Mali is located in Western Africa bordered by Algeria, Niger, Cote d’Ivoire, Senegal, Mauritania and Burkina Faso. Bamako is the capital of Mali which is the largest city of the country. Mali was the part of three famous empires that controlled the trans-Saharan trade of salt, slaves, gold and other precious things. Ghana Empire is the earliest among the three empires dominated by Soninke people. Mali Empire formed which reached its height in 14th century and the empire declined because of the internal conspiracy. Then the Songhai Empire came in to power and this empire was an important power of West Africa. The Moroccan invasion of 1591 collapsed the Songhai Empire.
Mali was controlled by French towards the end of 19th century and Mali Federation got independence from France in the year 1960. The country is a constitutional democracy and is governed by the constitution that was amended in the year 1999. The executive power is held by the president of the country and the president is the commander-in-chief of armed forces and chief of state. Prime Minister is the head of the government who is appointed by the president and the prime minister appoints Council of Ministers. The legislative power is held by the unicameral National Assembly of Mali. Judicial power is independent from executive and legislative power.
Mali is a poor country and the annual salary of an average worker is only US $1500. Mali’s economy mainly depends on the agriculture. The estimated population of Mali is 18.5 million and most of the population lives in rural areas. The largest ethnic group of Mali is Bambara which constitute 36.5% and other ethnic groups are Khassonke, Soninke, Malinke, Fula, Voltaic, Tuareg and Songhai. The official language of the country is French and several African languages are used among the ethnic groups. About 90% of the population is Muslims and other religious beliefs are Christianity and traditional animist or indigenous beliefs.
Mali is famous for its variety of tourist destinations and also known as the Jewel of West Africa’s crown. Bamako, capital of Mali offers great attractions such as Maison des Artisans, botanical gardens, zoo, colorful markets, Bamako Grand Mosque and Musee National. Timbuktu is a cultural destination as the place is historically important. The historical importance of Timbuktu is because of the gold-salt trade of 14th century. Mopti is three islands situated between Niger and Bani rivers. You should visit Dogon country where you can see Bandigara Escarpment which is declared as the World Heritage Site.
Adrar des lfoghas is a sandstone plateau where the salt mines were operated for centuries and you can also find a variety of wildlife here. Djenne is a commercial and religious center where you can find multi-storied mud buildings. Segou is the second largest city of the country with plenty of tourist spots. In Segou, you can travel through some of the historical villages with great architectural structures, Niger River and Arts and Crafts Emporium. Hombori is a tourist destination of Mali with huge rock formation and this place is suitable for rock climbing.