Mali is a landlocked country in West Africa, bordered by Algeria, Niger, Burkina Faso, Guinea, Senegal and Mauritania. The capital is Bamako and Mali is the eighth largest country in Africa. Mali was formerly a constitutional democracy but several military coups have changed the political landscape.
Mali is an extremely poor country and it receives significant foreign aid. Its existing economy is primarily founded in mining, specifically of gold, agriculture, livestock and fish.
Mali has an estimated population of 14.5 million people, with more than 65 percent of the population living in rural areas. The Bambara, a sub-Saharan ethnic group, makes up more than 36 percent of Mali's population. Mali's official language is French, but the government officially recognizes 12 national languages, including Bambara.