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Mali is a vast Sahelian country with a low-income economy that is poorly diversified and exposed to fluctuations in commodity prices. Its high population growth (fertility rate of 5.88 children per woman in 20181) and climate change threaten agriculture and food security.

The rate of extreme poverty has accelerated under the combined impact of the security crises and the pandemic, reaching 15.9% in 2021. Extreme poverty is set to increase further, reaching 19.1% in 2022, driven by the erosion of the purchasing power of the most vulnerable as a result of soaring consumer prices and weak economic growth. The country's 90% poverty rate is concentrated in the densely populated rural areas of the south.

Political situation

Mali has been going through a period of instability and conflict since the military coup of 2012 and the occupation of the northern regions by armed groups.

Following the institutional breakdown on August 18, 2020, a government and a National Transitional Council (CNT), acting as the National Assembly, were set up pending democratic elections. Colonel Assimi Goïta was proclaimed Head of State on May 28, 2021 by the Constitutional Court.

Meeting on July 3, 2022 at an ordinary summit in Accra, the ECOWAS Heads of State decided to lift the economic and financial sanctions imposed on Mali, and accepted the timetable proposed by the transitional government for a return to civilian rule in March 2024. However, the Summit prohibited the transitional authorities from participating in future elections and maintained individual sanctions targeting certain members of the regime.

This timetable provided for the presidential election to be held in February 2024 and the installation of the President-elect in March 2024. However, on September 25, 2023, the government cited technical reasons for postponing the presidential election indefinitely. It also announced that the presidential election remained its sole priority. Only the constitutional referendum was held on June 18, 2023. The new constitution was approved by 97% and promulgated by the President of the Transition.

Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger have announced their withdrawal from ECOWAS on Sunday January 27, 2024, citing the sub-regional organization's departure from the integration ideals of its founding fathers.

On January 25, 2024, transitional president Assimi Goïta created an inter-Malian dialogue body to achieve peace, after formalizing the end of the Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation in Mali, resulting from the Algiers process, concluded in 2015 with armed groups.

After ten years of existence, the Security Council decided, at the request of the Malian government, to end the mandate of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), which completed its mission and the withdrawal of its personnel on December 31, 2023.

Economic situation

The economy proved resilient in 2022, with GDP growth estimated at 3.5%, despite the combined effects of ECOWAS sanctions and the consequences of the war in Ukraine, reflecting the rebound in cereal production and the resilience of the mining sector. Growth should stabilize at around 3.5% in 2023, due to a slight downturn in agricultural cereal production and the repercussions of an acute electricity supply shock on the productive fabric.

The sharp deterioration in terms of trade in 2022 eased in 2023, reflecting a fall in oil prices, against a backdrop of rising gold prices. This was moderated, however, by a decline in cotton exports following a weak season in 2022, and a recovery in import flows following the lifting of ECOWAS sanctions. These developments led to the stabilization of the current account deficit at 6.8% of GDP in 2023, while the decline in external financial flows became more pronounced in 2023.

Budget spending, which had been accelerating since 2020 in response to the multiple shocks, continued to rise in 2023, driven in particular by the wage bill and security spending. At the same time, tax revenues rebounded in 2023 with the resumption of trade flows following the lifting of ECOWAS sanctions, and lower inflationary pressures and fiscal spending requirements, leading to a stabilization of the fiscal deficit at 4.8% of GDP.

Following the lifting of sanctions announced by ECOWAS, short-term priorities include preserving the benefits of regional integration through the implementation of bilateral agreements on the free movement of goods, services, people and capital with non-WAEMU ECOWAS countries, while pursuing reforms to improve public expenditure management and tax administration performance.

(1) Data for World Bank – World Development Indicators 2018

Last Updated: Mar 19, 2024

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Mali: Commitments by Fiscal Year (in millions of dollars)*

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Country Office Contacts

Main Office Contact
Bureau de la Banque mondiale au Mali
B.P. 1864
Immeuble Waly Diawara
Avenue du Mali
Hamdallaye ACI 2000
Bamako, Mali
+223 20 70 22 00
For general information and inquiries
Edmond Dingamhoudou
External Affairs Officer
+223 20 70 22 06
For project-related issues and complaints