Présentation du Mali
Présentation du pays
Nom officiel : République du Mali
Nature du régime : République
Chef de l’Etat : M. Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta
Superficie : 1 241 231 km²
Capitale : Bamako (1 810 366 habitants)
Villes principales : Sikasso, Koutiala, Ségou, Kayes, Mopti, Gao
Langue officielle : français
Langues courantes : mandingue (bambara, malinké, dioula), tamasheq, poular, senoufo, bobo, songhaï
Monnaie : Franc CFA
Fête nationale : 22 septembre (indépendance, en 1960)
Population : 17 994 837d’habitants (Banque mondiale, 2016)
Croissance démographique annuelle : 3% (Banque mondiale, 2016)
Espérance de vie : 57,5 ans (à la naissance, Banque mondiale, 2015)
Taux d’alphabétisation des personnes de 15 ans et plus : 33,4% (UNICEF, 2012)
Religions : Islam 94,8%, christianisme 2,4%, animisme 2% (recensement de 2009)
Indice de développement humain : 175ème sur 188 pays (PNUD, 2016)
PIB : 13,767 milliards de dollars US (Banque mondiale 2016)
RNB par habitant : 770 dollars US (Banque mondiale, 2016)
Taux de croissance : 5,4% (Banque africaine de développement, 2017)
Taux d’inflation : 1,5 % (Banque mondiale, 2016)
Principaux clients : Chine, Inde, Indonésie, Bangladesh (GTA-GTIS, 2015)
Principaux fournisseurs : France, Sénégal, Côte d’Ivoire, Chine (GTA-GTIS, 2015)
Part des principaux secteurs d’activités dans le PIB :
- agriculture : 38,5%
- industrie : 24,4%
- services : 37%
Exportations de la France vers le Mali (2016) : 367 millions d’euros
Importations françaises depuis le Mali (2016) : 11 millions d’euros
(Direction générale des douanes et droits indirects)
- Politique intérieure
À l’issue de l’élection présidentielle de 2013, Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, candidat du Rassemblement pour le Mali (RPM), est élu président de la République. Les élections législatives ont placé le RPM en tête avec 70 députés sur 147. Il est suivi de l’ADEMA, principal parti du Mali depuis les années 1990, qui rejoint la majorité présidentielle, et de l’Union pour la République et la Démocratie (URD). Le groupe Vigilance démocratique et républicaine se constitue comme principal groupe d’opposition à l’assemblée. Il regroupe 22 députés, dont 17 de l’URD avec à sa tête Soumaïla Cissé, adversaire du président Keita au second tour la présidentielle.
La crise découlant de la prise du contrôle du Nord du pays par des groupes indépendantistes et terroristes de 2012 à 2013 et du coup d’Etat de mars 2012 a suscité une mobilisation importante des partenaires internationaux du Mali. L’organisation d’élections (présidentielle et législatives en 2013, municipales en 2016) et la signature de l’accord d’Alger en 2015 ont constitué des avancées positives. Cependant, des difficultés persistent dans la mise en œuvre de l’accord, sur fond d’instabilité gouvernementale (cinq Premiers ministres depuis 2013) et d’insatisfaction sociale (manifestations et grèves catégorielles).
La présence des forces internationales au Nord assure une relative stabilité mais les groupes terroristes adaptent leur mode d’action. Ils ciblent les forces armées maliennes ainsi que la MINUSMA (ONU) et la force Barkhane (France). Des groupes terroristes cherchent à profiter de l’instabilité pour s’installer durablement dans le centre du Mali, notamment près de la frontière avec le Niger et le Burkina Faso. Ils s’y attaquent aux symboles et aux représentants de l’Etat.
- Situation économique
Les performances en matière de croissance sont bonnes (+5,3% prévue en 2017 après +5,4% en 2016 et +6% en 2015) mais restent soumises à d’importants risques, notamment les aléas climatiques et sécuritaires et la variation des cours des matières premières. En l’absence de réformes de fond, les obstacles à une croissance durable restent nombreux (croissance démographique, absence de diversification, secteur manufacturier et investissement privé confidentiels, manque d’infrastructures, secteur de l’énergie défaillant). L‘économie malienne reste également très dépendante du secteur minier et des résultats des campagnes agricoles. Le secteur manufacturier est très peu développé et le pays connait une forte croissance démographique que le marché de l’emploi peine à absorber.
- Politique étrangère
Entouré de sept voisins, le Mali a développé une diplomatie favorisant l’intégration régionale et continentale. Membre fondateur de l’Union économique et monétaire ouest-africaine (UEMOA) et de la Communauté économique des États de l’Afrique de l’Ouest (CEDEAO), il a été le premier pays à ratifier l‘Acte constitutif de l’Union africaine en 2000. Il est également membre du comité de mise en œuvre du Nouveau partenariat pour le développement de l’Afrique (NEPAD), de la Communauté des Etats sahélo-sahariens (CEN-SAD) et du G5 Sahel. Le Mali est un membre actif de la Francophonie, qu’il considère comme un instrument important de sa diplomatie.
Des personnalités maliennes de premier plan ont exercé, ou exercent, un rôle important à la tête d’organisations clés : l’ancien chef de l’État Konaré à la présidence de la Commission de l’Union africaine (2003-2008), Soumaïla Cissé à la tête de la Commission de l’UEMOA (2004-2011), Michel Sidibé comme directeur exécutif d’ONUSIDA (depuis 2008), Adama Ouane comme administrateur de l’Organisation internationale de la Francophonie (nommé en 2015) et Modibo Ibrahima Touré comme Représentant spécial et Chef du bureau intégré des Nations Unies en Guinée-Bissao (nommé en mai 2016).
Depuis le milieu des années 2000, les questions de la stabilisation du pays et de sécurité, telles que les trafics et le terrorisme, sont un enjeu majeur dans les relations entre le Mali et ses voisins. En février 2014, les chefs d’État du Mali, du Niger, de la Mauritanie, du Burkina Faso et du Niger ont ainsi créé le G5 Sahel, organisation internationale visant à favoriser la coordination entre ces pays sur les questions de sécurité et de développement. En 2017, le G5 Sahel s’est doté d’une force conjointe transfrontalière dont le mandat est la lutte contre le terrorisme, le crime organisé transfrontalier et le trafic d’êtres humains.
Depuis son élection, le président Keïta effectue de nombreux déplacements à l’étranger, notamment à New York à l’occasion des Assemblées générales des Nations unies. Il se rend régulièrement en Europe et dans les pays de la zone saharo-sahélienne. Il est venu plusieurs fois en France depuis son investiture.
Mali country profile
Once home to several pre-colonial empires, the landlocked, arid West African country of Mali is one of the largest on the continent. For centuries, its northern city of Timbuktu was a key regional trading post and centre of Islamic culture. But this prominence has long since faded.
After independence from France in 1960, Mali suffered droughts, rebellions, a coup and 23 years of military dictatorship until democratic elections in 1992. In 2013, France intervened militarily upon the government’s request following the capture of the town of Konna and its troops overran Islamist strongholds.
Authorities agreed a United Nations-sponsored ceasefire with Tuareg separatists in 2015, but parts of the country remain tense, with Tuareg rebels sporadically active. Meanwhile, a jihadist insurgency in Mali’s north and central regions continues, with al-Qaeda-linked militants carrying out attacks. Mali is renowned worldwide for having produced some of the stars of African music, most notably Salif Keita.
Republic of Mali
- Population 14.8 million
- Area 1.25 million sq km (482,077 sq miles)
- Major languages French, Bambara, Berber, Arabic
- Religions Islam, indigenous beliefs
- Life expectancy 51 years (men), 53 years (women)
- Currency CFA (Communaute Financiere Africaine) franc
UN, World Bank
President: Ibrahim Boubacar Keita
Ibrahim Boubacar Keita took office in September 2013, promising to help unify the country after a rebellion, a coup and an Islamic insurgency. He won the first election held since mutinous soldiers overthrew long-time President Amadou Toumani Toure early in 2012. The son of a civil servant, Keita was born in 1945 in the southern industrial city of Koutiala, the declining heartland of cotton production in the country. He served as prime minister from 1994 to 2000 and as Speaker of the National Assembly from 2002 to 2007.
Mali’s broadcast and print media were long hailed as being among the freest in Africa. But the media were dealt a blow by the 2012 military coup and an insurgency in the north. Radio is the top medium. There are hundreds of stations, run by the state as well as by private and community operators.
Mali profile – Timeline
A chronology of key events
11th century – Empire of Mali becomes dominant force in the upper Niger basin, its period of greatness beginning under King Sundiata in 1235 and peaking under Mansa Musa who ruled between 1312 and 1337 and extended empire to the Atlantic.
14th-15th centuries – Decline of the Empire of Mali, which loses dominance of the gold trade to the Songhai Empire, which makes its base in Timbuktu – historically important as a focal point of Islamic culture and a trading post on the trans-Saharan caravan route.
Late 16th century – Moroccans defeat the Songhai, make Timbuktu their capital and rule until their decline in the 18th century.
19th century – French colonial advance, and Islamic religious wars which lead to creation of theocratic states.
1898 – France completes conquest of Mali, then called French Sudan.
1959 – Mali and Senegal form the Mali Federation, which splits a year later.
1960 – Mali becomes independent with Modibo Keita as president. It becomes a one-party, socialist state and withdraws from the Franc zone.
1968 – Keita ousted in coup led by Lieutenant Moussa Traore.
1977 – Protests erupt following Keita’s death in prison.
1979 – New constitution provides for elections; Traore re-elected president.
1985 – Mali and Burkina Faso engage in border fighting.
1991 – Traore deposed in coup and replaced by transitional committee.
1992 – Alpha Konare wins multiparty elections to become Mali’s first democratically-elected president.
1995 – Peace agreement with Tuareg tribes leads to return of thousands of refugees.
1999 – Former President Moussa Traore sentenced to death on corruption charges, but has his sentence commuted to life imprisonment by President Konare.
1999 October – Several people killed in fighting in the north between members of the Kunta tribe and an Arab community over local disputes.
2000 February – Konare appoints former International Monetary Fund official Mande Sidibe prime minister.
2001 December – Manantali dam in southwest produces its first megawatt of hydro-electricity, 13 years after it was completed.
2002 April – Amadou Toumani Toure elected president by landslide. Poll is marred by allegations of fraud.
2002 September – France says it will cancel 40% of debts owed to it by Mali, amounting to some 80m euros ($79m, £51m).
2002 October – Government resigns, without public explanation. New “government of national unity” is unveiled.
2003 August – Clashes between rival Muslim groups in west kill at least 10 people.
2004 April – Prime Minister Mohamed Ag Amani resigns and is replaced by Ousmane Issoufi Maiga.
2004 September – Agriculture minister says severe locust plague has cut cereal harvest by up to 45%.
2005 June – World Food Programme warns of severe food shortages, the result of drought and locust infestations in 2004.
2006 June – The government signs an Algerian-brokered peace deal with Tuareg rebels seeking greater autonomy for their northern desert region. The rebels looted weapons in the town of Kidal in May, raising fears of a new rebellion.
2007 April – President Toure wins a second five-year term in elections.
2007 July – The ruling coalition, Alliance for Democracy and Progress (ADP), strengthens its hold on parliament in elections.
2007 August – Suspected Tuareg rebels abduct government soldiers in separate incidents near the Niger and Algerian borders.
2008 May – Tuareg rebels kill 17 soldiers in attack on an army post in the northeast, despite a ceasefire agreed a month earlier.
2008 December – At least 20 people are killed and several taken hostage in an attack by Tuareg rebels on a military base in northern Mali.
2009 February – Government says the army has taken control of all the bases of the most active Tuareg rebel group. A week later, 700 rebels surrender their weapons in ceremony marking their return to the peace process.
2009 May – Algeria begins sending military equipment to Mali in preparation for a joint operation against Islamic militants linked to al-Qaeda.
2009 August – New law boosts women’s rights, prompts some protests.
2010 January – Annual music event – Festival in the Desert – is moved from a desert oasis to Timbuktu because of security fears.
2010 April – Mali, Algeria, Mauritania and Niger set up joint command to tackle threat of terrorism.
2012 January – Fears of new Tuareg rebellion following attacks on northern towns which prompt civilians to flee into Mauritania.
Political crisis – 2012
President is ousted in coup, Tuareg rebels and Islamists seize north of country
2012 March – Military officers depose President Toure ahead of the April presidential elections, accusing him of failing to deal effectively with the Tuareg rebellion. African Union suspends Mali.
2012 April – Tuareg rebels seize control of northern Mali, declare independence.
Military hands over to a civilian interim government, led by President Dioncounda Traore.
2012 May – Junta reasserts control after an alleged coup attempt by supporters of ousted President Toure in Bamako.
Pro-junta protesters storm presidential compound and beat Mr Traore unconscious.
The Tuareg MNLA and Islamist Ansar Dine rebel groups merge and declare northern Mali to be an Islamic state. Ansar Dine begins to impose Islamic law in Timbuktu. Al-Qaeda in North Africa endorses the deal.
2012 June-July – Ansar Dine and its Al-Qaeda ally turn on the MNLA and capture the main northern cities of Timbuktu, Kidal and Gao. They begin to destroy many Muslim shrines that offend their puritan views.
2012 August – Prime Minister Cheick Modibo Diarra forms a new government of national unity in order to satisfy regional demands for a transition from military-dominated rule. The cabinet of 31 ministers includes five seen as close to coup leader Capt Amadou Sanogo.
2012 Autumn-Winter – Northern Islamist rebels consolidate their hold on the north. They seize strategically important town of Douentza in September, crossing into the central part of Mali and closer to the government-held south-west.
2012 November – The West African regional grouping Ecowas agrees a coordinated military expedition to recapture the north, with UN and African Union backing. Preparations are expected to take several months.
2012 December – Prime Minister Cheick Modibo Diarra resigns, allegedly under pressure from army leaders who oppose plans for Ecowas military intervention. President Traore appoints a presidential official, Django Sissoko, to succeed him. The UN and US threaten sanctions.
2013 January – Islamist fighters capture the central town of Konna and plan to march on the capital. President Traore asks France for help. French troops rapidly capture Gao and Timbuktu and at the end of the month enter Kidal, the last major rebel-held town. European countries pledge to help retrain the Malian army.
2013 April – France begins withdrawal of troops. A regional African force helps the Malian army provide security.
2013 May – An international conference pledges $4bn to help rebuild Mali.
2013 June – Government signs peace deal with Tuareg nationalist rebels to pave way for elections. Rebels agree to hand over northern town of Kidal that they captured after French troops forced out Islamists in January.
2013 July-August – Ibrahim Boubacar Keita wins presidential elections, defeating Moussa Mara.
France formally hands over responsibility for security in the north to the Minusma UN force.
2013 September – President Keita appoint banking specialist Oumar Tatam Ly prime minister.
2013 September-November – Government relations with Tuareg separatists in the north steadily worsen, with occasional clashes.
2013 December – Parliamentary elections give President Keita’s RPM 115 out of 147 seats.
France announces 60% reduction in troops deployed in Mali to 1,000 by March 2014.
2014 April – President Keita appoints former rival Moussa Mara prime minister in a bid to curb instability in the north.
2014 May – Fragile truce with Tuareg MNLA separatists breaks down in north. Separatists seize control of Kidal city and the town of Menaka, Agelhok, Anefis and Tessalit.
2014 September – Government, separatists begin new round of talks in Algeria to try end conflict over northern Mali, or Azawad as the secessionists call it.
Separatist MNLA opens an ”Azawad embassy” in the Netherlands.
2014 October – Nine UN peacekeepers killed in the north-east – the deadliest attack so far on its mission in Mali.
2015 January – Mali’s health minister says the country is free of the Ebola virus, after 42 days without a new case of the disease since October.
2015 April – Upsurge in fighting as Coordination of Azawad Movements northern rebels clash with UN peacekeepers in Timbuktu and seize town of Lere, try to recapture Menaka from pro-government militia.
2015 May – French troops kill leading al-Qaeda commanders Amada Ag Hama and Ibrahim Ag Inawalen in northern raid. Both were suspected of kidnapping and killing French citizens.
A peace accord to end the conflict in the north of Mali is signed by the government and several militia and rebel factions.
2015 June – Government and ethnic Tuareg rebels sign peace deal aimed at ending decades of conflict. The government gives the Tuareg more regional autonomy and drops arrest warrants for their leaders.
2015 July – Craftsmen in Mali working for the United Nations rebuild the world-renowned mausoleums in Timbuktu which were destroyed by Islamists in 2012.
2015 August – Seventeen people killed in attack by suspected Islamist militants on a hotel in the central Malian town of Sevare
2015 November – Islamist gunmen attack the luxury Radisson Blu hotel in the capital Bamako, killing 22.
2016 August – Several attacks on foreign forces. More than 100 peacekeepers have died since the UN mission’s deployment in Mali in 2013, making it one of the deadliest places to serve for the UN.
A Malian jihadist is found guilty of ransacking the fabled desert city of Timbuktu. He expressed regret in the unprecedented trial before the International Criminal Court.
2017 January – At least 37 people are killed by a car bomb at a military camp in Gao housing government troops and former rebels brought together as part of a peace agreement
2017 February – Malian soldiers and rival militia groups including Tuareg separatists take part in a joint patrol, a key part of a peace agreement reached in 2015.
2017 April – President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita announces a new government, appointing close ally Abdoulaye Idrissa Maiga as prime minister.
2017 June – Al-Qaeda-aligned group Nusrat al-Islam wal Muslimeen claims responsibility for an attack on an hotel popular with Westerners east of Bamako, killing two civilians.
2018 January – Some 14 soldiers are killed in a suspected Islamist attack on a military base at Soumpi. Elsewhere, 26 civilians die after their vehicle hits a landmine.
Mali’s Timbuktu: once the ‘Paris’ of the medieval world
Paris, France’s most populous city and capital is renowned for so many beautiful things that excite tourists. From food to fashion; arts to architecture, Paris’ beauty makes France one of the most exciting places to visit in Europe. But, the world appears to have forgotten that in the middle age, Timbuktu of the Mali Empire commanded similar excitement and paraded equal grandeur and civilization.
The Mali Empire, one of the biggest and powerful kingdoms in pre-colonial West Africa was part of the three West African empires that reigned and controlled the trans-Saharan trade. The other two included the Ghana Empire and the dominant Songhai Empire. At the peak of its glory, the Mali Empire covered an area about twice the size of modern-day France. It boasted superiority in mathematics, literature, art, etc. thus attracting the interest of explorers as well as fortune seekers.
The power, wealth, sophistication and organisation shown by the empire were succinctly explored by Ronald Oliver and J.D. Fage in their evergreen work A Short History of Africa. They explained how Ibn Battuta, the great traveller who toured Mali Empire in 1352-3, wrote that its Negroes “are seldom unjust… Their sultan shows no mercy to anyone who is guilty of the act of it. There is complete security in their country. Neither traveller nor inhabitant in it has anything to fear from robbers or men of violence…” Even in 1352, there was “complete security in the land”.
One of the most sought-after cities in the empire at this period was Timbuktu which became part of the empire in the 14th century. Timbuktu was an important trading route for the trans-Saharan trade and therefore became a major trading center in gold, salt, ivory, etc. The prosperity of the city endeared it to the world.
Timbuktu became not only a commercial centre of note but a center of learning. Islamic culture and scholars occupied Timbuktu like bees wanting to have a share in the sweetness of Timbuktu’s honey. There were visible citadels of learning in the city including universities and center of Islamic learning. Islamic icons and scholars were nurtured in the city and were respected throughout the world for their pearls of wisdom, intellectual fecundity and academic scholarship.
It is a matter of record that the city’s golden age in the 15th and 16th centuries proved fertile ground for the scholarships of religions, arts, math and sciences for its 100,000 inhabitants and the world. Timbuktu’s fortune and fame attracted explorers from abroad including the celebrated Leo Africanus, Mungo Park, Heinrich Barth, Cristobal Benitez and a host of others.
One of the most influential leaders of the empire, Mansa Musa got fascinated with the city such that when he made a pilgrimage to Mecca where he displayed his vast wealth, taking with him many tones of pure gold and a large caravan of about 60,000 men on horses and camels, and spending so much money such that the inflation rate in Egypt soared geometrically, he invited a renowned architect –EsSaheli, and built an eye-popping royal palace, mosques, the greatest library in Africa at that time and other palatial mansions in Timbuktu, adding to its splendor and riches. Mali and Timbuktu’s as well as Mansa Musa humongous wealth were referenced throughout the world in maps and atlases and got everyone’s attention, especially in Europe.
Today, in spite of Timbuktu’s history, the place lies in ruins. The city is impoverished and has suffered unbearable decline due to several factors including conquests, mismanagement, colonisation, Malian civil war, rebellion, internal crisis, environmental hazards, droughts and flood. The decline Timbuktu suffered is not so different to other great empires and cities in African historiography. But, present day leadership is not doing much to preserve this history, are they?
Crédit photo : Face2Face Africa