Mali Overview


Official name of the state

Republic of Mali.




As a country located in Africa according to naturegnosis, Mali has no coasts and borders Algeria in the northeast, Niger and Burkina Faso in the southeast, Côte d’Ivoire in the south, the Republic of Guinea in the southwest and Mauritania and Senegal in the northwest. The rivers Senegal (in the extreme west) and Niger flow through the endless plains. On its way north, the Niger flows together with the Bani and forms a large inland delta, the Macina Marshes, which are 450 km long and in places up to 200 km wide. The center of the country consists of the barren Sahel zone. At Timbuktu the Niger reaches the desert and flows first to the east and then at Bourem to the southeast to the Atlantic. In the desert, near the Algerian and Nigerian borders in the northeast of the country, the Adrar des Iforas massif rises up to 800 m. The north of the country consists of desert; There are some oases along the old trans-Sahara caravan routes. The majority of the population lives in the savannah in the south.


Semi-Presidential Republic. Constitution of 1992, last amendment 1997. Parliament (National Assembly) with 147 members. 2012 military coup. Since 2012 High Council of State. National emergency since January 2013. The first free elections to the National Assembly took place in 1992. Independent since 1960 (former French colony).

Head of state

Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, since September 2013.

Head of government

Abdoulaye Idrissa Maïga, since April 2017.


220 V, 50 Hz (in Bamako). The other larger cities have their own generators.

Time zone

Greenwich Mean Time: CET -1



1 CFA (Communauté Financiaire Africaine) Franc * = 100 Centimes. Currency abbreviation: CFA Fr, XOF (ISO code). Banknotes are in circulation to the denomination of 10,000, 5000, 2000, 1000 and 500 CFA Fr. Coins are available in denominations of 500, 100, 50, 25, 10, 5, 2 and 1 CFA Fr.

Note: [*] The CFA Franc (XOF) is issued by the Banque des Etats de l’Afrique de l’Ouest (BCEAO, State Bank of the West African States) and by the 8 members of the African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo. The CFA Franc (XAF) issued by the Banque des Etats de l’Afrique Centrale (BEAC, State Bank of the Central African States) is not legal tender in Mali. The CFA Franc is pegged to the Euro. Euros are often accepted as a means of payment, but not for small purchases inland.

Credit cards

Visa, MasterCard and American Express are only accepted in the capital (larger banks, airports, hotels, restaurants) and by some inland hotels. Details from the issuer of the credit card in question.

ec / Maestro card / Sparcard

EC cards with the Meastro symbol are accepted worldwide. In Mali you can only use the EC card at ATMs in the capital.

Attention: Travelers who pay with their bank customer card abroad and want to withdraw money should find out about the options for using their card from their bank prior to departure.

Bank opening times

Mon-Thu 7.30 a.m.-12 p.m. and 1.15 p.m.-3 p.m., Fri 7.30 a.m.-12 p.m.

Foreign exchange regulations

The import and export of local and foreign currencies is unlimited and must be declared from a value or equivalent of 25,000 CFA Fr (travelers checks in foreign currencies are excluded from this). Export of foreign currencies up to the amount declared on entry, minus the exchange amounts, is permitted.

Currency Exchange

Foreign currencies can be exchanged in the following banks: La Banque de Développement du Mali, la BCEAO, la Banque Malienne de Crédit et Dépôts. You have to expect long waiting times. There are only banks in the larger cities. It is advisable to bring US dollars and euros with you.


Business etiquette

Summer or tropical suits with ties are recommended for special occasions. Knowledge of French is required.

Business hours:
Mon-Thu 7.30 a.m.-12.30 p.m. and 1.00 p.m.-4.00 p.m., Fri 7.30 a.m.-12.30 p.m. and 2.30 p.m.-5.30 p.m.


Chambre de Commerce et d’Industrie du Mali (Chamber of Commerce and Industry)
Place de la Liberté, BP 46, ML-Bamako
Tel: 222 50 36, 222 96 45.

Business contacts

Chambre de Commerce et d’Industrie du Mali (Chamber of Commerce and Industry)
Place de la Liberté, BP 46, ML-Bamako
Tel: 222 50 36, 222 96 45.



International direct dialing is only possible to a limited extent. The telephone network is not very extensive, but the existing connections are stable. The majority of the population has to call the post office. There are public card phones in some major cities. Telephone cards are from SOTELMA (Internet:, the company for telecommunications in Mali.


GSM 900. Network operators are Malitel-SA (Internet:, Ikatel and SOTELMA.


The main Internet providers are the state-owned telecommunications company Société des Télécommunication du Mali (SOTELMA) and the four private companies MaliNet, Cefib (Internet:, Datatech and Spider (Internet: There is an internet café in Bamako.

Post Office

International mail is only carried by the larger cities and main post offices. Airmail to Europe takes around two weeks.


Since the use of shortwave frequencies changes several times over the course of a year, it is advisable to contact Deutsche Welle customer service directly (Tel: (+49) (0228) 429 32 08. Internet: to request.


Area code +223 Area (sqkm) 1240192 Population 16955536 Population density (per sqkm) 14 Population in 2015 Member of the EU No major emergency number 15

Mali Overview