Mali Geography and Population

Mali Geography

Mali – Geography, Mali extends from central Sahara in the north, through the Sahel Belt and the Sudan Sea to the foothills of the Fouta Djalon Mountains in the SV. Except for the northernmost part of the desert where night frosts may occur, the climate is tropical.

The vast expanses of sandstone and sandy deserts of Sahara are only broken by a few oases, the salt mines at Taoudenni and the rocky bedrock of the Adrar des Iforas mountains on the border with Algeria. There is almost no rainfall in this vast area, but to the south of the mountains there is a network of dry valleys that testify to the humid climate of the past. The desert and semi-desert cover half of Mali’s area and can only be utilized by the nomadic animal herds.

The bush steppe of the Sahel belt forms the central part of the country. The rainfall is increasing towards the south. At Gao, there are generally decreases. About 230 mm of precipitation over approximately seven weeks of rainy season; furthest south there is 4-5 months of rainy season with approximately About 1500 mm of annual rainfall. However, the precipitation is very unstable and can completely fail, as happened in the disaster years 1973-74 and 1983-85. During the dry season, the NO passage blows. From December to February it is the cool alize wind, while the warm harmattan wind blows from March to June. Summer is hot; In June, Timbuktu has an average temperature of 34 °C and typical daytime temperatures of 43-45 °C.

The central and southern part of Mali is characterized by the Niger River, which, in a 1700 km long arc, traverses the country from west to east. Niger originates in Fouta Djalon, Guinea, where it receives large amounts of rainfall during the rainy season. In the first long part of its run, Niger flows in a northeastern direction, forming between Moptiand Timbuktu, a large inland delta that floods after the rainy season. The terrain is very flat, and during the rise of the water more and more river arms are formed, which at the highest water level almost run together in a large lake; only the villages lie above the water on their dikes. When the water level falls, the water splits into a number of lakes, leaving a fertile soil. After Timbuktu, the river turns east and south and runs narrowly past the old town of Gao and into neighboring Niger. Also in the area around the inland delta, the soil is fertile, as in earlier geological times there was a large lake here. The entire river valley is utilized for cattle grazing and rice breeding. Through containment, the former lake bottom can be irrigated with irrigation, and the area has been used to house drought refugees from the north, which grow rice here. The surrounding bush carpet is utilized by nomads.

To the south of the Sahel lies the Sudan savannah, which furthest south turns into forest savannah. The terrain consists of isolated sandstone plateaus with steep slopes and lowlands in between. Against the SV, a number of rivers join together to form the Senegal River. Along with the rivers there is gallery forest. The most important crops on the savannah are millet, sorghum, corn and cotton.


On average, Mali is sparsely populated, with only 7 calls per person. km2. The Sahara is almost uninhabited and the Sahel sparsely populated, while almost the entire population lives on the Niger River and in the Sudan Belt. Tuaregs and Moors are bright, nomadic people in the Sahara and the Sahel, while the rest are black. Peul (or fulani) are cattle nomads around Niger, while the largest ethnic group, bambara (31%), along with Malinke and Sarakole live in the western part of the country. Bambara and Malinke are predominantly Muslims. Whole Muslim groups are, besides sarakole, the traders dyula (dioula) as well as songhai, living south of the Niger Arch. Against the lake, senufo and dogon live. The Dogon people are known for their picturesque villages that climb the slopes of the Bandiagara Plateau.

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The drought in the Sahel in the 1970’s and 1980’s pushed almost the entire nomadic population to the cities or to neighboring countries. Around 1990 many returned to Mali, but violent clashes between the bright nomads and the resident blacks caused many to flee again. Most of the refugees returned in 2006. Population growth is estimated at just over 2.5% per annum, but the figure varies with the refugee flows and traffic of Malaysians who work in neighboring countries for periods of time.


Mali is one of the poorest countries in the world. 80% of the population feed on agriculture, usually small family farms, which produce for their own consumption with simple tools. Many families supplement the income with the help of relatives who work in cities or neighboring countries. Agricultural production accounted for 45% of the country’s GDP in 2001, but it is much lower in drought years. Only in the best years is Mali self-sufficient in food. The most important sales crop is cotton, which is grown on a cooperative basis, and Mali has Africa’s third largest cotton production (after Egypt and Sudan). Livestock production accounts for half of agriculture’s contribution to GDP and is the most important activity in the Sahel and Sahara. Stocks declined sharply during the drought years, but after devaluation of Mali’s currency in 1994, livestock has become an important export item to the coastal states of West Africa.

Mining is progressing. Many valuable minerals have been found in Mali’s subsoil, but the long distance to the sea and lack of energy are a hindrance to the establishment of mines. Since 1985, however, two gold mines and one diamond mine have been opened in the country’s southwestern region, and several are under construction.

The industry is poorly developed and mainly processes agricultural products. In 1994, this sector contributed only 7% of GDP, but the devaluation in the same year diminished competition from imported goods, and by 2001 the industry’s share of GDP had grown to 17%. In the countryside, firewood and charcoal are the main sources of energy. Electricity is produced mainly by hydropower on the Senegal and Niger rivers. In collaboration with Senegal, Mauritania and Ivory Coast, a large hydroelectric power station has been constructed at Manantali, which began to supply electricity in 2001.

Foreign trade has shown considerable deficits since independence; Among other things, Mali is one of the countries that was severely affected by price developments after the 1970’s oil crises, and food imports during the drought have affected the trade balance. Gold exports and rising cotton prices improved the situation in the 1990’s. The negative contribution to the balance of payments is covered by foreign borrowing, foreign aid and, not least, repatriated money from foreign workers abroad.

Transportation. The rail and road networks are poorly developed, and only a third of the major roads are paved. As late as 1987, Gao in eastern Mali got a road connection with Mopti and the western part of the country. The most important trade route abroad is the road from Bamako to Abidjan in the Ivory Coast, while the Bamako-Dakar railway is of less importance. It was built as part of an ambitious French project for a coherent railroad across Africa from east to west. But the project, like the similar British Cape-Cairo plans, was never completed. With Niger ‘s high tide, the river remains the most important transport route in the region. On the Senegal River, the new dam has enabled river transport throughout the year. Turmoil in neighboring Ivory Coast has hit Mali’s important southbound trade route.

Mali – language

Mali – language, Of the country approximately 30 languages dominate in southwest husband languages Bambara, Malinke and Soninke, in the northeast the Berber tamasheq and nilosahariske Songhai, in southeast gursproget sénoufo and in the central part the west Atlantic Fulani. Official language is French. For culture and traditions of Mali, please check allunitconverters.