As at: 12/08/2022
Copyright© Ute Grabowsky/photothek.net
Mali A landlocked West African country in crisis
Since 26 May 2021, Assimi Goïta, the military officer who led both coups, has been the new President of a transitional government. He has promised that the country will return to democracy. In response to the coup, the African Union (AU) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have suspended Mali's membership for the time being.
In 2012, the country had been plunged into a severe crisis through a rebellion by separatist Tuareg and ethnic groups in northern Mali. Since that time, several UN missions have been put in place to stabilise Mali and support the country in fighting terrorist organisations.
Together with other international partners and organisations, for example France, the AU and ECOWAS, the German government has been calling on Mali to restore constitutional order as quickly as possible.
The German military is part of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) and of the European Union Training Mission in Mali (EUTM), which is currently mostly suspended. In total, some 1,400 German troops are currently stationed in Mali.
The COVID-19 pandemic represents an additional burden and threat for the country in light of its weak governance system and deficient health system. The Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) is therefore expanding its activities to fight the pandemic and its consequences.
Fragile security situation
A nationwide state of emergency has been put in place. Terrorist attacks are liable to happen anywhere in the country. In the northern and central parts of the country in particular, violent conflict has flared up repeatedly. Moreover, terrorist groups are active in the north-eastern and central parts of Mali and in regions along the borders with Mauritania, Burkina Faso and Côte d'Ivoire.
German development cooperation with Mali
Mali is one of the poorest countries in the world. Germany's development cooperation with Mali focuses on the local level and on projects that lead to direct and significant improvements in people's living conditions.
Germany's activities in Mali currently concentrate on food security and agriculture, drinking water supply, and the establishment of effective decentralised government institutions. All German activities and disbursements are contingent on the implementation of reforms.
Since the coup in August 2020, Germany has been operating its development cooperation programmes without direct cooperation with the transitional government, working instead with private companies, local communities and local partners. The BMZ continuously adapts project implementation to the changing security situation.
The last government negotiations with Mali took place in March 2021, that is, before the second coup. At the time, Germany committed 69 million euros for development cooperation over the following two years. New pledges and projects are on the agenda in 2023 if the political situation continues to improve towards a return to democratic order.
In order to be able to provide continued support to the people of Mali, the BMZ would like to continue the cooperation if possible. The German government will take its decision on future cooperation on the basis of agreement between all relevant German ministries and together with its European partners, taking account of further developments in Mali.