Capital city: Bamako, largest city (main river port and international airport).
Area: 1240142 square km
National day: 22 September.
Independence: 20 June 1960 as part of Mali Federation, comprising Senegal and Mali (formerly French Sudan). Became independent as a separate state on 22 September 1960
Population: 12 million as of 2000
Leader: Alpha Oumar Konare, born 1946, President since April 1992.
Language: French (official), Arabic, Bambara, Dogon, Fulani, Manding, Senufo, Songhai, Tamasaq.
Currency: CFA francs.