COUNTRIES BRIEFS Newsletter ISSN 1563-4108

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Development strategy for an African community

The Republic of Mali (former denominations: a- Soudan Français - French Sudan; b- The Sudanese Republic) is located in Western Africa, southwest of Algeria

Total area: 1.24 million sq. km land: (1.22 million sq. km water: 20,000 sq. km)

Remark: The Sudanese Republic and Senegal became independent from France on September 22, 1960 as the "Mali Federation". When Senegal withdrew from the federation after only a six months period membership, the Sudanese Republic was renamed Mali.

Independence from France: September 22, 1960

National holiday: Anniversary of the Proclamation of the Republic, September 22
Constitution: adopted 12 January 1992

Capital: Bamako

Neighboring countries: Algeria over 1,376 km, Burkina Faso over 1,000 km, Guinea-Conakry over 858 km, Cote d'Ivoire over 532 km, Mauritania over 2,237 km, Niger over 821 km, Senegal over 419 km

Population: 10,685,948 (July 2000); 11,626,219 (July 2003 est.) Population growth rate: 2.98% (2000); 2.82% (2003 est.)

Natural resources: gold, phosphates, kaolin, salt, limestone, uranium, hydropower Note: bauxite, iron ore, manganese, tin, and copper deposits are known but not exploited

Agriculture productions: cotton, millet, rice, corn, vegetables, peanuts; cattle, sheep, goats

Industrial productions: minor local consumer goods production and food processing; construction; phosphate and gold mining

Mali, which is presently rated among the poorest countries in the world, does have a resourceful population to reverse the trend if a strategic development scheme is devised and relentlessly implemented.

Indeed, in spite of having only 25-35% of its territory - alongside the River Niger's 1,815 km banks and adjacent 40 million hectares flooding areas - available for cultivation, Mali's country folk succeeded, year upon year, to producing enough cereals - 3,391,965 metric tons for 2003/ 2004 harvest - millet, rice, corn, peanuts; and a variety of fruits and vegetables (mangoes, French beans, tomatoes, shallot, gumbo, etc.) to feed the population. Table below gives a synopsis about cereal production (metric tons) in Mali:

Harvests-Years MilletSorghumCornFonioRiceWheat/BarleyTotal
Average 1998/99-2002/03 795,866602,665378,59521,619767,8386,3702,573,451
2003/04 compared to 2002/03 (%)41184093614034
2003/04 compared to the average (%)412635-18266132
Source: Famine Early Warning Systems Network

This is accomplished without the support of a clear and systematic rural development scheme.

When such a systematic planning is in action - in the Cotton sector for example - Mali ends up being one of the top world producer (571.000 metric tons of cotton produced in 2001-2002 ).

Animal breeding is also one of the rural activity in which Mali's country folk show their resourcefulness:

In 2003, cattle, sheep and goats number rose to 38 millions, Horse, donkeys, camels and pigs rose to 1.5 million. Poultry Farming / Fowl Livestock numbers estimated to be 39 millions in 1998. Fishing employs 310,000 people - in 2003; 165,000 metric tons of fish were caught and Mali exports fish to Ghana and Ivory Coast.

And yet there is no strategic plan to develop and exploit to the limit that potential.

Most of the herders are nomadic people (10% of the population) who used to wander around with their animals searching for herding pastures. They sell some cattle from time to time to merchants for exportation to coastal countries: Ivory Coast, Ghana, Togo

A much needed systematic ranching scheme had not been implemented by Mali's political authorities:

1- To feed and fatten the cattle, goats and cheeps.
2- To establish a reproduction planning.
3- To systematically sell animals after a certain fattening. period. 90% of goat / sheep selling is done during the month of January or February - preceding the Muslim's day of Mercy - known throughout sub-Saharan Africa as the "Tabaski" / Mutton Feast's Day.
4- To establish a meat processing agribusiness (fresh meat, smoked meat, salted meat. Etc.) to supply the entire West Africa's region

Mali has the potential (human resources and arable lands) to lauching an integrated development scheme to put the country on the double digit growth rate path. That is the only way to aleviate rampant poverty and progressively increase the per capita GNP from the current low level (US 289).

2003's National Budget lost F CFA 87 billions due to the political crisis in Ivory Coast. The Ivorian port of Abidjan was the most direct import / export outlet for Mali. Now Mali is obliged to reroute its import / export through Lomé (Togo), Tema (Ghana) and Dakar (Senegal). No doubt that these long distance trips will increase the selling or purchasing prices of goods.

There are business opportunities in all sectors of activities: agribusiness, tourism (there is need for hotels in Bamako the Capital-City) , low cost housing schemes, city transportation, and general infrastructure; etc.

On the political stage the arrival to the presidency on June 8, 2002 of retired army general Amadou Toumani Touré - ATT - who ruled the country 10 years ago (for one year) after the demise of the regime of Moussa Traoré - is a positive sign.

President Touré has a thorough knowledge of the country social and economical needs. He benefited from a wide range of national political support to win the presidential ballot. On May 2, 2004 he reshuffled the cabinet and appointed a new prime Minister (Mr. Ousmane Issoufi Maïga) to boost the economy.

Click here for a "Strategic economic development scheme"
Click here to view a "Community Income Building Power" scheme.


1- D&B Export Guide To Mali
Digital Delivery In PDF by D&B
2- The Empire of Mali
by Carol Thompson
3- Sundiata
An Epic of Old Mali by Djibril Tamsir Niane
4- Dancing Skeletons
Life And Death In West Africa
by Katherine Dettwyler
5- Controlling Knowledge
Religion, Power and Schooling In A West African Country by Louis Brenner
6- Daily Life
In Ancient And Modern Timbuctu
by Larry Brooks
7- Warriors, Merchants And Slaves
The State of The Economy In The Niger Valley 1700-1914 by Richard Roberts
8- The Heart of The Ngoni
Heroes of The African Kingdom of Segu / by Harold Curlander
9- The Magic Gourd
by Baba Vague Diakite
10- You Look Beutiful Like That
The Portraits Photographs of Seydou Keita & Mdick Sidibe by Michelle Lamuniere
11- A Grammar of Koyra Chiini
The Songhay of Timbuctu by Jeffrey Heath
12- Bogolan:
Shapping Culture Through Cloth In Contemporary Mali by Victoria L. Rovine
13-Dynamics And Diversity
Soil Fertility And FArming Livelihoods In Africa / by Ian Scoones
14- Mali
by Andrea L. Stamm
15- In Griot Time
An American Guitarist In Mali
by Banning Eyre
16- Negotiating Development
African Farmers And Colonial Experts At The Vallee of Niger 1920-1980 / by Monica M. Van Beusekom
17- Playing With Time
Art And Performance In Central Mali
by Mary Jo Arnoldi
18- More News On Mali
by Allafrica

Click to contact Dr. Bienvenu-Magloire Quenum



US$ 3.1 billion (2000); 3.25 billion (2001); 3.21 billion (2002); 3.35 billion (2003)
GNP-growth rate: 5% (1999); 4.8% (2000); -1.2% (2001); 4.5% (2002)
GNP-per capita: US$ 275 (2000); 270 (2001); 289 (2003)

Click here for the difference between
GNP and Parity Purchasing Power

GNP-composition by sector

  1. agriculture: 45%

  2. industry: 17%
  3. services: 38%

Exports: US$ 480 million (f.o.b. 2000); 680 million f.o.b. (2002 est.)
Commodities: commodities: cotton 50%, gold, livestock
Exports - partners: Thailand 13.9%, Italy 9.8%, India 7.7%, Brazil 5.5%, Germany 5%, Spain 4.9%, Portugal 4.3%, Taiwan 4.3% (2002)

Imports: US$ 575 million (f.o.b. 2000); 630 million f.o.b. (2002 est.)
Commodities: machinery and equipment, construction materials, petroleum, foodstuffs, textiles
Imports - partners: Cote d'Ivoire 17.1%, France 13.5%, Senegal 6.5%, Germany 4% (2002)



A passport and visa are required. All travelers must have international vaccination cards with a current yellow fever immunization. Travelers should obtain the latest information from the nearest Malian embassy or consulate.

Diplomatic representation in Libya
P.O. Box 6678
Tel : +(218) 21 31304

Diplomatic representation in

Cité DNC / villa n°15, Chemin Ahmed Kara
Hydra -Alger
BP. 05/16.300 Birmandrais
Tel : +(213) 60-61-81 / 60-62-22
Diplomatic representation in

50, Avenue Goulburn
Ottawa, Ontario Kin 8 C 8
Tel : +(1) 613 232 1501 / 232 3264
Diplomatic representation in

Quartier Louis
BP. 4007
Tel : +(241) 73 73 82
Diplomatic representation in the US
2130 R Street NW,
Washington, DC 20008
Tel: +(1) 202 332-2249 / 939-8950
Fax: +(1) 202 332-6603
Click here

Diplomatic representation in Germany
BAD Godesberg Bastruistrass 86
5300 Bonn
Tel : +(49) 228 35-70-48 / 36-15-08


Mali is a state member of Air-Afrique. Now with the economic difficulties experienced by Air-Afrique, Air-Mali had extended its international and regional flights. Other companies servicing Bamako are: Air-Algeria; Air Morocco; Air-France

Mali' imports / exports are directed through the ports of Abidjan - Ivory Coast - and Dakar - Senegal.

Chamber of Commerce and Industry
B.P. 46
Bamako - Mali
Tel: +(223) 22 50 36 / 22 96 45
Fax: +(223) 22 21 20
Email: Click here

Investment Promotion Agency
Centre National de Promotion de
Boulevard Cheik Zayed
B.P. 1890
Tel: +(223) 22 22 79
Fax: +(223) 29 18 98


High class hotels are scarce. Below are listed some hotels in Bamako the Capital-City.

Grand Hôtel
P.O. Box 104
Bamako, Mali
Tel: +(223) 22 24 92
Fax.: +(223) 22 26 01
Click here
Sofitel l'Amitié
P.O. Box 1720
Bamako, Mali
Tel.: +(223) 22 43 95 / 22 43 21
Fax.: +(223) 22 43 85
Hôtel Salam
P.O. Box 104
Bamako, Mali
Tel.: +(223) 22 12 00
Fax.: +(223) 23 36 37
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