Located in West Africa, Mali, which is officially known as the Republic of Mali, is a landlocked nation that gained independence from France in 1960. Most of the land is desert or semidesert, and popular crops include cotton, corn, rice, and millet. Mali’s primary industries include food processing as well as phosphate and gold mining. Salt, limestone, granite, and hydropower are among the natural resources.

Mali has a population of 17.6 million people as of 2015, according to the World Bank. Islam is the most practiced religion, while Christianity and indigenous beliefs are also followed. French is the official language of Mali, and Bambara is known by approximately 46 percent of the population. Mali has 13 national languages as of 2009, according to the CIA.


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