A landlocked country in West Africa, south of Algeria, in the Sahel except for desert in the north; population 13,443,200 (est. 2009); capital, Bamako; languages, French (official) and others mainly of the Mande group. Former name (until 1958) French Sudan.
Conquered by the French in the late 19th century, Mali became part of French West Africa. It was a partner with Senegal in the Federation of Mali in 1959 and achieved full independence a year later, when Senegal withdrew