Mali is a landlocked country in Western Africa. Mali borders Algeria, Burkina Faso, Guinea, Cote d'Ivoire, Mauritania, Niger, and Senegal. Most of the country lies in the southern Sahara which produces a hot savanna zone. The government system is a republic; the chief of state is the president, and the head of government is the prime minister. Mali has a traditional economic system in which the majority of the population engages in subsistence agriculture confined to the riverine area irrigated by the Niger River. Mali is a member of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

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