Mali State Overview

By | December 14, 2021

Mali or Republic of Mali as it is officially known, is the seventh largest country in Africa. It limits to the north with Algeria, to the east with Niger, to the west with Mauritania and Senegal and to the south with Ivory Coast, Guinea and Burkina Faso. With a total area of 1,240,000 km² and an estimated population of around 12,000,000 residents. Bamako is the capital city of Mali according to babyinger. It is considered one of the poorest countries in the world.



The first human footprints date back to the 5th century BC. During the 3rd century BC, climatic changes led to a large influx of population from the Sahara to these lands.

The Empire of Ghana

It is also known by the name of Ouagadou, it was erected by the Soninkés during the 4th century. It was a prosperous empire thanks to the salt and gold trade. This empire will meet its end in 1076 with the arrival of the Berber ethnic group and the Islamization of West Africa.

The Mali Empire

Founded in the 11th century, Sundiata Keïta unified it in 1222 and proclaimed the Charter of Mandén. The reign of Mansa Musa reached its peak and the territory extended in a large region that went from the Atlantic Ocean to the Niger River. This sovereign was famous for his pilgrimage to Mecca. His army consisted of 100,000 soldiers. The prosperity of this empire was due to the trans-Saharan trade in leather, salt, gold and cloth. Timbuktu, Gao and Djenné were the economic and cultural centers of this civilization.

The Songhay Empire

It was founded by Sonni Ali Ber, then by his nephew Askia Mohammed, his reign extends in the 15th century through most of present-day Mali. Timbuktu was the intellectual center, Djenné was the commercial center and Gao was the capital and military center. In 1591 the empire was almost entirely dismantled by the Pacha Djouder troops from Morocco. Later a series of small states followed one another: the Bambara Kingdom of Segu and the Bambara Kingdom of Kaarta, the Peul Empire of Macina, the Toucouleur Empire and the Kingdom of Kenedugú, among others.

In the 19th century the Bambaras and the Dogon who had resisted Islamization until then, are victims of a holy war carried out by the Muslim leader El Hadj Umar Tall.


In 1864, the French troops of Louis FAIDHERBE defeat those of El Hadj Oumar Tall in Bandiagara. Between 1880 and 1898, Joseph Gallieni carried out the conquest of the region. The capture of Samory TOURÉ marks the victory of the French. Mali, with the name of Upper Senegal- Niger, became, in 1895, a French colony integrated into French West Africa with a part of Mauritania, Burkina Faso and Niger. Kayes was the administrative center until 1907, when Bamako became the capital. In 1920 it changed its name to French Sudan.


Until the end of the Second World War, all political activity was prohibited in the Colony. In 1946, the independence party for the African Democratic Reunification (RDA) was created in Bamako. In 1956 the French Sudan became an autonomous republic of the French Community. The 17 of January of 1959 binds to Senegal form the Mali Federation proclaimed its independence on 20 June 1960. This federation broke out a few months later and the Republic of Mali was proclaimed the 22 of September of 1960.

The country becomes a member of the United Nations a few days later and of the Union of African States in April of the following year. The African nationalist Modibo Keïta is the first president. The country then enters the circle of Soviet influence.


In November 1968, the turn in the economic policy of Modibo Keïta led to the military coup that brought Moussa Traoré to power. This establishes an authoritarian regime that reveals itself capable of solving the country’s economic problems. Mali is affected by the famines from 1968 to 1974 and by those from 1983 to 1985. Between 1985 and 1986 the country went to war with Burkina Faso and then had a territorial dispute concerning the Agacher border. After several months of armed rebellion, the regime fell on March 26, 1991.


A provisional government is established to organize the transition. The new constitution was approved by referendum on February 14, 1992. Alpha Oumar Konaré is the winner of the first free elections since independence. In February 1993, Moussa Traoré is sentenced to death, he will be released from this sentence in 1997. That same year Konaré will be reelected in the May 1997 elections. In May 2002, General Amadou Toumani Touré, an opposition candidate, is elected president of the republic in the second round.

In recent years the government of Mali had to face several rebellions of the Tuareg as a result of the repression and marginalization in which they have been forced to live, between 1990 and 1995 there was a great rebellion, however, in 1994 with the agreements In peace, the government managed to integrate 1,500 rebels into its troops and another 4,860 returned to civilian life. Despite this, the agreements were not respected and a new rebellion occurred between 2007 and 2009 that cost 20,000 lives in Niger and Mali.

The 21 of March of 2012 members of the Armed Forces of Mali conducted a coup against the democratic government of Amadou Toumani Toure. [1] The event was criticized by the international community while the African Union Councilsuspended the country from that body until President Amadou Toumani Touré returned to power. In 2013, new elections were held where Ibrahim Boubacar Keita was elected as the new president of the country, a position he has held since September of that year [2] .

Politic and government

Mali’s Constitution instituted on December of January of 1992 and revised in 1999, establishes the legal independence and separation of powers between the executive, legislative and judicial. The government system is described as semi-presidential. The president represents the executive branch, with a term of five years. The prime minister, appointed by the president, exercises the role of head of government and in turn appoints the members of the Council of Ministers. The unicameral National Assembly is the only legislative body in Mali and is made up of 160 deputies elected for a 5-year term. After the 2007 elections, the Alliance for Democracy and Progress won 113 of the 160 seats in the assembly. The assembly holds two regular sessions each year, during which legislation presented by a member or by the government is debated and voted on. The highest Malian courts are the Supreme Court, which has judicial and administrative powers, and an independent Constitutional Court that provides jurisdictional control of legislative acts and serves as an electoral arbitrator. There are several lower courts, although village chiefs and elders are responsible for resolving local conflicts in the villages.


Instruction in French, the colonial language, is low and concentrated in urban areas. However, about 60% of the population can read and write, although not necessarily in French: many do so in Bambara, the majority language, which has its own alphabet known as N’Ko. Muslims have their own educational system in madrassas, imparting even the equivalent of doctoral studies. One of the oldest universities in the world is Sankore, in Timbuktu, created in the 15th century.


The culture of Mali is an amalgamation of various influences. Mali’s population is primarily Muslim. But apart from Islamic laws, the people also have indigenous cultural practices. Mali celebrates many festivals that are part of its culture and tradition. In December, crossing the cattle festival is celebrated with great enthusiasm. Shepherds bring their cattle on the bank of the river in Diafarabe and then competitions are held to see whose cattle reach the other bank first. This festival also serves as an occasion when unmarried girls and boys dress up to woo one another. The Festival-au-Desierto and Fete de Masques are popular festivals in Mali


Malian music is dominated by forms derived from the old Manden empire. The Mandingas are the majority of the population, and the djelis have produced popular music in addition to maintaining the traditional one. There are also influences from the hundreds of ethnic groups that surround Mali, as well as Moorish and European musical forms. Outside of Mali the best known is the kora, a kind of harp made from a gourd, made known by Toumani Diabaté. other performers are Ali Farka Touré, Habib Koité, Boubacar Traoré and Salif Keïta.


Malian cuisine is based mainly on products such as: corn, millet, rice, oatmeal porridge, all these products after being prepared are served with various sauces.

Mali State Overview