Conflict-affected Mali is one of the world's
poorest countries. The unrest in the country is
exacerbating the economic situation. Foreign aid covers
about one third of government spending. An important
contribution to Mali's economy is also money sent home
by the millions of Malaysians working abroad.
At least two-thirds of the inhabitants are considered
poor. According to the World Bank, almost half of the
population lived in extreme poverty in 2017. The vast
majority of males live outside the formal economy, from
cultivation for their own use or from livestock
management. The country's industry is undeveloped.
Major imports by Mali, covering a full list of top products imported by the country and trade value for each product category.
Gold, cotton and livestock account for a large part
of export income, which makes the economy vulnerable to
both world market prices and weather fluctuations. A
strong need for oil and food imports also makes the
country sensitive to price changes on the world market.
Growth without development
Prior to the 2012 military coup, Mali's economy had
improved significantly over a couple of decades. The
reasons for the rise were mainly increased political
stability, liberalization of the economy and sharply
increased exports of cotton and gold.
Abbreviationfinder.org: Check this abbreviation website to find three letter ISO codes for all countries in the world, including MLI which represents the country of Mali.
After the 2012 military coup and the Islamists'
advances, a large part of the formal economy stopped,
and foreign aid was temporarily frozen. Already from
2013, a recovery took place as aid was resumed and the
IMF entered into loans. GDP growth was relatively good
over the next five years, but the level of development
has remained low as the population is also growing
Corruption and bad governance led to the IMF and the
EU suspending payments of budget support in June 2014.
President Ke´ta subsequently concluded an agreement with
China on, among other things, major investments in
infrastructure. A peace agreement in 2015 did not
provide the political stability and economic development
that the government and lenders had hoped for. In 2019,
3.2 million Malaysians were in need of humanitarian aid,
of which 70 percent were in the conflict-affected middle
part of the country, and at least 120,000 residents were
Foreign aid accounts for about a tenth of GDP and
virtually all government investment is paid for through
aid. The EU and France are important donors. In addition
to the armed conflict, poorly developed infrastructure,
high risk of drought and a large dependence on imports
are the major obstacles to economic development.
Deficit in the trade balance
Traditionally, Mali has had large deficits in trade
with foreign countries, but with increased gold exports,
the country for the first time in 1997 made a surplus in
the trade balance. Subsequently, small trade deficits
are usually noted in the trade balance, while a few
years have shown surpluses thanks to high gold prices.
The total current account balance, which also
includes trade in services and financial flows, has had
constant deficits. This is partly due to high transport
costs to ports in neighboring countries. Assistance and
repatriated money (from remittances) from malays abroad
to some extent offset the current account balance.
Mali was one of 44 African states that in March 2018
signed a new free trade agreement, AFCFTA. The agreement
must be ratified at national level before it can take
effect, but is seen by many as an important step towards
increased trade exchange within Africa.
FACTS - FINANCE
GDP per person
US $ 901 (2018)
US $ 17,197 million (2018)
4.9 percent (2018)
Agriculture's share of GDP
38.5 percent (2018)
Manufacturing industry's share of GDP
12.6 percent (2016) 1
The service sector's share of GDP
37.5 percent (2018)
0.2 percent (2019)
Government debt's share of GDP
37.3 percent (2018)
US $ 4 368 million (2017)
West African CFA Franc
US $ 2,896 million (2017)
US $ 3,600 million (2017)
- US $ 1,210 million (2017)
Commodity trade's share of GDP
46 percent (2018)
Main export goods
gold, cotton, livestock
Largest trading partner
Senegal, South Africa, China,
Switzerland-Liechtenstein, France (2016)
1st Source: Europa World Plus
Military posting attacked
At least 20 people are killed and several others are taken hostage when
Tuaregians again attack a post in the north.
Army posting is being attacked
Dozens of government soldiers are killed and nearly 20 soldiers are removed
when Tuareg rebels attack an army post in the Northeast. Nearly 20 rebels are
also reported to have been killed in the attack.
The ceasefire is broken
The ceasefire agreement is broken and new firefights are fought. The
Tuaregrebels attack army sites about 50 miles southwest of Timbuktu, kill a
number of soldiers and steal weapons.
Agreement on cease-fire in the north
Libyan mediators cause the parties to agree on a cease-fire. The Tuaregs
promise to release 33 government soldiers held hostage since August 2007. Libya
promises development aid to northern Mali.
New battles in the north
Tuaregrebeller is said to have captured about 20 soldiers in connection with
fighting against government forces.
Rebels are accused of child abuse
The UN agency Unicef says it has evidence that the rebels in the north are
forcibly recruiting boys and that girls are being sexually abused. About 300,000
children have gone without schooling in the troubled areas.