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History & Politics of Mali
Mali, officially the Republic of Mali is a landlocked nation in Western Africa. It is the second largest country among West African nations. It borders Algeria on the north, Niger on the east, Burkina Faso and the Côte d'Ivoire on the south, Guinea on the south-west, and Senegal and Mauritania on the west. Its straight borders on the north stretch into the centre of the Sahara desert, while the country's south, where the majority of inhabitants live, features the Niger and Senegal rivers. Formerly French Sudan, the country is named after the Empire of Mali. The name of the country comes from the Bambara word for hippopotamus and the animal appears on the Mali 5 franc coin.
Under Mali's 1992 constitution, a president is elected for a five year term as chief of state and commander in chief of the armed forces. This president appoints the prime minister and chairs the Council of Ministers, which adopts proposals for laws submitted to the National Assembly for approval. The constitution further defines Mali as being a multi-party democracy, and prohibits parties based on ethnic, religious, regional, or gender lines.
Historical & Tourist Attractions in Mali
The capital is a modern town and the educational and cultural center of Mali. The main places of interest are the markets, the Botanical Gardens, the Musée National, the zoo and the craft center at the Maison des Artisans.
Another ancient city which had its heyday in the 15th century is Gao. Gao houses the mosque of Kankan Moussa and the tombs of the Askia Dynasty. There are also two excellent markets. The city has recently undergone much urban development. San and Ségou are both interesting towns. The National Park of La Boucle de Baoule contains an array of southern Sahelian species of wildlife, including giraffe, leopard, lion, elephant, buffalo and hippo.