The Sudanese Republic and Senegal became independent of France in 1960 as the Mali Federation. When Senegal withdrew after only a few months, what formerly made up the Sudanese Republic was renamed Mali. Rule by dictatorship was brought to a close in 1991 by a military coup - led by the current president Amadou TOURE - enabling Mali's emergence as one of the strongest democracies on the continent. President Alpha KONARE won Mali's first democratic presidential election in 1992 and was reelected in 1997. In keeping with Mali's two-term constitutional limit, KONARE stepped down in 2002 and was succeeded by Amadou TOURE, who was subsequently elected to a second term in 2007. The elections were widely judged to be free and fair.
president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 29 April 2007 (next to be held in April 2012); prime minister appointed by the president
Amadou Toumani TOURE reelected president; percent of vote - Amadou Toumani TOURE 71.2%, Ibrahim Boubacar KEITA 19.2%, other 9.6%
African Solidarity for Democracy and Independence or SADI [Oumar MARIKO, secretary general]; Alliance for Democracy or ADEMA [Diounconda TRAORE]; Alliance for Democracy and Progress or ADP (a coalition of political parties including ADEMA and URD formed in December 2006 to support the presidential candidacy of Amadou TOURE); Alliance for Democratic Change (political group comprised mainly of Tuareg from Mali's northern region); Convergence 2007 [Soumeylou Boubeye MAIGA]; Front for Democracy and the Republic or FDR (a coalition of political parties including RPM and PARENA formed to oppose the presidential candidacy of Amadou TOURE); National Congress for Democratic Initiative or CNID [Mountaga TALL]; Party for Democracy and Progress or PDP [Mady KONATE]; Party for National Renewal or PARENA [Tiebile DRAME]; Patriotic Movement for Renewal or MPR [Choguel MAIGA]; Rally for Democracy and Labor or RDT [Amadou Ali NIANGADOU]; Rally for Mali or RPM [Ibrahim Boubacar KEITA]; Sudanese Union/African Democratic Rally or US/RDA [Mamadou Basir GOLOGO]; Union for Democracy and Development or UDD [Moussa Balla COULIBALY]; Union for Republic and Democracy or URD [Soumaila CISSE]
three equal vertical bands of green (hoist side), yellow, and red
note:uses the popular Pan-African colors of Ethiopia; the colors from left to right are the same as those of neighboring Senegal (which has an additional green central star) and the reverse of those on the flag of neighboring Guinea
Mali is among the 25 poorest countries in the world, with 65% of its land area desert or semidesert and with a highly unequal distribution of income. Economic activity is largely confined to the riverine area irrigated by the Niger. About 10% of the population is nomadic and some 80% of the labor force is engaged in farming and fishing. Industrial activity is concentrated on processing farm commodities. Mali is heavily dependent on foreign aid and vulnerable to fluctuations in world prices for gold and cotton, its main exports. The government has continued its successful implementation of an IMF-recommended structural adjustment program that is helping the economy grow, diversify, and attract foreign investment. Mali has invested in tourism and a tractor assembly factory. Mali's adherence to economic reform and the 50% devaluation of the CFA franc in January 1994 have pushed up economic growth to a 5% average in 1996-2008. Worker remittances and external trade routes for the landlocked country have been jeopardized by continued unrest in neighboring Cote d'Ivoire, however, Mali is building a road network that will connect it to all adjacent countries and it has a railway line to Senegal.
Communaute Financiere Africaine francs (XOF) per US dollar - 481.35 (2009), 447.81 (2008), 493.51 (2007), 522.59 (2006), 527.47 (2005)
note:since 1 January 1999, the West African CFA franc (XOF) has been pegged to the euro at a rate of 655.957 CFA francs per euro; West African CFA franc (XOF) coins and banknotes are not accepted in countries using Central African CFA francs (XAF), and vice versa, even though the two currencies trade at par
national public TV broadcaster; 2 privately-owned companies provide subscription services to foreign multi-channel TV packages; national public radio broadcaster supplemented by a large number of privately-owned and community broadcast stations; transmissions of multiple international broadcasters are available (2007)