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tiistai 22. syyskuuta 2015

Mali, Cool Facts #70

<= 69. Benin                                                                                                                     71. Guinea =>

1. French Sudan - Mali Federation

In 1880 Mali became part of the French West Africa as French Sudan. French Sudan got autonomy in 1958 and in 1959 French Sudan was joined together with Senegal forming the Mali Federation. In 1960 Mali Federation became independent but after only 2 months Senegal separated from the federation.

French Sudan map
Mali Federation (Senegal + Mali)

2. Kanaga removal of the flag 

In 1961 after the requirement of the Islamic community, the kanaga, the dancing man was removed from the Malian flag because orthodox Islam rule doesn't accept depicting human figures. The change was awkward for Ruanda, which had to add a R letter to separate the Ruandan flag from the almost similar flags of Mali and Guinea. 

Old Mali Flag

3. Mansa Musa, the richest man in history

Mansa Musa was the king of the ancient Mali Empire between 1312-1337. He is nicknamed as the "Bill Gates" of ancient times, because his inflation adjusted wealth was estimated at 400 billion dollars making him the richest man in the world history. Mans Musa made Islam the official religion of Mali Empire and their capital, Timbuktu, was the center of Islamic scholarship and culture. High class manuscripts about mathematics and astronomy were produced in Timbuktu. The Mali Empire flourished between the 1200-1400s and the current state of Mali started using the name of this ancient kingdom as their name. 

Mansa Musa, the 400 billion dollar man
Mali Empire map

4. Azawad State

In 2012 an armed conflict broke out in northern Mali in January. Tuareg rebels took control over the northern part of Mali and declared it as the state of Azawad. During the conflict the military displaced the government of the president Amadou Toumani Touré, which made things worse. The military finally let the interim government rule the country. The Tuareg national movement called MNLA had declared the independence of Azawad in April, 2012 but they got into conflict with Ansar Dine, an islamistic group which supported them first. By July the north of Mali was under Islamist rule. Finally in January, 2013 France and the government of Mali carried out a military intervention restoring the power over northern Mali back to the national government. 

5. Natural resources

- Cotton is Mali's largest crop export
- Gold, livestock and agriculture amount to 80% of Mali's exports
- 3rd largest gold production in Africa after South Africa and Ghana
- Kaolin, salt, phosphate and limestone other important natural resources
- Profits from the vast cotton and gold resources end up to the narrow elite because of the widespread corruption in Mali

Gold mine
Cotton in Mali


1000s Muslim Almoravids invade to the area belonging to the Empire of Ghana
1300s Mansa Musa, the king of the Mali Empire makes Islam the official religion
1400s The Songhai Empire supplants the Mali Empire
1591 Moroccon berbers led by Judar Pasha attack to the area and Songhai Empire scatters into small tribal kingdoms
1800s The Europeans start conquering the inner lands of Africa
1880 Mali becomes part of the French West Africa as French Sudan
1958 French Sudan gets autonomy
1959 French Sudan is attached to Senegal, which form the Mali Federation
1960 Mali Federation becomes independent, after two months Senegal leaves the federation
1961 The flag of Mali is changed
1968 Mali's first president Mobido Keita is displaced in a military coup led by general Moussa Traore
1973-1974 Over 100,000 people die in the famine
1983 Mali and Algeria reach an agreement about their border in the Sahara desert
1985 Brief war with Burkina Faso, which was resolved by the Hague International Court of Justice
1991 General strike and military coup led by Amadou Toumani Toure
1992 Alpha Oumar Konare won the presidential elections
1994 Truce with the rebelling Tuaregs in the northern parts of Mali
2002 Amadou Toumani Toure becomes the president
2012 Tuareg rebellion in the north
2013 France intervenes the crisis by the request of interim government

"Maailman maat liput ja historia" by Kimmo Kiljunen

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