Mali is the eighth largest country in Africa and nearly twice the size of Texas. It has a relatively small population and is largely situated along the Niger River. Mali is perhaps known best for its music (some of the best in Africa) and Timbuktu, a center of culture and history. It has a dry climate, one of the hottest in the world. Bamako is a major regional trading center on the Niger River, serving as Mali’s capital and largest city. Agriculture is Mali’s central economic center, with cotton production, cattle and camel herding, and fishing among its main activities.