The World Factbook (1990)/Mali



World Factbook (1990) Mali.jpg

See regional map VII


Total area: 1,240,000 km²; land area: 1,220,000 km²

Comparative area: slightly less than twice the size of Texas

Land boundaries: 7,243 km total; Algeria 1,376 km, Burkina 1,000 km, Guinea 858 km. Ivory Coast 532 km, Mauritania 2,237 km, Niger 821 km, Senegal 419 km

Coastline: none—landlocked

Maritime claims: none—landlocked

Disputes: the disputed international boundary between Burkina and Mali was submitted to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in October 1983 and the ICJ issued its final ruling in December 1986, which both sides agreed to accept; Burkina and Mali are proceeding with boundary demarcation, including the tripoint with Niger

Climate: subtropical to arid; hot and dry February to June; rainy, humid, and mild June to November; cool and dry November to February

Terrain: mostly flat to rolling northern plains covered by sand; savanna in south, rugged hills in northeast

Natural resources: gold, phosphates, kaolin, salt, limestone, uranium; bauxite, iron ore, manganese, tin, and copper deposits are known but not exploited

Land use: 2% arable land; NEGL% permanent crops; 25% meadows and pastures; 7% forest and woodland; 66% other; includes NEGL% irrigated

Environment: hot, dust-laden harmattan haze common during dry seasons; desertification

Note: landlocked


Population: 8,142,373 (July 1990), growth rate 2.3% (1990)

Birth rate: 51 births/1,000 population (1990)

Death rate: 21 deaths/1,000 population (1990)

Net migration rate: -7 migrants/1,000 population (1990)

Infant mortality rate: 116 deaths/1,000 live births (1990)

Life expectancy at birth: 45 years male, 47 years female (1990)

Total fertility rate: 7.1 children born/woman (1990)

Nationality: noun—Malian(s); adjective—Malian

Ethnic divisions: 50% Mande (Bambara, Malinke, Sarakole), 17% Peul, 12% Voltaic, 6% Songhai, 5% Tuareg and Moor, 10% other

Religion: 90% Muslim, 9% indigenous beliefs, 1% Christian

Language: French (official); Bambara spoken by about 80% of the population; numerous African languages

Literacy: 18%

Labor force: 2,666,000 (1986 est.); 80% agriculture, 19% services, 1% industry and commerce (1981); 50% of population of working age (1985)

Organized labor: National Union of Malian Workers (UNTM) is umbrella organization for over 13 national unions


Long-form name: Republic of Mali

Type: republic; single-party constitutional government

Capital: Bamako

Administrative divisions: 7 regions (régions, singular—région); Gao, Kayes, Koulikoro, Mopti, Ségou, Sikasso, Tombouctou; note—there may be a new capital district of Bamako

Independence: 22 September 1960 (from France; formerly French Sudan)

Constitution: 2 June 1974, effective 19 June 1979; amended September 1981 and March 1985

Legal system: based on French civil law system and customary law; judicial review of legislative acts in Constitutional Section of Court of State; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

National holiday: Anniversary of the Proclamation of the Republic, 22 September (1960)

Executive branch: president, Council of Ministers (cabinet)

Legislative branch: unicameral National Assembly (Assemblé Nationale)

Judicial branch: Supreme Court (Cour Suprême)

Leaders: Chief of State and Head of Government—President Gen. Moussa TRAORÉ (since 6 December 1968)

Political parties and leaders: only party—Democratic Union of Malian People (UDPM)

Suffrage: universal at age 21

Elections: President—last held on 9 June 1985 (next to be held June 1991); results—General Moussa Traoré was reelected without opposition;

National Assembly—last held on 26 June 1988 (next to be held June 1991); results—UDPM is the only party; seats—(82 total) UDPM 82

Communists: a few Communists and some sympathizers (no legal Communist party)

Member of: ACP, AfDB, CEAO, ECA, ECOWAS, FAO, G-77, GATT (de facto), IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, IDA, IDB—Islamic Development Bank, IFAD, IFC, ILO, IMF, INTELSAT, INTERPOL, IPU, IRC, ITU, NAM, Niger River Commision, OAU, OIC, OMVS (Organization for the Development of the Senegal River Valley), UN, UNESCO, UPU, WHO, WMO, WTO,

Diplomatic representation: Ambassador Alhousseyni TOURE; Chancery at 2130 R Street NW, Washington DC 20008; telephone (202) 332-2249 or 939-8950; US—Ambassador Robert M. PRINGLE; Embassy at Rue Testard and Rue Mohamed V., Bamako (mailing address is B. P. 34, Bamako); telephone 225834

Flag: three equal vertical bands of green (hoist side), yellow, and red; uses the popular pan-African colors of Ethiopia


Overview: Mali is among the poorest countries in the world, with about 80% of its land area desert or semidesert. Economic activity is largely confined to the riverine area irrigated by the Niger. About 10% of the population lives as nomads and some 80% of the labor force is engaged in agriculture and fishing. Industrial activity is concentrated on processing farm commodities.

GDP: $1.94 billion, per capita $220; real growth rate -0.9% (1988 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): NA% (1987)

Unemployment rate: NA%

Budget: revenues $338 million; expenditures $559 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (1987)

Exports: $260 million (f.o.b., 1987); commodities—livestock, peanuts, dried fish, cotton, skins; partners—mostly franc zone and Western Europe

Imports: $493 million (f.o.b., 1987); commodities—textiles, vehicles, petroleum products, machinery, sugar, cereals; partners—mostly franc zone and Western Europe

External debt: $2.1 billion (December 1988 est.)

Industrial production: growth rate NA%

Electricity: 92,000 kW capacity; 165 million kWh produced, 20 kWh per capita (1989)

Industries: small local consumer goods and processing, construction, phosphate, gold, fishing

Agriculture: accounts for 50% of GDP; most production based on small subsistence farms; cotton and livestock products account for over 70% of exports; other crops—millet, rice, corn, vegetables, peanuts; livestock—cattle, sheep, and goats

Aid: US commitments, including Ex-Im (FY70-88), $313 million; Western (non-US) countries, ODA and OOF bilateral commitments (1970-87), $2.4 billion; OPEC bilateral aid (1979-89), $92 million; Communist countries (1970-88), $190 million

Currency: Communauté Financière Africaine franc (plural—francs); 1 CFA franc (CFAF) = 100 centimes

Exchange rates: Communauté Financière Africaine francs (CFAF) per US$1—287.99 (January 1990), 319.01 (1989), 297.85 (1988), 300.54 (1987), 346.30 (1986), 449.26 (1985)

Fiscal year: calendar year


Railroads: 642 km 1.000-meter gauge; linked to Senegal's rail system through Kayes

Highways: about 15,700 km total; 1,670 km bituminous, 3,670 km gravel and improved earth, 10,360 km unimproved earth

Inland waterways: 1,815 km navigable

Civil air: no major transport aircraft

Airports: 37 total, 29 usable; 8 with permanent-surface runways; none with runways over 3,659 m; 7 with runways 2,440-3,659 m; 9 with runways 1,220-2,439 m

Telecommunications: domestic system poor but improving; provides only minimal service with radio relay, wire, and radio communications stations; expansion of radio relay in progress; 11,000 telephones; stations—2 AM, 2 FM, 2 TV; satellite earth stations—1 Atlantic Ocean INTELSAT and 1 Indian Ocean INTELSAT

Defense Forces

Branches: Army, Air Force; paramilitary, Gendarmerie, Republican Guard, National Guard

Military manpower: males 15-49, 1,585,878; 913,000 fit for military service; no conscription

Defense expenditures: 2.5% of GDP (1987)