December 26, 2000
About 235 km east from Bamako, Segou is one of Mali's larger, more important cities. Located on the Niger River, Segou has the potential for economic importance. It was the capital for French occupation, the location for the Office du Niger. This project sought to provide France with raw materials such as cotton. Although a dam was built, the canals (which were dug by forced labor) were never finished; cotton was abandoned, with rice and sugarcane being planted in its stead. Segou seemed much less busy than Bamako. Donkey carts hauling sacks of grain were quite common on the streets. Fewer cars and mopeds were present. Especially near the wharf and river, there were several small shops and vendors wanting to sell you arts and crafts, including imitation Dogon pieces. Tuareg vendors were especially prevalent on the streets, wanting to sell small boxes and knives. In the evening we went to the wharf where we saw a rather nice sunset.