Political situation Many challenges for the government

Since the dictator Moussa Traoré was overthrown in 1991, the country has seen major changes. Democratic structures have been developed and a programme to promote decentralisation has been initiated. Until 2012, however, progress in implementing many of the reforms was fairly slow.

Girls in Tienfala, Mali

Girls in Tienfala, Mali

Girls in Tienfala, Mali

After the crisis in 2012, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita was elected as the new President of Mali in 2013, with a large majority. Keita's election raised high expectations among the people. However, since then, the security situation in Mali has deteriorated significantly again.

The security situation in the north of the country remains very tense, despite the thousands of international troops deployed there. Islamist groups continue to be active in the region. In the South of the country, too, and in the capital of Bamako terrorist attacks cannot be ruled out either. Criminals and terrorist groups finance their activities mainly through illegal trade in drugs and weapons, and through human trafficking. Its geographical position has made Mali a transit country for human trafficking and for refugees who cross Mali on their journey from West Africa to North Africa.

In the 2018 presidential elections, the incumbent President Keita was successful in beating the opposition leader Soumaïla Cissé in a run-off election.

Development goals

In July 2016, the government presented a development strategy for the period from 2016 to 2018 (Cadre stratégique pour la relance économique et le développement durable, CREDD). The document sets out goals for the fields of peace and security, economic stability, inclusive and sustainable growth, social development and good governance. It is intended to serve as guidance for Mali's efforts to achieve the global Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda.


The political crisis in 2012 forced hundreds of thousands of people to flee to other parts of Mali or leave the country altogether. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Malian government, there were more than 130,000 refugees and more than 100,000 internally displaced persons in Mali at the end of 2018.


Corruption continues to be a tremendous challenge in Mali. In the latest Corruption Perceptions Index compiled by Transparency International, Mali ranks 120th out of the 180 countries listed. Mali's judicial system is poorly equipped and must compete with traditional legal systems.

Human rights

Human rights are enshrined in Mali's constitution and are largely respected by the government. During the political crisis in 2012, however, massive human rights violations occurred, especially in the northern provinces. At the request of the Malian government, the International Criminal Court is carrying out preliminary investigations into possible violations of international law.

Female genital mutilation is still practised in Mali and many of the country's women and girls are affected. The country has in fact signed international conventions against female genital mutilation. However, although a law to abolish this cruel practice has been announced several times, it has not been adopted yet.