Mali is a landlocked, low-income country with a population of nearly 18 million. By 2020, the population of Mali is projected to increase to 20.9 million (INSTAT, 2012). The population is relatively young, with a median age of 16 years, growing at an average rate of about three percent (World Bank, 2018d). The capital city is Bamako and administratively Mali comprises 10 regions, each under the authority of an elected governor.1 The 10 regions are further divided into 49 districts (called “cercles” in French) and 703 municipalities (called “communes” in French). A majority of Mali’s population is concentrated in the south, along the Niger River, where climatic conditions are more favorable for agriculture (see Table 1). Sixty-three percent of the population lives in rural areas; however, this proportion is declining because of migration to urban centers [National Institute 

13 August 2018