global Competitiveness Index , which measures a country's competitiveness, Mali ranks 123rd out of 137 countries (as of 2017-2018). In 2017, Mali was ranked 102nd out of 180 countries in the Economic Freedom Index .
More than two thirds of the population lived below the national poverty line, which in Mali in 2007 was an income of US $ 0.86 per day per person. In 2010 this proportion was 43.6%. Before the renewed outbreak of the North Mali conflict, around 15% of children were acutely malnourished. The decreasing rainfall repeatedly led to food shortages, which necessitated support from abroad.
The unemployment rate was 8.1% in 2016, but almost all employment is informal and underemployment is widespread. The total number of employees is estimated at 6.45 million for 2017; 43.1% of them are women.
The wars have brought tourism to a standstill, so that there is hardly any legal source of income in the Sahara. In addition, Mali was not able to provide more than 45% of its electricity needs itself. In 2015, the Norwegian company Scatec Solar agreed to build and operate a solar system worth 52 million euros at Ségou, which is scheduled for 25 years. The semi-state operator Énergie du Mali (two thirds are in state hands, one third belongs to the Aga Khan group) received 87.7 million euros in subsidies in 2013, but is still unable to operate projects of this magnitude. Scatec holds 50% of the shares, the World Bank 32.5% and the Malian partner Africa Power 1 17.5%.
Mali does not have its own currency, but has been a member of the CFA franc zone since 1984 ; the Mali franc , which was introduced in 1962, was abolished. Thus the government has no sovereignty over currency, interest rate and exchange rate policy. The CFA franc is linked to the euro with a fixed exchange rate and is freely convertible. This allows the member states to import credibility, monetary stability and thus low inflation; however, the benefits of more efficient trade with EU countries are negated by all sorts of trade barriers on both sides.
Agriculture is Mali's main industry. It generates a little less than 40% of the country's economic output, but employs 70 to 80% of the working population. The share of agriculture in economic output is, however, declining: in the 1970s it still contributed around 65% of GDP. Traditionally, every ethnic group in the Sahel specialized in the manufacture of an agricultural product, such as the Fulbe in cattle breeding and dairy products, the Bozo and Somono in dried fish, and the Bambara in millet and cotton. The products were traded between the ethnic groups, creating a mutual dependency. This complementary economy promoted since the 1st millennium BC A climate of tolerance and cooperation between the ethnic groups.
Although only 3 to 3.5 million hectares can be used due to climatic conditions, agriculture has great potential. In the areas along the Niger and Senegal rivers and south of the 600 millimeter isoline in particular , arable farming is possible as flood or irrigation or rain- fed farming . However, droughts occur time and again in northern Mali. In the Gao region, the wells on the Niger were also destroyed by the fighting since 2012, resulting in crop failures.
The main crops are peanuts , corn , sorghum and cotton . In the Dogon country the production of onion mass is also important, in the region around Bamako the banana cultivation. The largest artificially irrigated area is the Office du Niger , where rice and sugar cane are grown on 100,000 hectares. There are plans to double this area by 2018.
In 2010 the number of domesticated cattle was 9.16 million animals. In addition there were 11.86 million sheep, 16.52 million goats, over 922,000 camels, almost 488,000 horses, over 880,000 donkeys, 75,000 pigs and 36.75 million birds. The latter have almost doubled their number since 2006. In contrast, the amount of fish caught fell from 89,570 to 63,286 t in the years 2002 to 2006, but has increased sharply since then to reach 95,640 t in 2010. The number of fishermen has increased from 70,000 in 1967 to over 500,000.
Mining and raw materials
Although Mali's gold wealth was legendary in ancient times, mining there is a relatively young industry. The first explorations were carried out in the 1980s, and in the 1990s the boom in gold mining began. Today Mali is the third largest gold producer in Africa after South Africa and Ghana. Up to 50 tons of gold are extracted annually (10% of this by numerous non-industrial gold miners); the reserves are estimated at 800 tons. In addition to gold, other raw materials are stored in the ground, including an estimated 20 million tons of phosphates , 40 million tons of lime, 53 million tons of rock salt, 1.2 billion tons of bauxite , 2 billion tons of iron ore , 10 million tons of manganese , 10 billion tons of oil shale , 60 million Tons of marble , 5,000 tons of uranium and 1.7 million tons of lead and zinc . Due to poor infrastructure and energy supply, these raw materials have so far been geologically recorded, but not developed.
The dominance of gold mining is demonstrated by the number of licenses issued: in 2011 there were 251 exploration licenses and nine mining licenses for gold, but only 32 exploration licenses and two mining licenses for all other raw materials together. Gold mining contributes 25% of the national budget and 7% of the gross domestic product. The most important mines such as Sadiola , Yatela , Morila or Syama are mostly owned by foreign companies such as Anglogold Ashanti , Iamgold or Randgold Resources , only Wassoul'Or , the operator of the Kodieran gold mine , is predominantly Malian owned.
The mine operators are accused of destroying the environment and the livelihood of the population, exploiting workers, but not bringing any advantages to the village communities. In fact, in 2011 all mining companies combined created fewer than 10,000 jobs. Against this background, the announcement should be seen that an amendment to the mining law should increase the state's share and extend the say of the local municipal administrations. The establishment of a mining school aims to help Mali diversify its mining industry.
Craft, industry, services
Mali has little industry. While a few larger state-owned companies for the processing of agricultural products (textiles, cigarettes, canned vegetables) were set up immediately after independence, today there are only small and a few medium-sized processing companies v. a. for food and building materials. In contrast to that in mining, the investment rate in industry has been declining for a long time. In 2007 the industry produced goods worth 1.52 billion US dollars, which is 24.2% of the gross domestic product .
The trade and service sector has experienced a certain boom in recent years due to tourism, but this has been stopped by kidnappings and the military conflict in the years since 2011.
Mali doesn't have many goods that can be exported. For this reason, gold accounted for two-thirds of its exports in 2013, followed by cotton, fertilizers and live cattle by a large margin. The high proportion of gold exports means that export income and, as a result, the current account deficit are heavily dependent on the gold price. The current account deficit has thus fluctuated between 7.3 (2009) and 12.2% (2008) of GDP in recent years, although it has recently tended to shrink thanks to high gold and cotton prices.
In 2013 Mali exported 51 tons of gold worth 1.4 billion euros, along with 187,000 tons of cotton worth 260 million euros, fertilizers worth 117 million euros and livestock worth almost 100 million euros. Since almost all of the gold is exported to South Africa, this country is also Mali's most important export market. In addition, Switzerland, Ivory Coast and China were the main buyers of Malian goods in 2013, with the latter mainly buying cotton, hides and animals.
Mali's imports encompass a very wide range of goods. Of the 2.8 billion euros that Mali spent on imports in 2013, 780 million euros went on petroleum products, 630 million euros on machinery and vehicles and 430 million euros on food. Mali procures these goods mainly from its neighbors Senegal and Ivory Coast, while France and China mainly supply vehicles, machines, food and medicines.
Capital inflows from abroad, mainly in the form of development aid and remittances from Malians abroad, ensure that the balance of payments is not as negative as the current account - in 2012 it was around 1% of GDP.
The state budget in 2016 comprised expenditures equivalent to US $ 3.1 billion , which was offset by revenues equivalent to US $ 2.5 billion. This results in a budget deficit of 3.9 percent of GDP . The foreign debt in 2011 was 1414.4 billion CFA francs or 2.16 billion euros, which corresponds to 28.1% of the GDP for one year.
In 2006 the share of government expenditure (as a percentage of GDP) was in the following areas:
Every year Mali invests around 6% of its GDP in infrastructure such as transport facilities, telecommunications, water and energy supply. Another 4 to 5% is used for operation and maintenance. In the medium term, however, significantly higher investments will be necessary in order to ensure a positive development in living standards for the population in the future, especially in the energy and water sectors.
Long-distance public transport is carried out on the roads by private bus routes, the regular buses of which are supplemented by minibuses and - albeit to a lesser extent - shared taxis .
In the area of the Niger below Bamako, shipping has long been of great importance. Traditional pinnaces now offer passenger and goods transport and are very popular.
Mali has a single, 584 km long railway line , begun in the early days of the French colonial era , which runs from Bamako west towards the Senegalese border and leads there over a further 644 km to the port of Dakar. In 1888 the railway line, which was initially only built where no shipping traffic was possible, reached Bafoulabé in western Mali. Bamako has been connected since 1904 and owes much of its upswing to it. Although this line has the potential to become the main route for Mali's foreign trade, it is in poor condition, as tracks and vehicles partly date from the colonial period and are in great need of renovation, which leads to frequent derailments or other business interruptions. Even in the African context, the indicators are bad. The company has been run by the Canadian company Transrail since 2003, which , however, has not been able to improve the situation and is now in financial difficulties itself. For this reason, the two governments involved intend to restructure the concession. The planned construction of a railway line from Bamako to Guinea in the early 2000s was dropped. Since 2014, following an agreement with the Chinese China Railway Construction Corporation International, feasibility studies have been carried out to restore the line to international traffic.
The road network of Mali had a total length of 18,560 km in 2000. Of this, 4,450 km were paved. There are only 27.9 km of roads per 1000 km² of land, which is due to the sparse settlement of large parts of the country, but also illustrates the poor connection of the country: no more than 17% of the rural population have a road 2 km away from their place of residence .
In recent years, the government has given priority to expanding the trunk road network in order to diversify transport routes for foreign trade. The largest cities in the country are therefore all connected to each other and the roads are generally in good condition. With an average of 550 vehicles per day, the traffic density is very low. Around half of the roads are paved for strategic reasons, although there is little traffic. Accordingly, the maintenance costs are very high.
Air traffic plays a very subordinate role in Mali because the prices are not affordable for the majority of the population. The country's largest airport, Bamako Airport , counted around 200,000 passengers in 2009; the most important destinations are Dakar and Paris. All other airports combined, of which the largest are in Kayes , Timbuktu and Mopti , do not even have 30,000 passengers per year. The national airline Air Mali has already ceased operations several times, most recently in 2003 and 2012. Although the Malian airlines have renewed their aircraft in recent years, there are still significant safety deficits to be solved.
In 2002 there were 56,600 telephone connections in Mali, 80% of them in the capital Bamako. The standard was considered low and unreliable. Against this background, mobile telephony has found an ideal growth market. Since the telecommunications market was liberalized in 1998 and a supervisory authority was created, the industry has grown rapidly and offers customers low prices, even though there are only two operators in the country. The number of mobile phone customers in Mali has skyrocketed from 10,000 in 2000 to 2.5 million in 2007. Mali is connected to the international submarine cable South Atlantic 3 via two corridors with two links each : via Bamako-Dakar and Bamako-Abidjan. The proportion of Internet users in Mali has risen from practically zero in 2000 to around 6% of the total population in 2007. However, this is a very low rate even in the African context. The use of telecommunications services is largely an urban privilege. The country's supply is markedly worse; around 12% of Malians live in so sparsely populated areas that they will never be able to enjoy such services without subsidies.
Energy-and water supply
In Mali, 55–60% of electrical energy is obtained from hydropower , the rest is generated in oil-fired power plants. Since no fossil fuels are mined in Mali and imported petroleum products are significantly more expensive than in the rest of the world due to the long transport routes, the high proportion of oil in electricity generation is a heavy burden for the economy. As a result, Mali's energy prices are among them highest in the world, and even these high prices do not allow Energie du Mali to cover its costs. In 2009, less than 20% of Malians had an electricity connection, with almost 50% of the population in the city and less than 5% in the countryside. Since the Manantali hydropower plant was commissioned in 2003, the reliability of the power grid has improved significantly and the number and duration of power outages is significantly lower than in other West African countries. The proportion of electrical energy that is generated by the consumers themselves with generators was 16% in 2007.
The demand for electrical energy is increasing by up to 10% annually. This poses major challenges for the producers: the hydropower potential is low and the grid is not yet connected to that of the neighboring countries. Importing electrical energy from Guinea or the Ivory Coast would drastically reduce costs, but would require high investments in infrastructure. Increasing capacity, connecting important mining and cotton regions and reducing transmission losses from the current 25% are all decisive factors in strengthening the competitiveness of the Malian economy.
In the last 20 years, great efforts have been made to improve the water supply for the population. Mainly through the construction of wells, 60% of the population had access to safe water in 2007, compared to 30% in 1987. This was achieved despite the simultaneous strong population growth. At the same time, the proportion of people without access to latrines fell to 20%, which is significantly less than in neighboring countries. However, Energie du Mali cannot cover its costs for the water supply either, population growth and rapid urbanization are pushing the infrastructure to the limits of its capabilities and the quality of access to water is still significantly worse in the country than in the city.
The culture of Mali is rich in myths and traditions such as music and ritual dances, fabrics printed with abstract patterns or ornate wooden masks. It is characterized by the mixing of Islam with pre-Islamic religious practices. The music, which serves both entertainment and instruction, occupies a very important place here, the myths, epics and stories were passed down in song form. Malian pop music, which is now very successful internationally, arose from this art. Blacksmithing and wood carving are craft forms that enjoy a special reputation.
music and dance
Music, dance, language and performance are deeply rooted in Malian society. In the opinion of the Malians they form a unit, and Malians cannot understand why these four elements should be separated from one another. Each ethnic group has its own musical tradition. Classical music of European style does not play a role in Mali. The maintenance of the musical heritage of the individual peoples was subject to a special social group called Jeli in southern Mali . The Jeli were connected to an influential family through patronage and received gifts for their own livelihood in return for their services as singers of praise, advisers, mediators, and connoisseurs of oral history. Certain forms of singing or reciting as well as instruments were reserved exclusively for the male or female Jeli. The Jeli tradition still exists today; no politician can dare not generously reward a Jeli for his hymn of praise, even if the Jeli in question was not asked for the praise at all.
Many of the numerous stars of Malian pop music, which has become internationally known since the 1960s, come from the Jeli tradition. These stars include Boubacar Traoré , Ali Farka Touré , known for his desert blues , Habib Koité and Salif Keïta , although the latter cannot have any Jeli origins and thus stands for new social mobility like no other. Other well-known Malian musicians are Rokia Traoré and the blind pop duo Amadou & Mariam . A specialty of Mali is the high proportion of female singers. Like Oumou Sangaré, which is in the tradition of Wassoulou music , or the two Jeli singers Ami Koita and Kandia Kouyaté, they also shape popular music in the country. Last but not least, Malian musicians maintain a lively international exchange, including projects such as Afrocubism , which combines Cuban and Malian music, the Talking Timbuktu CD , which Ali Farka Touré recorded with Ry Cooder , and the Songhai record , which is made up of Malian music with the participation of Toumani Diabaté combined with flamenco .
Instruments commonly used are Kora - a bridge harp Mandinka - and spit sounds Ngoni , the bar play balafon , the goblet drum djembe , the deep-sounding tube drum Dununba , the one-stringed lute gurkel (also djerkel ) and the one-stringed fiddle Njarka .
The Tuareg have their own musical traditions, but some have similar instruments. The single-string Fidel Imzad is reserved for Tuareg women, both sexes play the three-string plucked Tahardent and the mortar drum Tendé . The Tuareg band Tinariwen was formed in 1982. It uses electrically amplified instruments and is also known in Europe.
Theater and dance theater
In Mali, depending on the region and ethnicity, there is a vast number of traditional forms of theater that differ in terms of form, characters and actions. Theater is usually performed by young men who practice rhetoric , parody , comedy and satirical imitation and thus target life circumstances such as politics, government or generation conflicts. The audience is an integral part of the performance. Its spontaneous reaction decides whether the rhetoric of the spokesman is considered skillful and funny or outrageous. Puppet shows and masquerades also come in many forms. This type of performance also combines theater, music, dance and rhetoric. The puppets can represent stereotypes from society or ghosts, while in the masquerades the actors disappear entirely under sometimes huge masks.
In the years shortly before and after Mali's independence, the government established several theater, puppet theater and dance companies. These ensembles took part in competitions and played in front of the guests of the respective governments. In 1964 a national cultural institute was founded whose activities led to a certain standardization of theater and dance forms, but also marginalized the cultures of northeast Mali in favor of those of the south. Since the state withdrew as a sponsor of professional theater groups, development aid organizations have been making use of the theater as a medium. They hope to use this traditional cultural forum to better reach the Malian people with their concerns.
Mali's literary life is shaped by the encounter between traditional, orally transmitted texts, Arabic-Muslim literature, the French colonial past and modern, contemporary literature. Orally transmitted literature is still alive today and many Malians consider it more expressive than written texts. Performances of such traditions create a high level of emotional sympathy among the audience. Oral traditions include cultural values and social norms in the form of proverbs and fables, but also reports of historical events or heroic epics, the historical authenticity of which is controversial. The records of Arab travelers and historians from El Bekri (11th century) to Leo Africanus (16th century) have been preserved to this day and form the basis for today's history of the region; the Timbuktu manuscripts have become world famous. Later religious, exegetical and educational texts were written in local languages but in Arabic script. This literature, called Ajamiyya , played an important role in the spread of Islam in present-day Mali , although the Arabic script was ill-suited to reproducing African languages .
Under French colonial rule, the policy of cultural assimilation required that all literary activity be in the French language and that it correspond to the tastes of French culture. Modern literature in Mali therefore exists almost exclusively in French. The first important modern writers were therefore colonial officials trained in France who supported the political struggle for independence. These include Fily Dabo Sissoko , who was declared to be the father of Francophone Malian literature , the historian Amadou Hampâté Bâ or Aoua Kéita , whose autobiography allows profound insights into the situation of women during the colonial period.
After independence, literary success was linked to political activity. During this time, Seydou Badian Kouyaté , Yambo Ouologuem , who dealt with the allegedly glorious African past, Massa Makan Diabate and Ibrahima Aya worked . All of these pursued the goal of enlightening the Malian citizens through literature. Since the introduction of the multiparty system, writers have turned their backs on political issues. Major contemporary writers in Mali include Aicha Fofana , Aida Mady Diallo , Habib Dembélé , Ismaïla Samba Traoré , Moussa Konaté and M'Bamakan Soucko .
The architecture of the different peoples of Mali depends on their way of life: while nomadic or semi-nomadic peoples live in tents made of wooden scaffolding covered with animal skins, clay architecture is the most widespread among the sedentary peoples. On the one hand, this is due to the fact that wood and clay are the most readily available building materials in the region; on the other hand, this construction method is best adapted to the climate of the Sahel zone. During the hours with very high solar radiation, the clay shields the interior of the house and keeps it cool, during the cold nights or during the Harmattan , the clay walls give off the heat absorbed during the day. Ventilation is ensured through the entrances and smoke exhaust openings. The mostly windowless houses are only used for sleeping, cooking and storing food and other materials. People work and live outside of the houses, which can have a round or square floor plan as well as flat roofs or grass hoods. The structure of the villages ranges from very compact, where they accommodate a few dozen families and are surrounded by pastureland and arable land, to small round houses with grass roofs standing on the dry plain.
Mosques are the most important religious buildings in Mali. Like the houses, they are made of clay. The older mosques in particular are made of solid clay with horizontal wooden beams anchored in them. These beams serve as scaffolding for the repairs that are often necessary. Examples of this architecture in front are the Djinger-ber Mosque and the Sankóre Mosque of Timbuktu as well as the mausoleum for Askia Muhammed in Gao. The mosque of Djenné is much more recent and differs from the older ones in terms of the symmetry of the building, the integration of the minarets into the facade and the use of the surface structure of the clay as a design element. Since the clay building method is not very weather-resistant, the population of the places concerned comes together once a year to apply a fresh layer of clay to the surface of the mosques after the rainy season.
Fortress-like structures, called Tata , also made of clay and provided protection for the population during armed conflicts or from slave hunters, date from the end of the 19th century and are still partially preserved today. However, even the Tata of Sikasso , which defied the siege of Samori Touré for nine months in the 1870s and should therefore actually be a monument, is not maintained or protected, is slowly falling apart and serves the local population as a source of building material. Clay vestibules are of great historical and cultural importance; they usually symbolize the continuity of an important family clan or have ritual functions, such as the Kamablon of Kangaba , which supposedly goes back to Sundiata Keïta in the 13th century and is reconsidered in a ceremony every seven years. It has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site for a few years .
French colonial architecture emerged mainly in the cities of Kayes , Kita , Bamako and Ségou . They are mostly very solid, three-story buildings with large verandas and archways that ensured adequate ventilation. These buildings are often in disrepair today, despite the fact that they are home to Malian government facilities.
The main foods in Mali are the grains millet , sorghum , rice , fonio and corn . Rice is grown or imported in Mali, it is only on the plate in the country on special occasions, but almost half of it is in the city. The cereal is prepared as a porridge for breakfast, possibly with milk and sugar, and supplemented with bread in wealthy households. For lunch and dinner, millet or rice are eaten with a heavy sauce made from oil, vegetables and / or baobab leaves. Meat and fish are only regularly found in this sauce with the richest Malians. It is so important in Mali that its quality is seen as a measure of how much a woman loves her husband. The sauce money is the synonym for the amount that the wife gets from her husband for running the household, it takes up a lot of space in everyday conversations as well as in Malian soap operas. Cooking is traditionally the exclusive job of women. You set up the grain and sauce in large bowls. People eat in groups, separated by sex, sitting on the floor and using their fingers.
Eating is a home affair. As much as possible is cooked so that unexpected guests can be entertained. It is unacceptable to eat in the presence of others without inviting them to eat. Restaurants are a facility in Mali that was not introduced until the French colonial era.
While water is drunk with meals, strong green tea with a lot of sugar is the drink that is consumed for pleasure purposes. Coffee and black tea are not very common. Sweet drinks such as Jenjenbere , Dableni or western soft drinks are only drunk on special occasions. For religious reasons, beer and other alcoholic beverages are served extremely rarely and at most on special social occasions. Regular or excessive consumption of alcohol is socially outlawed.
The style of clothing as practiced in Mali today is the result of profound changes over the past 150 years brought about by colonization and Islamization.
Women prefer the poncho-like robe called Dloki-Ba , which can be made from printed or embroidered fabric. If the financial situation allows, the woman chooses exquisite imported fabric and has it dyed according to her personal taste. The two -piece suit, called combinaison , consisting of a two-meter-long scarf wrapped around the waist and a blouse is also very common. The headgear signals that a woman is married. Depending on the taste and fashion consciousness of the wearer, this piece of clothing can be spectacular and colorful. Western clothing is usually only worn by a few young unmarried city dwellers. It applies to every style of clothing that it should help women to self-respect by covering up the body and its contours.
The most common clothing for men is called pipau , it is a one-piece, caftan-like garment that covers the body down to the feet. In combination with a cap and possibly a beard, it emphasizes the Muslim identity of its wearer. Influential people often wear an ornate three-piece combination of wide-cut trousers, shirt and throw, which in turn is called a dloki-ba or grand boubou . Western clothing is worn by members of the educated urban elite.
Since the colonial period, Mali has produced a number of directors who made the country, its rich cultural and historical heritage and the complex social structure of Mali known internationally with their films . Souleymane Cissé , born in Bamako in 1940, ended up in prison for his film Den muso, and his film Yeelen has won several international awards. Cheick Oumar Sissoko , born in San in 1945 and trained in France, also won several awards for Guimba , Le Genèse and the film adaptation of a novel by Aminata Sow Fall called Battù . The director Abderrahmane Sissako presented two internationally acclaimed films with The Last Judgment of Bamako (2006) and Timbuktu (2014).
The country's first newspaper was Le Soudanais , which was published by the French colonial administration for the French-speaking audience, i.e. French people living in Mali and the African elite. Newspapers like L'Essor were published by the independence movement. After independence, L'Essor (published by the US-RDA from 1949) and the press agency Agence Malienne de Presse became the government's mouthpiece. Freedom of the press has been anchored in the constitution since 1992 and publications such as Le Républicain , Les Echos , Nouvel Horizon and Info Matin have emerged. However, their distribution is limited to the small segment of urban literate residents who can afford to buy newspapers. Even in Bamako, with its roughly two million inhabitants, the largest newspapers have a circulation of no more than 3,500 copies. 44% of the population consider freedom of the press to be dispensable, with Mali only being surpassed by Liberia (47%), Ivory Coast (48%), Guinea (48%) and Sudan (49%). This is in sharp contrast to statements that almost 70% of Africans see the press as a watchdog against government and corruption. The main reason is distrust of the press' love of truth.
Radio has existed in Mali since Radio Soudan was founded in 1957. Until the beginning of the 1990s, reception was only possible in the cities; the medium was primarily used to educate and disseminate government policy. It was broadcast almost exclusively in French and Bambara . There has been strong growth in local radio stations since 1992: in 2011 more than 150 stations were on the air, most of them in local languages and with local content. The financial and technical limitations, however, result in a low level of quality. There are two national programs, Chaine Nationale and Chaine 2 .
Malian television has existed since 1983 when the radio diffusion Télévision du Mali began broadcasting programs. To this day, television in the interior of the country can only be received in urban areas, apart from the popular music shows and soap operas, there is hardly any content produced in the country. Some radio / TV stations can now also be received via audio / video stream over the Internet. ORTM (until 1993 RTM) is Mali's national program. TM2 has been broadcasting since December 31, 2011 and is the second program. It is aimed primarily at women and children. ORTM is freely receivable in Europe via Eutelsat 7A on 7 ° East.
The media landscape in Mali was considered relatively free until the war, and has been subject to reprisals ever since. Freedom House still led Mali in the list of states with a free press in 2010 and thus, among other things, ahead of Italy, where the media were rated as "partially free". The organization Reporters Without Borders also listed Mali in the 2008 press freedom ranking, ahead of the former colonial power France. In 2015, Freedom House listed Mali among the countries with only partially free press.
The National Olympic Committee Comité National Olympique et Sportif du Mali (CNOSM), which was recognized by the IOC in 1963 , sent 17 athletes to the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing ; two athletes , two swimmers , a taekwondo fighter and the women's national basketball team .
The national sport of Mali is football , the national association is the Fédération Malienne de Football (FMF), which was founded with independence in 1960 and became a member of the world association FIFA in 1962 . The national team's greatest successes were second place at the 1972 African Championships , third place at the 2012 and 2013 African Championships and the three semi-finals in 1994, 2002 and 2004. 14 clubs compete for the Malian Championship every year, most of which come from Bamako . The most successful player in the past is Salif Keïta , who played in France for AS Saint-Étienne and Olympique Marseille . The Mali-born Jean Tigana won the 1984 European championship with the French national team . Well-known foreign professionals are Seydou Keita ( AS Roma ) and Mohamed Sissoko ( Levante UD ).
The soccer juniors are also successful. The U-20 national team came third at the U-20 World Cup in 1999 . 2015 was the U 17 of Mali African champions and then at the U 17 World Cup in Chile runner-up, and the U 20 of Mali reached their best man Adama Traore from AS Monaco in the U 20 World Cup in New Zealand after a victory against the German U 20 3rd place.
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