Mali (/ˈmɑːli/ (About this soundlisten); French pronunciation: [mali]), officially the Republic of Mali (French: République du Mali; Bambara: ߡߊߟߌ ߞߊ ߝߊߛߏߖߊߡߊߣߊ, romanized: Mali ka Fasojamana, Fula: 𞤈𞤫𞤲𞥆𞤣𞤢𞥄𞤲𞤣𞤭 𞤃𞤢𞥄𞤤𞤭, romanized: Renndaandi Maali), is a landlocked country in West Africa. Mali is the eighth-largest country in Africa, with an area of just over 1,240,000 square kilometres (480,000 sq mi). The population of Mali is 19.1 million. 67% of its population was estimated to be under the age of 25 in 2017. Its capital is Bamako. The sovereign state of Mali consists of eight regions and its borders on the north reach deep into the middle of the Sahara Desert, while the country’s southern part, is in the Sudanian savanna, where the majority of inhabitants live, features the Niger and Senegal rivers. The country’s economy centers on agriculture and mining. Some of Mali’s prominent natural resources include gold, being the third largest producer of gold on the African continent, and salt.
Bamako (Bambara: ߓߡߊ߬ߞߐ߬ Bàmakɔ̌) is the capital and largest city of Mali, with a 2009 population of 1,810,366. In 2006, it was estimated to be the fastest-growing city in Africa and sixth-fastest in the world. It is located on the Niger River, near the rapids that divide the upper and middle Niger valleys in the southwestern part of the country.
Bamako is the nation’s administrative centre. The city proper is a cercle in its own right. Bamako’s river port is located in nearby Koulikoro, along with a major regional trade and conference center. Bamako is the seventh-largest West African urban center after Lagos, Abidjan, Kano, Ibadan, Dakar, and Accra. Locally manufactured goods include textiles, processed meat, and metal goods as well as mining. Commercial fishing occurs on the Niger River.
The name Bamako (ߓߡߊ߬ߞߐ߬ Bàmakɔ̌ in Bambara) comes from the Bambara word meaning “crocodile tail”.