Main article: History of Mali
The Sudanese Republic and Senegal became independent of France on September 22 1960 as the Mali Federation. When Senegal withdrew after only a few months, the Sudanese Republic was renamed Mali. Rule by dictatorship was brought to a close in 1991 with a transitional government, and in 1992 when Mali's first democratic presidential election was held. Upon his reelection in 1997, President Konare pushed through political and economic reforms and fought corruption. In 2002 he was succeeded in democratic elections by Amadou Toumani Touré.
Main article: Politics of Mali
Main article: Regions of Mali
Mali is divided into nine regions, including the capital district of Bamako:
Main article: Geography of Mali
Main article: Economy of Mali
Mali is among the poorest countries in the world, with 65% of its land area desert or semidesert. Economic activity is largely confined to the riverine area irrigated by the Niger River. 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 cotton, its main export. In 1997, the government continued its successful implementation of an IMF-recommended structural adjustment program that is helping the economy grow, diversify, and attract foreign investment. Mali's adherence to economic reform, and the 50% devaluation of the African franc in January 1994, has pushed up economic growth. Several multinational corporations increased gold mining operations in 1996-1998, and the government anticipates that Mali will become a major Sub-Saharan gold exporter in the next few years.
Main article: Demographics of Mali
Main article: Culture of Mali