20+ Interesting Facts About Mali

  1. Mali is a landlocked country in Western Africa. It is the 8th largest and the 23rd most populous country in Africa.
  2. Mali is the 4th largest gold-producing country in Africa. The gold mine production in Mali was 46,000 kg in 2019. (Source)
  3. Mali is the 8th poorest country in the world. More than 41% of the country’s population lives below the poverty line. (Source)
  4. The Great Mosque of Djenne in Mali is the largest mud-brick building in the world. Its initial construction took place in 1240. Later, the mosque was rebuilt in 1906-07. This unique mosque is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  5. The Sahara desert and the Sahel steppe region are the geographical features in the northern and southern parts of Mali. Most of the population resides in the southern part of the country.
  6. Mali remained part of the Ghana Empire, Mali Empire, and the Songhai Empire between the 4th and 16th centuries.
  7. Mali became a colony of France in the late 19th Century. It became part of French Sudan at the beginning of the 20th Century.
  8. The Mali Federation came into being in January 1959 with the unification of Mali and Senegal. But both countries separated soon, and the Republic of Mali was established on 22nd September 1960.
  9. Mali remained under military rule from 1968 to 1979. The military also took control of the country in 2012 and 2020.
  10. A conflict started in 2012 in Northern Mali between the Malian government, Tuareg rebels, and Islamists. The rebels and Islamists have seized a large part of Northern Mali despite assistance from France and other countries to the government.
  11. Mali has been facing an ethnic conflict in the Central Mopti region since 2016. This conflict has resulted in hundreds of deaths and thousands of displacements.
  12. Mali is among several western and central African countries that are part of the CFA franc zone. These countries remained colonies of France before independence. (Source)
  13. Gold and cotton are the two main exports of Mali that account for 80% of total Malian exports. 80% of Mali’s population works in farming, livestock, and fishing. (Source)
  14. Mansa Musa was the ruler of the Kingdom of Mali from 1312 to 1337. He was one of the wealthiest people of his time. During his journey to Makkah for Hajj, he spent so much gold in Egypt that the value of gold decreased in Egypt for the next 12 years. He is also known for building an Islamic University and several mosques in Mali. (Source)
    Depiction of Mansa Musa holding gold
    Mansa Musa was one of the richest men in history

  15. Mali has the 3rd highest fertility rate in the world. The birth rate of 6.01 children per woman is just below Niger and Angola. (Source)
  16. Mali has the 8th highest infant mortality rate in the world. More than 100 infants die in Mali out of 1,000 live births. (Source)
  17. There are multiple ethnic groups in Mali. Bambara is the largest ethnic group that constitutes around 35% population of the country.
  18. French is the official language of Mali, while Bambara is the most widely spoken language. Around 80% of the population can speak the Bambara language.
  19. More than 90% of Malians are Sunni Muslims. Christianity and Animism are minority religions in this African country.
  20. Mali has the 5th highest rate of female circumcision in the world. 89% of Malian women between 15 and 49 years undergo this procedure. (Source)
  21. Mali is one of few countries from which the prime meridian passes. Therefore, it is present in both the eastern and western hemispheres.
  22. There are 4 UNESCO world heritage sites in Mali. Three of these are cultural sites, while Cliffs of Bandiagara is a mixed site. (Source)


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