Mali Industry

With the exception of gold mining, the industrial sector plays a secondary role in Mali’s economy. Most industrial companies were previously state-owned, but most of them are now privatized.

Most of the factories are small-scale and are located around the capital Bamako. They are primarily engaged in the processing of agricultural products and other manufacturing for the needs of the domestic market. The most important products are cotton, sugar, rice, tobacco, building materials and beverages. The town of Ségou has textile production.

So far, attempts to attract foreign investment have not been successful. Periods of frequent power outages are a major problem for the industry. The equipment in the factories is often old and inefficient.

  • COUNTRYAAH: List of top trading partners of Mali. Includes countries that imported most shipments from and exported most goods to the country.

The construction industry has expanded in recent years thanks to state-owned infrastructure investments, including new hydropower plants, roads and housing.




French action against feared Islamist group

December 21

Forty jihadists are killed in a French military operation in the Mopti region of central Mali. For the first time, France is using a drone in an attack in Mali. The ground troops are also supported by a fighter aircraft. The area where the operation takes place is controlled by the Islamist group Katiba Macina, formed by radical preacher Amadou Koufa. Two captured Malian military police are freed in the French operation and seizures of weapons, motorcycles and other vehicles are made. The French military says the operation is a severe setback for the feared extremist group Katiba Macina.

CFA franc will be eco 2020

December 21

Eight West African countries using the regional CFA franc agree in Abidjan in Ivory Coast that the currency should be renamed eco. It will continue to be linked to the euro, but the eight countries (Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo) will no longer have to keep 50 percent of their foreign exchange reserves in France, and France should no longer have any representative on the board of the currency union. The change will take effect in 2020. Critics of the CFA fringe see it as a remnant from the colonial era, while its proponents see it as a guarantee of financial stability.

President Touré returns to Mali

December 16th

President Amadou Toumani Touré, popularly known as ATT, returns from exile to Bamako, where he is met at the airport by some 1,000 followers. Touré, who was toppled in the 2012 coup, is well-liked by many Malays but has kept a low profile in exile. His return to Mali is triggering rumors that he will make a political comeback. In 2016, the parliament voted by a large majority to reject a proposal to bring Touré to trial for high treason.


Thirteen French soldiers are killed in a helicopter crash

November 25

France suffers its biggest military loss in a single incident of almost 40 years when 13 French soldiers are killed in a collision between two helicopters. The accident occurs when the helicopters are supposed to support a ground offensive against Islamists in the Liptako region of northern Mali, near the border with Niger and Burkina Faso. France has lost 41 soldiers in Mali since 2013 when French troops began to assist the Malian government forces against the Islamist uprising.

Over 40 dead in battle against Islamists

November 19

A battle between the army and militant Islamists in eastern Mali requires more than 40 government soldiers and 17 Islamists. The fight erupts when the Islamists attack army soldiers who train together with a force from Niger, a country that also has major problems with Islamist insurgency. Around 100 Islamists are arrested and left to the Nigerian force.

Over 50 dead in IS attacks

November 1st

Fifty-three government soldiers are killed in an attack against a military posting in Indelimane in northeast Mali, near the Niger border. According to government sources, this is a terrorist attack. IS later takes on the deed. Ten soldiers must have survived the attack, which is described as one of the largest during the Islamist uprising of recent years.


ISGS takes on the attacks on the military

October 9

The ISGS jihadist group, with links to al-Qaeda, is taking on the attacks on two military missions in the middle of the country (see September 2019). According to Mali’s military, at least 40 soldiers were killed in the attack and many are still missing. ISGS claims in its announcement that 85 government soldiers have been killed, a task that Mali’s defense ministry dismisses as propaganda.


About 40 dead in attack against the army

September 30th

Thirty-eight government soldiers are killed and about 50 disappear when two military posts in central Mali are attacked by militant Islamists. The attackers carry large quantities of weapons when they leave the premises. A military offensive in collaboration with Burkina Faso’s army and French support troops launches against the jihadists immediately after the attack.

New regional fund against terrorism

September 14

West African leaders agree to jointly invest $ 1 billion over the period 2020-2024 to combat violence from militant Islamist groups in the region. The decision is made at a meeting in Burkina Faso’s capital Ouagadougou. Attending the meeting are political leaders from the 15 countries that are part of the West African cooperation organization Ecowas as well as the Mauritanian and Chad presidents. The money should be invested in a common fund. How they are to be distributed will be presented at a forthcoming summit in December. Ecowa’s leader Jean-Claude Kassi Brou says that jihadists has carried out 2,200 attacks since 2015, which claimed a total of about 11,500 casualties and driven hundreds of thousands of people to flight. He calls on the UN to strengthen its peacekeeping force, Minusma, which has been stationed in Mali since 2013. There is also a special force, the G5 Sahel, which Burkina Faso, Mali, Chad, Niger and Mauritania, launched together with France in 2017. But it suffers from a great lack of resources, and the force so far only consists of 4,000 soldiers instead of 5,000 as planned.


The UN extends the sanctions

August 29th

The UN Security Council extends the sanctions for a further year against a number of people in Mali who violate the peace agreement of 2015. The sanctions were introduced for the first time in 2017 and mainly consist of travel bans directed at individuals.

More and more children are dying of violence

August 14th

During the first half of 2019, more than 150 children were killed in violent acts in Mali, the UN Children’s Fund reports Unicef. This is more than twice as many children as in the whole of 2018. According to Unicef, the reason for the sharp increase is the growing ethnic conflicts within the country.

The security situation is deteriorating

August 6th

A government soldier and two civilians are killed when two army trucks drive on a mine in the Koro area near the Burkina Faso border. A military police officer is killed in a raid east of Bamako. On the same day, the International Red Cross Committee announces that the aid organization is suspending its operations in Timbuktu due to the deteriorating security situation.

Arm rest between fulani and dogan

5 August

A dozen armed groups of Fulani and Dogan attacking each other in the Mopti and Segou regions in central Mali have entered into a ceasefire in connection with a visit by Prime Minister Boubou Cissé. It announces official sources. The fighting between the groups has cost hundreds of people their lives.


The ethnic violence spiral continues

June 10th

Thirty-five people belonging to the dogon people have been massacred when their village in Koundou in central Mali was ravaged and burned by unknown perpetrators, authorities say. It could be a revenge from the Fulani warriors that nearly 160 Fulani were killed by the dogon almost three months ago. Many houses have been burned down and cattle have been killed. The wave of violence started in 2015 when a Fulani-dominated jihadist group led by the minister Amadou Koufa was formed and ended up in conflict with mainly dogon and bamboo. The group was in 2017 in the al-Qaeda- affiliated Group in support of Islam and Muslims (GSIM), whose leader is called Iyad Ag Ghaly. The jihadists have spewed on old ethnic conflicts in the area. In mid-May, the UN Mission Minusma reported that at least 488 people have been killed in attacks against fulani in the Mopti and Segou regions in central Mali since January 2018, while fulani has killed 63 civilians during the same period.


New broad government takes office

May 5th

Prime Minister Boubou Cissé forms a new government after negotiating an agreement between parts of the opposition, certain rebel groups and parliamentary majority parties. The agreement lays the foundation for the formation of a new broad government, whose main task is to end the violence in the country. The opposition party URD, led by Soumaila Cissé, refuses to enter into the agreement. Cissé lost the 2018 presidential election in the second round and claims that electoral fraud occurred. Prime Minister Boubou Cissé also retains the post of finance minister.


The government is replaced

April 22

Prime Minister Maïga and his government will resign on April 18, after receiving a declaration of no confidence in them. The reason for the vote in Parliament is widespread criticism of the government for failing to curb ethnic violence in central Mali and for not doing enough after the massacre of around 160 people in Mopti (see March 2019). Finance Minister Boubou Cissé is named new head of government and given President Keita the task of forming a “broad government” whose main task will be to curb violence. Ethnic violence has claimed around 600 people’s lives since March 2018, according to the UN. On April 5, tens of thousands of people demonstrated in Bamako demanding a stop to the violence.


New massacres on fulani

March 22

At least 160 Fulanis, including many women and children, are killed in a massacre targeting a village in central Mali, the UN reports. Survivors say the attack was carried out by members of the hunting dogon. According to a security source, the victims were killed with machete or with rifles. According to eyewitnesses, almost all housing in the village is burned down by the perpetrators. Prime Minister Maïga dismisses several senior military leaders as a result of the massacre. The militia suspected to be behind the deed is being dissolved by Maiga.


Hundreds of weapons have been handed in

January 31

When the government deadline for disarmament, demobilization and reintegration, starting in December 2018, expires, about 5,000 rebels have reported gun ownership. About 600 weapons have been handed in.

UN soldiers killed in the north

January 19

Ten Chad peacekeeping UN soldiers are killed when their base in Aguelhok outside Kidal in northern Mali is attacked by unknown perpetrators. The UN Mission Minusma reports to media that “a number of perpetrators” were killed when the UN soldiers responded to the attack.

New massacre in Mopti

January 1st

Thirty-seven villagers in the Mopti region of central Mali are killed in a massacre on New Year’s Day. The event is being investigated by UN experts. According to testimonies, these are traditional hunters from the dogon group that have attacked the village of Koulogon populated by livestock-rearing fulani. According to the UN, women and children have also been killed. In recent times, violence has erupted on several occasions between the two ethnic groups. The dogon accuses Fulani of allowing the livestock to graze on land that, of course, belongs to the dogon. The conflict concerns access to water and grazing for the animals. There are also violent Islamist groups in the region. Around 500 people were killed in violent acts in the region in 2018.

Mali Industry

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