The eight-largest country in Africa, the Republic of Mali is a landlocked country with an area of approximately 1,240,000 square kilometers. Mali is bordered by Algeria to the north-northeast, Burkina Faso to the south-east, Niger to the east, Ivory Coast to the south, Senegal to the west, Guinea to the south-west, and Mauritania to the north-west. A big part of the country is situated in the southern Sahara Desert, hence, drought is frequently experienced.
Mali is listed as one of the poorest countries in the world. It is part of the “franc zone”, with the CFA franc as its legal tender. However, after the country cut their ties with the Banque Centrale de Etats de l’Afrique de l’Ouest or the Central Bank of the West African States in 1962, the Bank of the Republic of Mali took control of the issuance of banknotes. The first issues were printed by Statni Tiskarna Cenin headquartered in Prague, Czechoslovakia. The notes bear a portrait of the first president of Mali, Modibo Keita. Although the notes were issued in 1962, they reflect the date 22 SEPTEMBRE 1960 which is the date of independence. The second issues also depict a portrait of Modibo Keita and the date of independence but these notes were printed by Thomas De La Rue.
After Modibo Keita was ousted on November 19, 1968, the Central Bank of Mali was formed. Before the country rejoined the Central Bank of the West African States, a series of colorful undated notes was released, featuring locals and lifestyle of the country.