Country FilesWestCountry Profile 2014: MALI

Wed,22Nov2017

Posted on Sunday, 09 February 2014 13:51

Country Profile 2014: MALI

IBK faces the mountain

President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta’s landslide victory in August 2013 has yet to make the earth move for diplomats, investors and ordinary Malians. While the holding of a peaceful election opened up aid channels, any prospect of meaningful development spending in the north will be hampered by security concerns and a lack of real effort to address the causes of separatism, smuggling and religious extremism.

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

> TOP MALIAN COMPANIES

TOP MALIAN BANKS

 

ar-infographie-mali-2014IBK faces the mountain

The government will hold talks on decentralisation and reconciliation

Economic growth will depend on how quickly donors disburse their aid

President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta’s landslide victory in August 2013 has yet to make the earth move for diplomats, investors and ordinary Malians. While the holding of a peaceful election opened up aid channels, any prospect of meaningful development spending in the north will be hampered by security concerns and a lack of real effort to address the causes of separatism, smuggling and religious extremism.

Keïta’s Rassemblement pour le Mali was not expected to gain a majority of parliamentary seats or city councils in the 25 November and 15 December legislative and local elections. Opposition parties said that the deadline for elections was too short and did not allow time for improvements to the electoral register. Post-election deals with like-minded parties were likely to secure a cooperative alliance for Keïta’s 34-member cabinet.

In fact, power is not what Keïta lacks. What he needs is room for manoeuvre. Keïta’s second-round score of 77.6% was not down to his promise to create 500,000 jobs. It was the result of the largely illiterate population taking heed of voting instructions relayed through every public meeting place and prayer room in the land.

STATE BUILDING

The government launched a forum on decentralisation in October. Neither the army nor Mali’s influential Muslim clerics want to give an inch to Tuareg separatists or the smugglers of the north and their occasional Islamist allies.

France, which intervened in January 2013 to oust the Islamists who took control of northern Mali, revise its timetable for withdrawal. Operation Serval saw out 2013 with more than 3,000 troops, against a projected 1,000. Not only has rooting out terrorists and clearing arms caches proved a herculean task, the United Nations force is still 6,000 soldiers short of its target of 12,200. The killing of two French journalists has raised fears of reprisals. It has also become clear that the European Union Training Mission in Mali will not be able to achieve miracles with an army in which the biggest problems include a bloated payroll and a surfeit of top brass.

The coming year is likely to be dominated by more or less since reefforts by the Keïta government to talk peace with the Mouvement National de Libération de l’Azawad (MNLA), the Haut Conseil pour l’Unité de l’Azawad and other separatist groups. A national conference will be held as a prelude to talks on decentralisation, dialogue and reconciliation.

But little in the way of a lasting solution will be found unless the security sector is reformed – a move that could make it safe for Tuaregs in refugee camps in Niger, Burkina Faso and Mauritania to return. As things stand, the north – apart from the town of Kidal–has been depopulated of Tuaregs and Arabs who are accused by the black majority of collaborating with Islamists, smugglers and separatists. At the same time, the MNLA seems in no hurry for those in refugee camps to return because it might lose its influence over them outside of the camps.

WAIT-AND-SEE ECONOMY

A European Union donor conference in May 2013 raised pledges of $4.4bn. There are many social and economic challenges to be addressed. For investors Mali remains as uncertain a destination as ever. The economy contracted in 2012. A revival of tourism looks a distant prospect. The advantage for investors is that both gold and cotton are concentrated in the south, which has remained safe. But after a government decision in September 2013 to review all mining contracts, companies such as Randgold and AngloGold Ashanti are adopting await-and-see approach.

The Chambre des Mines du Mali and the Swiss Bullion Company plan to complete the construction of their gold refinery in 2014. However, the government says that it wants to encourage more exploration for oil and other minerals because many of the large gold mines will be exhausted in a decade, according to official statistics.

Kick starting growth also depends on electricity and water supplies, both currently lacking. In 2013, Energie du Mali was producing about 120MW and national demand was 200MW, leading to regular blackouts. The political crisis delayed the construction of several dams to generate electricity and irrigate land.

TOP MALIAN COMPANIES

Rank 2012Rank 2011CompanySectorCountryTurnover (Thds $)Turnover changeNet profits
322320ORANGE MALITELECOMSMALI385,5164.56%119,627
334325SOCIT DES MINES DE LOULO*MININGMALI363,717NA86,578
338334SOC. DEXPL. DES MINES DOR DE SADIOLA*MININGMALI349,288NA0
395384SOCIT DES MINES DE MORILA*MININGMALI293,567NA74,557
471-SOC. DES TLCOMMUNICATIONS DU MALITELECOMSMALI223,92829.25%48,993
 

 

TOP MALIAN BANKS

Rank 2012Rank 2011Bank nameCountryTotal assetsNet interest incomeLoansDeposits
4457GROUPE BANK OF AFRICAMALI4,899,379333,6642,371,9183,675,173
154141BANQUE DE DVELOPPEMENT DU MALIMALI811,14446,206397,495683,166
189179ECOBANK MALI*MALI531,63841,682232,016387,074
 


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