Area: 1,240,192 sq km
Landlocked state. Dry southern grasslands merge into the Sahara Desert. The Niger River runs through the southern part of the country.
Population: 13,323,104 Annual Growth: 2.40%
Official language: French. Trade languages Bambara, Fulbe, Songhai Languages: 60 All languages
Largest Religion: Muslim
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The continuing stability, in the midst of poverty, is a reason for praise. Mali stands as a role model of democracy and stability in a sea of troubled nations, free from the coups, civil wars and shady politics of its neighbours. It remains secular despite strong pressure from neighbouring countries to become an Islamic state.
Malis socio-economic quandary is sobering. It is one of the poorest nations on earth, with people making on average $1.5US/day. Cotton growing employs one-third of the population but is highly vulnerable to world market fluctuations and competing growers elsewhere. Functional literacy is low and secondary school enrolment is under 20%. About one-fifth of children will not survive to the age of five, and of those who do, one-third will be malnourished. Two-thirds of the land area is desert or semi-desert, and the threat of desertification is ever present. Pray that Malis leaders have wisdom and insight in knowing how to provide health, education, gainful employment and long-term stability to their people.
For an additional 7 Challenges for Prayer see Operation World book, CD-ROM, or DVD-ROM.
The Operation World book, CD-ROM, and DVD-ROM provide far more information and fuel for prayer for the people of Mali.