Photos of Mali

A closer view of the Inland Niger Delta. Fed by floodwaters from the Niger River, the Bani River, and a network of smaller streams, this inland delta grows to some 20,000 sq km (7,700 sq mi) during the four-month rainy season that begins each July. During the dry season, the inland delta can shrink to roughly 3,900 sq km (1,500 sq mi).

This satellite picture of the Inland Niger Delta was taken shortly after the end of the rainy season when the landscape remained lush and green. This inland delta is a complex combination of river channels, lakes, swamps, and occasional areas of higher elevation. One such elevated area is obvious in this image, and it forms a branching shape, like a tan tree pushing up toward the north. This wet oasis in the African Sahel provides habitat both for migrating birds and West African manatees. The fertile floodplains also provide much needed resources for the local people, who use the area for fishing, grazing livestock, and cultivating rice. Image courtesy of NASA.

Introduction

Background

Present-day Mali is named after the Mali Empire that ruled the region between the 13th and 16th centuries. At its peak in the 14th century, it was the largest and wealthiest empire in West Africa and controlled an area about twice the size of modern-day France. Primarily a trading empire, Mali derived its wealth from gold and maintained several goldfields and trade routes in the Sahel. The empire also influenced West African culture through the spread of its language, laws, and customs, but by the 16th century, it had fragmented into mostly small chiefdoms. The Songhai Empire, previously a Mali dependency centered in Timbuktu, gained prominence in the 15th and 16th centuries. Under Songhai rule, Timbuktu became a large commercial center, well-known for its scholarship and religious teaching. Timbuktu remains a center of culture in West Africa today. In the late 16th century, the Songhai Empire fell to Moroccan invaders and disintegrated into independent sultanates and kingdoms.

France, expanding from Senegal, seized control of the area in the 1890s and incorporated it into French West Africa as French Sudan. In 1960, French Sudan gained independence from France and became the Mali Federation. When Senegal withdrew after only a few months, the remaining area was renamed the Republic of Mali. Mali saw 31 years of dictatorship until 1991, when a military coup led by Amadou Toumani TOURE ousted the government, established a new constitution, and instituted a multi-party democracy. Alpha Oumar KONARE won Mali's first two democratic presidential elections in 1992 and 1997. In keeping with Mali's two-term constitutional limit, he stepped down in 2002 and was succeeded by Amadou Toumani TOURE, who won a second term in 2007.

In 2012, rising ethnic tensions and an influx of fighters -- some linked to Al-Qa’ida -- from Libya led to a rebellion and military coup. Following the coup, rebels expelled the military from the country’s three northern regions, allowing terrorist organizations to develop strongholds in the area. With a 2013 French-led military intervention, the Malian government managed to retake most of the north. However, the government’s grasp in the region remains weak with local militias, terrorists, and insurgent groups competing for control. In 2015, the Malian Government and northern rebels signed an internationally mediated peace accord. Despite a 2017 target for implementation of the agreement, the signatories have made little progress. Terrorist groups were left out of the peace process, and terrorist attacks remain common.  

Ibrahim Boubacar KEITA won the Malian presidential elections in 2013 and 2018. Aside from security and logistic shortfalls, international observers deemed these elections credible. Terrorism, banditry, ethnic-based violence, and extra-judicial military killings plagued the country during KEITA’s second term. In 2020, the military arrested KEITA, his prime minister, and other senior members of the government and established a military junta called the National Committee for the Salvation of the People (CNSP). The junta then established a transition government and appointed Bah N’DAW, a retired army officer and former defense minister, as interim president and Colonel Assimi GOITA, the coup leader and chairman of the CNSP, as interim vice president. The transition government’s charter allowed it to rule for up to 18 months before calling a general election.  

In 2021, GOITA led a military takeover, arresting the interim president after a Cabinet shake-up removed GOITA’s key allies. GOITA was sworn in as transition president, and Choguel Kokalla MAIGA was sworn in as prime minister. In 2022, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) imposed sanctions on the transition government, and member states closed their borders with Mali after the transition government presented a five-year extension to the electoral calendar. The transition government and ECOWAS agreed to a new two-year timeline, which would have included presidential elections in February 2024, but the transition government postponed the elections indefinitely in September 2023 and withdrew from ECOWAS in January 2024.

Visit the Definitions and Notes page to view a description of each topic.

Geography

Location

interior Western Africa, southwest of Algeria, north of Guinea, Cote d'Ivoire, and Burkina Faso, west of Niger

Geographic coordinates

17 00 N, 4 00 W

Area

total: 1,240,192 sq km

land: 1,220,190 sq km

water: 20,002 sq km

comparison ranking: total 25

Area - comparative

slightly less than twice the size of Texas

Land boundaries

total: 7,908 km

border countries (6): Algeria 1,359 km; Burkina Faso 1,325 km; Cote d'Ivoire 599 km; Guinea 1,062 km; Mauritania 2,236 km; Niger 838 km, Senegal 489 km

Coastline

0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claims

none (landlocked)

Climate

subtropical to arid; hot and dry (February to June); rainy, humid, and mild (June to November); cool and dry (November to February)

Terrain

mostly flat to rolling northern plains covered by sand; savanna in south, rugged hills in northeast

Elevation

highest point: Hombori Tondo 1,155 m

lowest point: Senegal River 23 m

mean elevation: 343 m

Natural resources

gold, phosphates, kaolin, salt, limestone, uranium, gypsum, granite, hydropower, note, bauxite, iron ore, manganese, tin, and copper deposits are known but not exploited

Land use

agricultural land: 34.1% (2018 est.)

arable land: 5.6% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 0.1% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 28.4% (2018 est.)

forest: 10.2% (2018 est.)

other: 55.7% (2018 est.)

Irrigated land

3,780 sq km (2012)

Major lakes (area sq km)

fresh water lake(s): Lac Faguibine - 590 sq km
note - the Niger River is the only source of water for the lake; in recent years the lake is dry

Major rivers (by length in km)

Niger (shared with Guinea [s], Niger, and Nigeria [m]) - 4,200 km; Senegal (shared with Guinea [s], Senegal, and Mauritania [m]) - 1,641 km
note – [s] after country name indicates river source; [m] after country name indicates river mouth

Major watersheds (area sq km)

Atlantic Ocean drainage: Niger (2,261,741 sq km), Senegal (456,397 sq km), Volta (410,991 sq km)

Major aquifers

Lullemeden-Irhazer Basin, Taodeni-Tanezrouft Basin

Population distribution

the overwhelming majority of the population lives in the southern half of the country, with greater density along the border with Burkina Faso as shown in this population distribution map

Natural hazards

hot, dust-laden harmattan haze common during dry seasons; recurring droughts; occasional Niger River flooding

Geography - note

landlocked; divided into three natural zones: the southern, cultivated Sudanese; the central, semiarid Sahelian; and the northern, arid Saharan

People and Society

Population

total: 21,990,607

male: 10,688,755

female: 11,301,852 (2024 est.)

comparison rankings: female 61; male 60; total 60

Nationality

noun: Malian(s)

adjective: Malian

Ethnic groups

Bambara 33.3%, Fulani (Peuhl) 13.3%, Sarakole/Soninke/Marka 9.8%, Senufo/Manianka 9.6%, Malinke 8.8%, Dogon 8.7%, Sonrai 5.9%, Bobo 2.1%, Tuareg/Bella 1.7%, other Malian 6%, from members of Economic Community of West Africa 0.4%, other 0.3% (2018 est.)

Languages

Bambara (official), French 17.2%, Peuhl/Foulfoulbe/Fulani 9.4%, Dogon 7.2%, Maraka/Soninke 6.4%, Malinke 5.6%, Sonrhai/Djerma 5.6%, Minianka 4.3%, Tamacheq 3.5%, Senoufo 2.6%, Bobo 2.1%, other 6.3%, unspecified 0.7% (2009 est.)

note: Mali has 13 national languages in addition to its official language

Religions

Muslim 93.9%, Christian 2.8%, animist 0.7%, none 2.5% (2018 est.)

Demographic profile

Mali’s total population is expected to double by 2035; its capital Bamako is one of the fastest-growing cities in Africa. A young age structure, a declining mortality rate, and a sustained high total fertility rate of 5.5 children per woman – the fourth highest in the world, as of 2022 – ensure continued rapid population growth for the foreseeable future. Significant outmigration only marginally tempers this growth. Despite decreases, Mali’s infant, child, and maternal mortality rates remain among the highest in Sub-Saharan Africa because of limited access to and adoption of family planning, early childbearing, short birth intervals, the prevalence of female genital cutting, infrequent use of skilled birth attendants, and a lack of emergency obstetrical and neonatal care.

Mali’s high total fertility rate has been virtually unchanged for decades, as a result of the ongoing preference for large families, early childbearing, the lack of female education and empowerment, poverty, and extremely low contraceptive use. Slowing Mali’s population growth by lowering its birth rate will be essential for poverty reduction, improving food security, and developing human capital and the economy.

Mali has a long history of seasonal migration and emigration driven by poverty, conflict, demographic pressure, unemployment, food insecurity, and droughts. Many Malians from rural areas migrate during the dry period to nearby villages and towns to do odd jobs or to adjoining countries to work in agriculture or mining. Pastoralists and nomads move seasonally to southern Mali or nearby coastal states. Others migrate long term to Mali’s urban areas, Cote d’Ivoire, other neighboring countries, and in smaller numbers to France, Mali’s former colonial ruler. Since the early 1990s, Mali’s role has grown as a transit country for regional migration flows and illegal migration to Europe. Human smugglers and traffickers exploit the same regional routes used for moving contraband drugs, arms, and cigarettes.

Between early 2012 and 2013, renewed fighting in northern Mali between government forces and Tuareg secessionists and their Islamist allies, a French-led international military intervention, as well as chronic food shortages, caused the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Malians. Most of those displaced domestically sought shelter in urban areas of southern Mali, except for pastoralist and nomadic groups, who abandoned their traditional routes, gave away or sold their livestock, and dispersed into the deserts of northern Mali or crossed into neighboring countries. Almost all Malians who took refuge abroad (mostly Tuareg and Maure pastoralists) stayed in the region, largely in Mauritania, Niger, and Burkina Faso.

Age structure

0-14 years: 46.8% (male 5,175,714/female 5,114,128)

15-64 years: 50.1% (male 5,178,742/female 5,842,456)

65 years and over: 3.1% (2024 est.) (male 334,299/female 345,268)

2023 population pyramid:
2023 population pyramid

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 99.3

youth dependency ratio: 94.5

elderly dependency ratio: 4.9

potential support ratio: 20.6 (2021 est.)

Median age

total: 16.4 years (2024 est.)

male: 15.7 years

female: 17.1 years

comparison ranking: total 226

Population growth rate

2.9% (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 9

Birth rate

40 births/1,000 population (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 4

Death rate

8.1 deaths/1,000 population (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 86

Net migration rate

-2.9 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 177

Population distribution

the overwhelming majority of the population lives in the southern half of the country, with greater density along the border with Burkina Faso as shown in this population distribution map

Urbanization

urban population: 46.2% of total population (2023)

rate of urbanization: 4.57% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

total population growth rate v. urban population growth rate, 2000-2030

Major urban areas - population

2.929 million BAMAKO (capital) (2023)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.01 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 0.89 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.97 male(s)/female

total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2024 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth

19.2 years (2018 est.)

note: data represents median age at first birth among women 20-49

Maternal mortality ratio

440 deaths/100,000 live births (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: 20

Infant mortality rate

total: 57.4 deaths/1,000 live births (2024 est.)

male: 62.6 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 52 deaths/1,000 live births

comparison ranking: total 10

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 63.2 years (2024 est.)

male: 60.9 years

female: 65.6 years

comparison ranking: total population 211

Total fertility rate

5.35 children born/woman (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 4

Gross reproduction rate

2.64 (2024 est.)

Drinking water source

improved: urban: 99.9% of population

rural: 75.9% of population

total: 86.4% of population

unimproved: urban: 0.1% of population

rural: 24.1% of population

total: 13.6% of population (2020 est.)

Current health expenditure

4.3% of GDP (2020)

Physician density

0.13 physicians/1,000 population (2018)

Hospital bed density

0.1 beds/1,000 population

Sanitation facility access

improved: urban: 85.7% of population

rural: 44.7% of population

total: 62.7% of population

unimproved: urban: 14.3% of population

rural: 55.3% of population

total: 37.3% of population (2020 est.)

Major infectious diseases

degree of risk: very high (2023)

food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever

vectorborne diseases: malaria, dengue fever, and sexually transmitted diseases: hepatitis B (2024)

water contact diseases: schistosomiasis

animal contact diseases: rabies

respiratory diseases: meningococcal meningitis

aerosolized dust or soil contact diseases: Lassa fever

note: on 31 August 2023, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a Travel Alert for polio in Africa; Mali is currently considered a high risk to travelers for circulating vaccine-derived polioviruses (cVDPV); vaccine-derived poliovirus (VDPV) is a strain of the weakened poliovirus that was initially included in oral polio vaccine (OPV) and that has changed over time and behaves more like the wild or naturally occurring virus; this means it can be spread more easily to people who are unvaccinated against polio and who come in contact with the stool or respiratory secretions, such as from a sneeze, of an “infected” person who received oral polio vaccine; the CDC recommends that before any international travel, anyone unvaccinated, incompletely vaccinated, or with an unknown polio vaccination status should complete the routine polio vaccine series; before travel to any high-risk destination, the CDC recommends that adults who previously completed the full, routine polio vaccine series receive a single, lifetime booster dose of polio vaccine

Obesity - adult prevalence rate

8.6% (2016)

comparison ranking: 150

Alcohol consumption per capita

total: 0.6 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

beer: 0.09 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

wine: 0 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

spirits: 0.02 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

other alcohols: 0.49 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: total 159

Tobacco use

total: 8.3% (2020 est.)

male: 15.6% (2020 est.)

female: 1% (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: total 146

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

18.5% (2022)

comparison ranking: 24

Child marriage

women married by age 15: 15.9%

women married by age 18: 53.7%

men married by age 18: 2.1% (2018 est.)

Education expenditures

4.4% of GDP (2021 est.)

comparison ranking: 105

Literacy

definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 35.5%

male: 46.2%

female: 25.7% (2018)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 7 years

male: 8 years

female: 7 years (2017)

Environment

Environment - current issues

deforestation; soil erosion; desertification; loss of pasture land; inadequate supplies of potable water

Environment - international agreements

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Climate Change-Paris Agreement, Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Tropical Timber 2006, Wetlands, Whaling

signed, but not ratified: Nuclear Test Ban

Climate

subtropical to arid; hot and dry (February to June); rainy, humid, and mild (June to November); cool and dry (November to February)

Land use

agricultural land: 34.1% (2018 est.)

arable land: 5.6% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 0.1% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 28.4% (2018 est.)

forest: 10.2% (2018 est.)

other: 55.7% (2018 est.)

Urbanization

urban population: 46.2% of total population (2023)

rate of urbanization: 4.57% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

total population growth rate v. urban population growth rate, 2000-2030

Food insecurity

severe localized food insecurity:

due to civil insecurity and high food prices according to the latest analysis, about 1.26 million people are projected to face acute food insecurity during the June to August 2023 lean season period; in total however, the number of food insecure is lower in 2023 compared to 2022; food insecurity conditions are primarily underpinned by the impact of the conflict in central and northern areas, which has caused the displacement of over 375,000 people, as of April 2023; persistent high food prices affect vulnerable households across the country, but limit in particular the food access of people in conflict-affected areas due to market disruptions and limited access to sources of income and humanitarian assistance

(2023)

Revenue from forest resources

2.02% of GDP (2018 est.)

comparison ranking: 35

Revenue from coal

0% of GDP (2018 est.)

comparison ranking: 115

Air pollutants

particulate matter emissions: 38.55 micrograms per cubic meter (2019 est.)

carbon dioxide emissions: 3.18 megatons (2016 est.)

methane emissions: 19.16 megatons (2020 est.)

Waste and recycling

municipal solid waste generated annually: 1,937,354 tons (2012 est.)

Major lakes (area sq km)

fresh water lake(s): Lac Faguibine - 590 sq km
note - the Niger River is the only source of water for the lake; in recent years the lake is dry

Major rivers (by length in km)

Niger (shared with Guinea [s], Niger, and Nigeria [m]) - 4,200 km; Senegal (shared with Guinea [s], Senegal, and Mauritania [m]) - 1,641 km
note – [s] after country name indicates river source; [m] after country name indicates river mouth

Major watersheds (area sq km)

Atlantic Ocean drainage: Niger (2,261,741 sq km), Senegal (456,397 sq km), Volta (410,991 sq km)

Major aquifers

Lullemeden-Irhazer Basin, Taodeni-Tanezrouft Basin

Total water withdrawal

municipal: 110 million cubic meters (2020 est.)

industrial: 4 million cubic meters (2020 est.)

agricultural: 5.08 billion cubic meters (2020 est.)

Total renewable water resources

120 billion cubic meters (2020 est.)

Government

Country name

conventional long form: Republic of Mali

conventional short form: Mali

local long form: Republique de Mali

local short form: Mali

former: French Sudan, Sudanese Republic, Mali Federation

etymology: name derives from the West African Mali Empire of the 13th to 16th centuries A.D.

Government type

semi-presidential republic

Capital

name: Bamako

geographic coordinates: 12 39 N, 8 00 W

time difference: UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

etymology: the name in the Bambara language can mean either "crocodile tail" or "crocodile river" and three crocodiles appear on the city seal

Administrative divisions

10 regions (regions, singular - region), 1 district*; District de Bamako*, Gao, Kayes, Kidal, Koulikoro, Menaka, Mopti, Segou, Sikasso, Taoudenni, Tombouctou (Timbuktu); note - Menaka and Taoudenni were legislated in 2016, but implementation has not been confirmed by the US Board on Geographic Names

Independence

22 September 1960 (from France)

National holiday

Independence Day, 22 September (1960)

Constitution

history: several previous; latest drafted 13 October 2022 and submitted to Transition President Assimi GOITA; final draft completed 1 March 2023; referendum held on 18 June 2023 and approved; referendum results validated by Constitutional Court on 22 July 2023; note - the new constitution includes provisions for the extension of presidential and military powers and the creation of a "senate"

amendments: procedure for amending the 2023 constitution NA

Legal system

civil law system based on the French civil law model and influenced by customary law; judicial review of legislative acts in the Constitutional Court

International law organization participation

has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction

Citizenship

citizenship by birth: no

citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Mali

dual citizenship recognized: yes

residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years

Suffrage

18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: Transition President Assimi GOITA (since 7 June 2021)

head of government: Transition Prime Minister Choguel MAIGA (appointed by Transition President Assimi GOITA on 7 June 2021)

cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the prime minister

elections/appointments: president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 29 July 2018 with runoff on 12 August 2018; prime minister appointed by the president; note - on 21 February 2022, the transition government adopted a charter allowing transition authorities to rule for up to 5 years, but a referendum pushed through by the junta in June 2023 consolidated power in the presidency and would allow junta leaders to serve in a new government, creating the potential for transition President GOITA to maintain his hold on power indefinitely

election results:
2018
: Ibrahim Boubacar KEITA reelected president in second round; percent of vote in first round - Ibrahim Boubacar KEITA (RPM) 41.7%, Soumaila CISSE (URD) 17.8%, other 40.5%; percent of vote in second round - Ibrahim Boubacar KEITA 67.2%, Soumaila CISSE 32.8%

2013: Ibrahim Boubacar KEITA elected president in second round; percent of vote in first round - Ibrahim Boubacar KEITA (RPM) 39.8%, Soumaila CISSE (URD) 19.7%, other 40.5%; percent of vote in second round - Ibrahim Boubacar KEITA (RPM) 77.6%, Soumaila CISSE (URD) 22.4%

note: an August 2020 coup d'état deposed President Ibrahim Boubacar KEITA; on 21 September 2020, a group of 17 electors chosen by the Malian military junta, known as the National Committee for the Salvation of the People (CNSP) and led by Colonel Assimi GOITA, selected Bah NDAW as transition president; GOITA served as vice president of the transition government which was inaugurated on 25 September 2020; Vice President GOITA seized power on 25 May 2021; NDAW resigned on 26 May 2021; on 6 June 2022, GOITA's government announced a transition period of 24 months with a planned return to civilian rule by March 2024

Legislative branch

description: unicameral National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale (147 seats; members directly elected in single and multi-seat constituencies by absolute majority vote in 2 rounds if needed; 13 seats reserved for citizens living abroad; members serve 5-year terms)

note 1 - the National Assembly was dissolved on 18 August 2020 following a military coup and the resignation of President KEITA; the transition government created a National Transition Council (CNT) whose 121 members were selected by then transition Vice President Assimi GOITA; the CNT acts as the transitional government's legislative body, with Malick DIAW serving as the president; in February 2022, the CNT increased the number of seats to 147, but some of the additional seats have not yet been filled

note 2 - passage of a constitutional referendum held on 18 June 2023 calls for the creation of a "Senate"

elections: last held on 30 March and 19 April 2020; note - following the dissolution of the National Assembly in August 2020 and the ratification of a new constitution in July 2023 expanding the powers of the military junta, no plans for legislative elections have been announced

election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NA; composition - NA

Judicial branch

highest court(s): Supreme Court or Cour Supreme (consists of 19 judges organized into judicial, administrative, and accounting sections); Constitutional Court (consists of 9 judges)

judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court judges appointed by the Ministry of Justice to serve 5-year terms; Constitutional Court judges selected - 3 each by the president, the National Assembly, and the Supreme Council of the Magistracy; members serve single renewable 7-year terms

subordinate courts: Court of Appeal; High Court of Justice (jurisdiction limited to cases of high treason or criminal offenses by the president or ministers while in office); administrative courts (first instance and appeal); commercial courts; magistrate courts; labor courts; juvenile courts; special court of state security

Political parties and leaders

African Solidarity for Democracy and Independence or SADI [Oumar MARIKO]
Alliance for Democracy and Progress or ADP-Maliba [Amadou THIAM]
Alliance for Democracy in Mali-Pan-African Party for Liberty, Solidarity, and Justice or ADEMA-PASJ [Tiemoko SANGARE]
Alliance for the Solidarity of Mali-Convergence of Patriotic Forces or ASMA-CFP [Amadou CISSE, vice-president, acting]
Convergence for the Development of Mali or CODEM [Housseyni Amion GUINDO]
Democratic Alliance for Peace or ADP-Maliba [Aliou Boubacar DIALLO]
Movement for Mali or MPM [Brahima DIANESSY, deputy]                                                                                           
Party for National Renewal (also Rebirth or Renaissance or PARENA) [Tiebile DRAME]
Rally for Mali or RPM [Boucary TRETA] 
Social Democratic Convention or CDS [Mamadou Bakary "Blaise" SANGARE]
Union for Democracy and Development or UDD [Hassane BARRY]                                             
Union for Republic and Democracy or URD [Soumaïla CISSE]
Yéléma [Moussa MARA]

note 1: only parties with 2 or more seats in the last National Assembly parliamentary elections (30 March and 19 April 2020) included

note 2:
  the National Assembly was dissolved on 18 August 2020 following a military coup and replaced with a National Transition Council; currently 121 members, party affiliations unknown

International organization participation

ACP, AfDB, AU (suspended), CD, EITI (compliant country), FAO, FZ, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, MINUSCA, MONUSCO, NAM, OIC, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNDP, UNESCO, UNFPA, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNOPS, UN Women, UNWTO, UPU, WADB (regional), WAEMU, World Bank Group, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Sékou BERTHE (since 16 September 2022)

chancery: 2130 R Street NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 332-2249

FAX: [1] (202) 332-6603

email address and website:
administration@maliembassy.us

https://www.maliembassy.us/

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Rachna KORHONEN (since 16 March 2023)

embassy: ACI 2000, Rue 243, (located off the Roi Bin Fahad Aziz Bridge west of the Bamako central district), Porte 297, Bamako

mailing address: 2050 Bamako Place, Washington DC  20521-2050

telephone: [223] 20-70-23-00

FAX: [223] 20-70-24-79

email address and website:
ACSBamako@state.gov

https://ml.usembassy.gov/

Flag description

three equal vertical bands of green (hoist side), yellow, and red

note: uses the popular Pan-African colors of Ethiopia; the colors from left to right are the same as those of neighboring Senegal (which has an additional green central star) and the reverse of those on the flag of neighboring Guinea

National symbol(s)

Great Mosque of Djenne; national colors: green, yellow, red

National anthem

name: "Le Mali" (Mali)

lyrics/music: Seydou Badian KOUYATE/Banzoumana SISSOKO

note: adopted 1962; also known as "Pour L'Afrique et pour toi, Mali" (For Africa and for You, Mali) and "A ton appel Mali" (At Your Call, Mali)

National heritage

total World Heritage Sites: 4 (3 cultural, 1 mixed)

selected World Heritage Site locales: Old Towns of Djenné (c); Timbuktu (c); Cliff of Bandiagara (Land of the Dogons) (m); Tomb of Askia (c)

Economy

Economic overview

low-income Saharan economy; recession due to COVID-19 and political instability; extreme poverty; environmentally fragile; high public debt; agricultural and gold exporter; terrorism and warfare are common

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$48.184 billion (2022 est.)
$46.452 billion (2021 est.)
$45.076 billion (2020 est.)

note: data in 2017 dollars

comparison ranking: 116

Real GDP growth rate

3.73% (2022 est.)
3.05% (2021 est.)
-1.24% (2020 est.)

note: annual GDP % growth based on constant local currency

comparison ranking: 116

Real GDP per capita

$2,100 (2022 est.)
$2,100 (2021 est.)
$2,100 (2020 est.)

note: data in 2017 dollars

comparison ranking: 207

GDP (official exchange rate)

$18.827 billion (2022 est.)

note: data in current dollars at official exchange rate

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

9.62% (2022 est.)
3.93% (2021 est.)
0.44% (2020 est.)

note: annual % change based on consumer prices

comparison ranking: 155

Credit ratings

Moody's rating: Caa1 (2020)

note: The year refers to the year in which the current credit rating was first obtained.

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 41.8% (2017 est.)

industry: 18.1% (2017 est.)

services: 40.5% (2017 est.)

comparison rankings: services 209; industry 162; agriculture 7

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 82.9% (2017 est.)

government consumption: 17.4% (2017 est.)

investment in fixed capital: 19.3% (2017 est.)

investment in inventories: -0.7% (2017 est.)

exports of goods and services: 22.1% (2017 est.)

imports of goods and services: -41.1% (2017 est.)

Agricultural products

maize, rice, millet, sorghum, okra, sugarcane, mangoes/guavas, onions, cotton, bananas (2022)

note: top ten agricultural products based on tonnage

Industries

food processing; construction; phosphate and gold mining

Industrial production growth rate

2.36% (2022 est.)

note: annual % change in industrial value added based on constant local currency

comparison ranking: 125

Labor force

7.958 million (2022 est.)

note: number of people ages 15 or older who are employed or seeking work

comparison ranking: 66

Unemployment rate

3.14% (2022 est.)
2.44% (2021 est.)
3.53% (2020 est.)

note: % of labor force seeking employment

comparison ranking: 47

Youth unemployment rate (ages 15-24)

total: 17.3% (2021 est.)

male: 15.4%

female: 19.8%

comparison ranking: total 100

Population below poverty line

44.6% (2021 est.)

note: % of population with income below national poverty line

Gini Index coefficient - distribution of family income

36 (2018 est.)

note: index (0-100) of income distribution; higher values represent greater inequality

comparison ranking: 88

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 3.2%

highest 10%: 28.1% (2018 est.)

note: % share of income accruing to lowest and highest 10% of population

Remittances

6.01% of GDP (2022 est.)
5.86% of GDP (2021 est.)
5.71% of GDP (2020 est.)

note: personal transfers and compensation between resident and non-resident individuals/households/entities

Budget

revenues: $2.657 billion (2018 est.)

expenditures: $3.467 billion (2018 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)

-2.9% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

comparison ranking: 126

Public debt

35.4% of GDP (2017 est.)
36% of GDP (2016 est.)

comparison ranking: 151

Taxes and other revenues

14.16% (of GDP) (2020 est.)

note: central government tax revenue as a % of GDP

comparison ranking: 152

Current account balance

-$1.469 billion (2021 est.)
-$379.683 million (2020 est.)
-$1.289 billion (2019 est.)

note: balance of payments - net trade and primary/secondary income in current dollars

comparison ranking: 137

Exports

$5.381 billion (2021 est.)
$5.196 billion (2020 est.)
$4.442 billion (2019 est.)

note: balance of payments - exports of goods and services in current dollars

comparison ranking: 136

Exports - partners

UAE 74%, Switzerland 17%, Australia 5%, China 1%, Turkey 1% (2022)

note: top five export partners based on percentage share of exports

Exports - commodities

gold, cotton, oil seeds, wood, fertilizers (2022)

note: top five export commodities based on value in dollars

Imports

$7.596 billion (2021 est.)
$6.339 billion (2020 est.)
$6.559 billion (2019 est.)

note: balance of payments - imports of goods and services in current dollars

comparison ranking: 132

Imports - partners

Cote d'Ivoire 24%, Senegal 19%, China 10%, France 6%, Burkina Faso 5% (2022)

note: top five import partners based on percentage share of imports

Imports - commodities

refined petroleum, cotton fabric, broadcasting equipment, packaged medicine, gold (2022)

note: top five import commodities based on value in dollars

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$647.8 million (31 December 2017 est.)
$395.7 million (31 December 2016 est.)

comparison ranking: 154

Debt - external

$4.192 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$3.981 billion (31 December 2016 est.)

comparison ranking: 138

Exchange rates

Communaute Financiere Africaine francs (XOF) per US dollar -

Exchange rates:
623.76 (2022 est.)
554.531 (2021 est.)
575.586 (2020 est.)
585.911 (2019 est.)
555.446 (2018 est.)

Energy

Electricity access

electrification - total population: 53% (2022 est.)

electrification - urban areas: 99.7%

electrification - rural areas: 18.3%

Electricity

installed generating capacity: 1.145 million kW (2022 est.)

consumption: 3.5 billion kWh (2022 est.)

exports: 600 million kWh (2022 est.)

imports: 775.87 million kWh (2022 est.)

transmission/distribution losses: 433.773 million kWh (2022 est.)

comparison rankings: transmission/distribution losses 78; imports 86; exports 74; consumption 136; installed generating capacity 134

Electricity generation sources

fossil fuels: 60.2% of total installed capacity (2022 est.)

solar: 0.9% of total installed capacity (2022 est.)

hydroelectricity: 37.3% of total installed capacity (2022 est.)

biomass and waste: 1.6% of total installed capacity (2022 est.)

Coal

exports: (2022 est.) less than 1 metric ton

imports: 100 metric tons (2022 est.)

Petroleum

refined petroleum consumption: 46,000 bbl/day (2022 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions

6.868 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2022 est.)

from petroleum and other liquids: 6.868 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2022 est.)

comparison ranking: total emissions 127

Energy consumption per capita

4.476 million Btu/person (2022 est.)

comparison ranking: 172

Communications

Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 307,000 (2022 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 1 (2022 est.)

comparison ranking: total subscriptions 105

Telephones - mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 25.869 million (2022 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 114 (2022 est.)

comparison ranking: total subscriptions 51

Telecommunication systems

general assessment: Mali’s telecom systems are challenged by recent conflict, geography, areas of low population, poverty, security issues, and high illiteracy; telecom infrastructure is barely adequate in urban areas and not available in most of the country with underinvestment in fixed-line networks; high mobile penetration and potential for mobile broadband service; local plans for IXP; dependent on neighboring countries for international bandwidth and access to submarine cables (2022)

domestic: fixed-line subscribership is 1 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular subscribership has increased sharply to 100 per 100 persons (2021)

international: country code - 223; satellite communications center and fiber-optic links to neighboring countries; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (1 Atlantic Ocean, 1 Indian Ocean) (2020)

Broadcast media

national public TV broadcaster; 2 privately owned companies provide subscription services to foreign multi-channel TV packages; national public radio broadcaster supplemented by a large number of privately owned and community broadcast stations; transmissions of multiple international broadcasters are available (2019)

Internet users

total: 7.48 million (2021 est.)

percent of population: 34% (2021 est.)

comparison ranking: total 79

Broadband - fixed subscriptions

total: 243,806 (2020 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 1 (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: total 112

Transportation

National air transport system

number of registered air carriers: 0 (2020)

Airports

30 (2024)

comparison ranking: 120

Heliports

3 (2024)

Railways

total: 593 km (2014)

narrow gauge: 593 km (2014) 1.000-m gauge

comparison ranking: total 109

Roadways

total: 139,107 km (2014)

comparison ranking: total 38

Waterways

1,800 km (2011) (downstream of Koulikoro; low water levels on the River Niger cause problems in dry years; in the months before the rainy season the river is not navigable by commercial vessels)

comparison ranking: 45

Military and Security

Military and security forces

Malian Armed Forces (Forces Armées Maliennes or FAMa): Land Forces (l’Armée de Terre), Air Force (l’Armée de l’Air); National Guard (la Garde Nationale du Mali or GNM); General Directorate of the National Gendarmerie (la Direction Générale de la Gendarmerie Nationale or DGGN) (2024)

note 1: the Gendarmerie and the National Guard are under the authority of the Ministry of Defense and Veterans Affairs (Ministere De La Defense Et Des Anciens Combattants, MDAC), but operational control is shared with the Ministry of Internal Security and Civil Protection which also controls the National Police; the National Police has responsibility for law enforcement and maintenance of order in urban areas and supports the FAMa in internal military operations

note 2: the Gendarmerie's primary mission is internal security and public order; its duties also include territorial defense, humanitarian operations, intelligence gathering, and protecting private property, mainly in rural areas; it also has a specialized border security unit

note 3: the National Guard is a military force responsible for providing security to government facilities and institutions, prison service, public order, humanitarian operations, some border security, and intelligence gathering; its forces include a camel corps for patrolling the deserts and borders of northern Mali

note 4: there are also pro-government militias operating in Mali, such as the Imghad Tuareg Self-Defense Group and Allies (GATIA); the leader of GATIA is also a general in the national army

Military expenditures

3.5% of GDP (2022 est.)
3.5% of GDP (2021 est.)
3.4% of GDP (2020 est.)
3.1% of GDP (2019 est.)
3.1% of GDP (2018 est.)

comparison ranking: 22

Military and security service personnel strengths

information varies; estimated 35-40,000 total active military and paramilitary personnel, including approximately 20-25,000 FAMa (up to 2,000 Air Force), 5-7,000 Gendarmerie, and 10,000 National Guard (2023)

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions

the FAMa's inventory consists primarily of Soviet-era equipment, although in recent years it has received limited quantities of newer armaments from more than a dozen countries, especially China and Russia (2023)

Military service age and obligation

18 years of age for men and women for selective compulsory and voluntary military service; 24-month compulsory service obligation (2023)

Military deployments

note: until announcing its withdrawal in May of 2022, Mali was part of a five-nation anti-jihadist task force known as the G5 Sahel Group, set up in 2014 with Burkina Faso, Chad, Mauritania, and Niger; Mali had committed 1,100 troops and 200 gendarmes to the force

Military - note

the FAMa is responsible for defense of the country’s sovereignty and territory, but also has some domestic security duties, including the maintenance of public order and support to law enforcement if required, as well as counterterrorism and counterinsurgency operations; it also participates in socio-economic development projects; the military has traditionally played a large role in Mali’s politics; prior to the coup in August 2020 and military takeover in May 2021, it had intervened in the political arena at least five times since the country gained independence in 1960 (1968, 1976, 1978, 1991, 2012)

the FAMa and other security forces are actively engaged in operations against several insurgent/terrorist groups affiliated with al-Qa'ida and the Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham (ISIS), as well as other rebel groups, communal militias, and criminal bands spread across the central, northern, and southern regions of the country; the government is reportedly in control of only an estimated 10-20% of the country's central and northern territories, and attacks have increased in the more heavily populated south, including around the capital Bamako; the Macina Liberation Front (FLM), part of the Jama’at Nusrat al Islam wal Muslimin (JNIM) coalition of al-Qa'ida-linked terror groups, has played a large role in a surge in violence in Mali’s central and southern regions; in the north, ISIS in the Greater Sahara (ISIS-GS) has regained strength in recent years

the FAMa and the remainder of the security forces collapsed in 2012 during the fighting against Tuareg rebels and Islamic militants and have since been rebuilt with considerable external assistance, including the EU, France, and the UN; for example, the EU Training Mission in Mali (EUTM) from 2013-2022 trained as many as 15,000 Malian soldiers and eight combined arms battalions/battlegroups (Groupement Tactique InterArmes, GTIA), each of which was structured to be self-sufficient with its own motorized/mechanized infantry, light armor, commandos, artillery, engineers, and other support forces; the EUTM and the French military ended their missions in 2022 citing issues with the ruling military government, including human rights abuses and the presence of Russian private military contractors; the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) operated in the country from 2013-2023 with the mission of providing security, rebuilding Malian security forces, protecting civilians, supporting national political dialogue, and assisting in the reestablishment of Malian government authority; MINUSMA had more than 15,000 personnel at its peak strength and lost over 300 peacekeepers during the course of the mission, which was concluded at the end of 2023 after the ruling junta demanded the withdrawal of foreign forces

the military government has increased security ties with Russia; Russia has provided military equipment, and in December 2021, Mali contracted with a Russian private military company to provide training and other support for local armed forces, as well as security for senior Malian officials (2024)

Terrorism

Terrorist group(s)

Terrorist group(s): Ansar al-Dine; Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham in the Greater Sahara (ISIS-GS); Jama'at Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin (JNIM); al-Mulathamun Battalion (al-Mourabitoun)

note: details about the history, aims, leadership, organization, areas of operation, tactics, targets, weapons, size, and sources of support of the group(s) appear(s) in Appendix-T

Transnational Issues

Refugees and internally displaced persons

refugees (country of origin): 29,138 (Burkina Faso) (refugees and asylum seekers), 20,617 (Niger) (refugees and asylum seekers), 14,956 (Mauritania) (refugees and asylum seekers) (2023)

IDPs: 375,539 (Tuareg rebellion since 2012) (2023)

Illicit drugs

a transit point for illicit drugs trafficked to Europe; trafficking controlled by armed groups, criminal organizations, terrorist groups and government officials that facilitate, protect and profit from the activity