Headline July 20,2015/ "' MALI STUDENTS [IN] DESERT & OASES? "'


IS MALI, ONE OF THE MANY DIRT-POOR Saharan states doing any better?  Or are the students in for a continuing long heave, say:

''Swathes of desert but within an oases of progress''.

Right around 2007, the date from which I go about to set the baseline for !WOW! and for the future-

While its richer and grander neighbours quarrel and cheat, modest Mali looks askance at Cote d'Ivoire  [struggling to reunite a divided country]-

And Nigeria  {making a hash of democracy again}, as it makes quiet progress. As a result on April 29th, 2007, its people re-elected their president Amadou Toumani Toure, for a second five year stint in office.

Meanwhile, at the time, year 2007, Mali's almost equally poor and sandy neighbour to the west, Mauritania, has had a similar success, with its first free elections since independence in 1960.    

ANY POLITICAL PROGRESS APART, the economies of Mali and Mauritania, two dirt-poor Saharan states, have a very, very long way to go.

Ranked third from the bottom in the  UN's  world human development index, Mali is one damn tough place to survive and live.

Infant mortality is among the world's highest, and adult literacy among the very lowest. Some  12 million-strong, Malians on average earn less than $400 a year.

Although most farm, only a quarter of the land is productive  -and is being eaten away by the Saharan desert as it creeps south. 

To make matters worse, Mali has been hit by droughts recently and a plague of locusts. Its cotton industry is fading. Civil strife in Cote d'Ivoire has disrupted its main outlet to the sea.

Still, other things have been weakly improving. Mali's one election, in 2007,  was the fourth in a row after decades of dictatorship. Mr. Toure, who seized power in a coup in 1991 before handing power back to civilians a year later, avoiding politics for a decade before returning to power in 2002.

Since then, known simply as  ATT  or more grandly as the  ''soldier of democracy''. Mr Toure has fostered a system of government by consensus. He belonged to no party but was supported by a coalition of 44 of them. His seven challengers, at the time, 2007, all had representatives in government.

''We think that when all the players are bought together we can avoid useless politicking,'' he declared before the election. 

''Western confrontational democracy would not be good thing in our country because it risks degenerating into regionalism, factionalism, and ethnicity.''

Not everyone in Mali agreed at the time  -and the notion that adversarial politics means chaos has often been citied as justification for dictators elsewhere on the continent. 

Mr Toure's opponents had cried foul., complaining that soldiers were told who to vote for, balloting papers were floating around before election day and voters lists were inaccurate, with many dead still on the register. 

But most foreign and local observers said the poll was fair enough.  

With its cotton industry withering, Mali is now Africa's third-biggest producer of gold. It also hoped, at the time, that in the next five years or so, to produce oil. 

Mr Toure, a champion of mechanisation, wanted to increase Mali's output of cereals from 3 million tonnes today [2007] to 14 million tons by 2015.

Donors are rewarding Mali's quiet progress with hundreds of million of dollars of aid. In the forefront is the United States, which sees Mali as the key ally in its war on terror in the region.

The Honour and Serving of the  '' Historic-Justice Operational Research'' continues. Thank you for reading, and maybe learning something.

With respectful dedication to the Students, Professors and Teachers of Mali. See Ya all on !WOW!   -the World Students Society Computers-Internet-Wireless:

''' A Change Of Mind '''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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