Mopti is situated between the two rivers of Mali, the Niger and Bani, and build on three islands connected by dykes. Because of the surrounding and flowing through waters, some people call the town "Venice of Mali".

Mopti is a real trading place. It has (water) connection to other towns in Mali like Timbuktu, Djenné and Bamako and is considered as the most important harbour along the Niger. Also the Dogon is not too far away. A lot of tribes come together to trade goods like fish, salt, vegetables, craft, animals and materials for household. It is not surprising there are a lot of market places.

The town consists of two parts, the old town of Komoguel and the new town of Mopti. Although local people (mainly Bozo due to fishing) have been living here for a long time, the town itself was only founded in the nineteenth century (around 1820) as part of the Massina Empire and later as part of the French trading and administrative center. Nowadays there are about 120.000 people of several ethnic groups like Bozo, Dogon, Bambara, Songhai and Peul living in Mopti. In the whole region (5th district covering 79.000 km2) of Mopti there live an estimated 1.8 million people. Apart for transport by boats, there is also transport by road and there is even a small airport.

First published: 02 January 2010
Last update: 02 January 2010
© A. Heeroma

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