Mali

Overview

Mali, officially the Republic of Mali, is a landlocked nation in West Africa. Mali is the seventh largest country in Africa, bordering Algeria to the north, Niger to the east, Burkina Faso and the Ivory Coast to the south, Guinea on the south-west, and Senegal and Mauritania to the west.

Economy

Mali is a landlocked country that depends on gold mining and agricultural exports for revenue. Economic activity is largely confined to the riverine area irrigated by the Niger River and about 65% of its land area is desert or semi-desert. About 10% of the population is nomadic and about 80% of the labour force is engaged in farming and fishing. Mali remains dependent on foreign aid. The country's fiscal status fluctuates with gold and agricultural commodity prices and the harvest; cotton and gold exports make up around 80% of export earnings. Industrial activity is concentrated on processing farm commodities. Mali is developing its iron ore extraction industry to diversify foreign exchange earnings away from gold. Mali has invested in tourism but security issues hurt the industry. Long-term threats to Mali’s economy include high population growth, corruption, a weak infrastructure, low levels of human capital and al-Qa'ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).

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