• September 7, 2016

Mali, formally the Republic of Mali, is a landlocked country in West Africa. Mali shares a border with Niger on the east, Burkina Faso and the Côte d’Ivoire on the south, Guinea to the south-west, Senegal and Mauritania to the west, and Algeria to the north.

Its population is over 14 million and the country’s size is 1,240,000 sq. km. Bamako is the capital. Mali entails of eight regions and its borders on the north reach deep into the middle of the Sahara, while the country’s southern part, where the mainstream of inhabitants live, features the Niger and Senegal rivers.

Mali was once part of three West African empires that controlled trans-Saharan trade: the Ghana Empire, the Mali Empire (for which Mali is named), and the Songhai Empire. During its golden age, there was a prosperous of mathematics, astronomy, literature, and art.


The huge mainstream of Malians are active in farming, herding, or fishing. Cotton and peanuts are the country’s only noteworthy cash crops, with millet, rice, corn, sorghum, and vegetables being the foremost food crops.

Mali’s industries are mostly limited to the processing of farm commodities, construction, and the manufacture of basic consumer goods. Gold, phosphate, kaolin, salt, limestone, and uranium are mined, and the country has wide unexploited mineral resources, counting bauxite, iron ore, manganese, tin, and copper. Remittances from Malians working abroad are also an imperative source of income. The Manantali Dam on the Bafing River (a Senegal tributary) produces hydroelectric power.

Gold and cotton account for the bulk of Mali’s export revenues; livestock and fish are also exported. The main imports are petroleum, machinery and equipment, construction materials, food, and textiles. Mali’s chief trading partners are China, France, Senegal, and Thailand.

Mali Economic Structure by Sector

Primary Sector: Agriculture, livestock and fishery signify 32.9% of Mali’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Nevertheless, agricultural activities employ almost 70% of the nation’s labor force. The  country harvests millet, sorghum, cotton, corn, rice, livestock, sugar, groundnuts (peanuts) and tobacco.

Secondary Sector: Industry signifies 21.3% of the country’s GDP. Mali is involved in food processing, textiles, cigarettes, fish processing, metalworking, light manufacturing, plastics and beverage bottling. Mining is a mounting industry and gold represents almost 80% of Mali’s mining activity. In fact, in 2002, gold concisely overhauled cotton and livestock as the country’s number one export.

Tertiary Sector: Services embody 45.8% of Mali’s GDP. Telecommunications and construction are the main verticals. Mali is yet to discover tourism as a potential growth booster. Mali can tap on its varied landscapes (from desert to river banks), national parks, archeological sites and ancient cities to propel this segment.

INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES: Mali is very amusing in investment opportunities, some of which have yet to be discovered. The flow of Foreign Direct Investment has been increasing steadily over the last years.


It is the footing of the economy and therefore remains a primacy sector. It remains the chief source of income for over 80% of the population Mali.

The land available, particularly proper to agriculture, livestock and forestry, occupy nearly 46 million hectares. Of a total of roughly 12 million hectares of cropland, only 3.5 million hectares are presently being exploited. The potential of irrigable land is projected to be more than 2 million hectares, more than half of which can be gravity-driven.

The cotton industry signifies nearly 15% of GDP. Mali is the largest cotton producer and exporter in West Africa. Nevertheless, less than 1% of cotton production is managed locally.


Mali owns the most significant livestock population in West Africa. Stockbreeding plays a crucial role in Mali’s economy. It accounts for 10.8 % of GDP and represents the third largest export. There is a high demand for Malian cattle and meat.


Mali has one the most plentiful fisheries in the Sahel with a potential of more than 200.000 tons. Thanks to the rivers Niger and Senegal, Mali provides 40% of the fresh water fish production in West Africa. The two major fishing zones are: the Lake zones (Selingue and Manantali) and the flooded zones (Central Niger Delta). About 80% of the catches are processed on a small scale by producers into smoked, dried and burned fish.


This sector reports for a noteworthy part of the national economy, representing 12% of GDP. Without being an ELDORADO, Mali was always seen as a country gifted with a genuine mining potential. This was verified by a large number of historical references as well as recognized artisan mining activity, which is still being carried out.

Gold represents Mali’s primary export and the country is the third-biggest gold producer after South Africa and Ghana. Mali’s commercial mines have produced over 10 Moz of gold since 1990, and their measured and designated resources total approximately 25 Moz. There are currently seven active commercial mining operations in Mali: Sadiola, Yatela, Morila, Syama, Loulo, Tabakoto and kalana.

Oil &Gas:

A good potential for oil and gas has been confirmed by:

Presence of possible reservoirs characterized by Ordovician sommital sandstones, Devonian and Ordovician basal sandstones. Upper infracambrian quartz tic and fractured lime stones and Cambrian and upper infracambrian quartz tic sandstones;

Discovery of favorable structures: Marhed in the compression zone against the threshold of Foum El Alba; Bouera, a horst with E-W direction; and Yarba, a normal anticline without reserve faulting, with an area of 180 km2 and a vertical closing of 200 to 300 m.

Existence of several structural and stratigraphic traps in the Upper Ordovician formations.


Mali has a significant potential in energy resources. Liberalized energy sector offers opportunities. The Government has been implemented a vast program of rural electrification.

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