Study abroad programs bring MSU students to Mali

Jul 19, 2013

Mali is about the size of Texas and California combined. It has a population of 14 million, and its economy is struggling.
Credit Flickr/Peter Casier

The West African nation of Mali is well known for its spectacular art and musical traditions, as well as its famed historical city of Timbuktu.  Until March 2012, it was also known as the most stable democracy in  Africa. That image was shattered, however, when a military coup threw the country into chaos, leading to the displacement of nearly half a million people, a surge in Islamist rebel fighters in the north, and an influx of French troops and UN peacekeepers.

MSU is one of the few universities in the U.S. that maintains a study-abroad program in Mali.The person largely responsible for this is Stephen Esquith. He’s the dean of the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities. He speaks with Current State’s host Mark Bashore about what’s happening in this culturally rich West African country.