Mali i/ˈmɑːli/, officially the Republic of Mali (French: République du Mali, French pronunciation: [maˈli]), is a landlocked country in West Africa. Mali is bordered by Algeria to the north, Niger to the east, Burkina Faso and Côte d'Ivoire to the south, Guinea to the south-west, and Senegal and Mauritania to the west. Its size is just over 1,240,000 square kilometres (480,000 sq mi) with a population of 14.5 million. Its capital is Bamako.
The architecture of Africa, like other aspects of the culture of Africa, is exceptionally diverse. Many ethno-linguistic groups throughout the history of Africa have had their own architectural traditions. In some cases, broader styles can be identified, such as the Sahelian architecture of an area of West Africa. One common theme in much traditional African architecture is the use of fractal scaling: small parts of the structure tend to look similar to larger parts, such as a circular village made of circular houses.
As with most architectural traditions elsewhere, African architecture has been subject to numerous external influences from the earliest periods for which evidence is available. Western architecture has also had an impact on coastal areas since the late 15th century, and is now an important source for many larger buildings, particularly in major cities.
African architecture uses a wide range of materials. One finds structures in thatch, stick/wood, mud, mudbrick, rammed earth, and stone, with a preference for materials by region: North Africa for stone and rammed earth, West Africa for mud/adobe, Central Africa thatch/wood and more perishable materials, East Africa varied, Southern Africa for stone and thatch/wood. A wall in North Africa might be built of stone or rammed earth, in West Africa mud/mudbrick, in Central Africa wood, Southern Africa wood or stone, and East Africa all.
West Africa, also called Western Africa and the West of Africa, is the westernmost region of the African continent.
Islamic architecture encompasses a wide range of both secular and religious styles from the foundation of Islam to the present day, influencing the design and construction of buildings and structures in Islamic culture. The principal Islamic architectural types are: the Mosque, the Tomb, the Palace and the Fort. From these four types, the vocabulary of Islamic architecture is derived and used for buildings of less importance such as public baths, fountains and domestic architecture.