The landlocked, French-speaking Republic of Mali faces numerous developmental challenges. With a population estimated to be 16.5 million in 2014, its geographical area of 1,240,000 square kilometers (480,000 square miles) is drained by the Niger and Senegal Rivers. Mali, with its capital at Bamako, is one of the poorest countries in the world. The poverty headcount ratio at the national poverty line was 43.6 percent in 2010. Poverty is perceivable in many aspects of the country, including its population, economy, health care system, government, housing, and literacy rate. From 1990 to 2012, Mali’s gross domestic product (GDP) per capita annual growth was at an average of 2.3 percent. The future is not all bleak, however, as donor confidence is boosting and leaders are attracting investors ...

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