Essay A Look into Mali, West Africa

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A Look into Mali, West Africa

It was the day after move-in-day during fall semester 2002. I was a freshman at St. Cloud State University and new in the dorms. I was mulling around looking for something to do when I saw some guys playing pool in the activity lounge. I went in and introduced myself. This was the first time I met Kenny Kane, a Foreign exchange student from Mali, West Africa. We “hung out” in the dorms periodically through out the year, but when school was over I returned to Wisconsin and we lost touch. Then in the fall of 2003, as a way to get the ball rolling on our final paper for English 191, we were asked to interview a foreign exchange student and learn about were they come from. So I found out were Kenny was
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Through the Central and southern parts of the country runs the Niger River and is the source of life for the whole country.

Unlike today, The Mali region was once thriving with huge empires encompassing most of West Africa, such as Ghana, Mail and Gao. While running major trade routes through the Sahara Desert they were able to obtain great power and wealth. In the 15th century the Malian empire was overthrown by the Songhai who held power for a century. The Songhai period was the last time the region thrived as a center of trade. The Europeans had taken to the sea and no longer had to use the routes through the desert to transport goods for trade. After the Songhai Empire fell, the French colonized the area and Mali was known as the French Sudan. On September 22, 1960 The Republic of Mali gained it’s independence from France. In the book Socialism and Nation-Building in Africa I found that after Mali split ties with France they were trying having trouble finding what would work better, socialism or capitalism. Since social and material elements were lacking for a future of capitalism, “Socialism was chosen as the only means of achieving economical development, raising the standard of living and increasing the material wealth” (Megahed 6). Since their independence Mali has had it hard. They have been hit with drought, disease, famine and
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