Year Founded: 1960
Mali is a land-locked state in West Africa with half of its territory covered by desert. This country has had several dictators since it broke away from French colonial control in 1960. It wasn’t until 1992 that the state officially had their first democratically elected president.
Mali has a Human Development Index score that is in the bottom six in the world and a less than US$900 GDP per capita. It is one of the least developed countries in the world. In 2020, there was an attempted military coup and then in 2021, another coup (led by the interim Vice President) took place within the group that had ousted the previous government. Countries in the West worry that the political turmoil in Mali may provide an opening to African terrorist organizations.