Natural resources, energy and environment
Mali is one of Africa's largest gold
producers. However, a large part of the gold is
illegally mined outside the control of the authorities
and smuggled out of the country. Electricity is
generated using imported oil and hydropower.
Gold mining has been part of the economy in Mali
since the Middle Ages. In modern times, commercial
mining began in the 1980s. The search for new gold
deposits is ongoing in collaboration with foreign mining
companies and several finds have been made since the
turn of the millennium.
Major exports by Mali with a full list of the top products exported by the country. Includes trade value in U.S. dollars and the percentage for each product category.
The think tank International Crisis Group (ICG)
warned in 2019 that illegal gold mining has become a
major source of income for jihadists and other rebel
groups raging in northern and central Mali (see Current
Policy). Several mines have been taken over by the armed
groups. The ICG estimates that around 700,000 people
work in the illegal mining industry in Mali.
Abbreviationfinder: A popular acronym site in the world covering abbreviation for each country. For example, ML stands for Mali.
Lack of electricity
In Mali, marble, phosphate and uranium are also mined
in smaller quantities. There are also reserves of
bauxite, iron, manganese, salt, silver, diamonds, copper
and nickel. However, because the country lacks ports and
has poor transport opportunities, it has not been
profitable to extract these deposits so far.
A large part of the energy consumed comes from wood
and charcoal. The government encourages oil seekers, as
several neighboring countries have found oil near the
Malian border. Oil deposits in northern Mali on the
border with Mauritania have not yet been recovered due
to the armed conflicts in the area.
Mali suffers from a great lack of electricity. Both
mining and agriculture demand more electricity. Only a
small part of the country is reached by the state
electricity grid. More than four out of ten males had
access to electricity at the end of the 2010s.
Affected by climate change
When the large hydroelectric power plant at Manantali
in a tributary to the Senegal River began to supply
electricity in 2001, oil dependency fell sharply, but
the ever-increasing demand for electricity now means
that imported oil accounts for almost half of
electricity generation. The Manantali power plant is
operated jointly with Senegal and Mauritania, which are
entitled to a minor part of the electricity produced.
Mali strives to increase the share of renewable
energy. The goal is for 25 percent of total energy
consumption to come from renewable sources in 2033. In
the same year, 61 percent of rural residents will have
access to electricity. Investments are made mainly on
solar energy, but also on wind power and biomass.
Mali is faced with a number of environmental
problems, such as soil degradation (desert is spreading)
and water pollution. The important Niger River is
threatened by overfishing. Climate change contributes to
irregular rainfall, more desert storms and increased
risk of drought compared to 30 years ago, according to
United in Science, which brings together the world's
leading organizations in meteorology and climate
research. The governments of the Sahel region have
presented joint plans on how to combat the effects of
climate change, but these are dependent on external
assistance to be realized.
FACTS - ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT
Carbon dioxide emissions in total
1 412 thousand tonnes (2014)
Carbon dioxide emissions per inhabitant
0.1 ton (2014)
The share of energy from renewable sources
61.5 percent (2015)
Law for women's rights is stopped
After major popular protests, President Touré chooses not to sign a new law
passed by Parliament aimed at strengthening women's rights. The law would have
given women increased inheritance rights, in most cases girls would no longer be
allowed to marry before the age of 18 and there would no longer be support in
the law for women to obey their husbands. The bill has been severely criticized
by Muslim groups who considered it to be Islamic and forced by Western
countries. It is returned to Parliament for a review.
Aqim murders Westerners
The Islamic terrorist group al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (Aqim) announces
that a British tourist has been taken hostage. Later, the group also takes on
the blame for the murder of an American.
The government states that the army has taken control of all the brackets
belonging to the fighting Tuareg faction. About 700 rebels surrender and
surrender their weapons at a special ceremony in the Northeast. The group states
that it will participate in the peace talks.
Rebels killed in the northeast
According to government data, more than 30 rebels are killed, who are said to
be members of the only faction of Tuareg warriors who do not participate in