Welcome to Mali
Work hard, then have fun
"Hello. Welcome to Mali. My name's Bobo and I’m 18 years old. And this is my friend Oumou, who's 17.
I think it's important to study hard. But when school finishes, I like to have fun.
It's good to spend time with girls, but I don't mean for anything special. I just think it's important to have lots of friends. That's the way to live life to the full.
But even though I enjoy the lighter side of life, I'd like to do a really meaningful job in the future."
Watch the video to find out what job Bobo would like to have and why.
Malian women take a great pride in their appearance. Many wear the traditional robe dress – a boubou – in richly patterned materials and with matching headwear.
Mali is one of only a few Muslim-majority countries to be governed by a fully democratic system.
Indigo dye is made from a species of indigofera bush which grows in Mali. The Tuareg people are especially known for wearing robes of bright indigo.
The River Niger is the third-longest river in Africa. It enters Mali from Guinea in the southwest and crosses right through the country to the east.
Surrounded by the sands of the Sahara, Timbuktu (or Tombouctou) is famous for being one of the most inaccessible places in the world.
The first major kingdom of the region was the Empire of Mali which flourished along the upper and middle Niger in the 14th/15th centuries. The Songhai Empire then became powerful in the 15th century.
Because of the poor rates of school attendance, less than half of young people in Mali (aged 15-24 years) are literate.
Mali is the third largest exporter of gold in Africa, producing over 45,000 tonnes of the metal each year.