The Republic of Mali is located in West Africa.
Mali is a landlocked country, with an area of 478,281 miles (1,240,140 kilometers).
The terrain is low-lying.
There are some hills in the northeast.
Northern Mali is in the Sahara Desert.
The Sahel a region of dry grasslands at the southern end of the Sahara, runs though Mali.
This area is largely uncultivable, and is used for grazing herd animals, such as cattle.
The Sahel is undergoing desertification as a result of drought, the cutting down of trees for use as firewood, and overgrazing.
Throughout the Sahel, there are isolated hills known as inselbergs. These structures were formed when most of the land that made up a plateau became eroded. The inselbergs were regions that were resistant to erosion.
There are marshes and savanna grassland near the Niger River in southern Mali.
Rainfall in Mali is erratic.
The capital of Mali is Bamako.
13,010,000 people live in Mali.
Most of them live near the Niger River or the Falémé River.
32% of the people are Bambara, 14% are Fulani, 12% are Senufo, 9% are Soninke and 7% are Tuareg.
French is the official language of Mali. Other languages spoken include Bambara, Fulani, Soninke and Senufo.
80% of the people are Muslim, mostly Sunni Muslim, 18% practice traditional religions and 1% are Christian.
Important exports are gold, cotton and livestock.
There are abundant stocks of fish in the Niger River.
Mali is one of the world's least developed countries.
Foreign aid makes up a large part of its income.
Mali has a presidential system of government.
The official currency is the CFA franc, which consists of 100 centimes.