Middle East / Africa

Mali flag
Summary | Profile

Country profile: Mali

Location: Western Africa, southwest of Algeria
Climate: subtropical to arid; hot and dry (February to June); rainy, humid, and mild (June to November); cool and dry (November to February)
Terrain: mostly flat to rolling northern plains covered by sand; savanna in south, rugged hills in northeast
Size: 1240000 sq. km total (Land area: 1220000 sq. km  Water area: 20000 sq.km)
Population: 12,324,029 (July 2008 est.)
Languages: French (official), Bambara 80%, numerous African languages
Government: republic
Capital city: Bamako
Legal system: based on French civil law system and customary law; judicial review of legislative acts in Constitutional Court; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Currency: Communaute Financiere Africaine franc (XOF); note

Country profile

Regional leaders created the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on May 28, 1975 in Lagos, Nigeria. ECOWAS is comprised of 15 countries, which include: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Cote d’Ivoire , The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria , Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo. The leaders established ECOWAS to promote regional integration and economic growth in West Africa, as well as to create a monetary union in the region. However, ECOWAS has encountered problems in the process of regional integration including: political instability and lack of good governance that has plagued many member countries, the insufficient diversification of national economies, the absence of reliable infrastructure, and the multiplicity of organizations for regional integration with the same objectives.

The Authority of Heads of State and Government is the governing body of ECOWAS. The Authority determines the general direction and development of the Community, as well as the realization of the Community’s objectives. The Authority elects an annual Chairman, with the 2006 Chairman being Niger's President, Mamadou Tandja. Under the Authority is the Council of Ministers , which is responsible for the proper functioning of the Community. In April 2002, the Council approved a procedure for the ECOWAS Trade Liberalization Scheme (TLS). The TLS entitles the manufacturers of approved products to customs duty exemption within ECOWAS member states. The procedure uses National Approval Committees, set up by member states, to handle the approval of products to be granted exemption under TLS. The 2002 decision by the Council abrogates a previous decision and grants the Council a monopoly for approving applications for such exemptions.

In 1990, ECOWAS established the Economic Community Monitoring Group (ECOMOG), a multilateral military peacekeeping force to intervene in the civil war of Liberia. Since 1990, ECOMOG has been deployed in civil conflicts in Sierra Leone, Guinea-Bissau and Côte d’Ivoire. The Côte d’Ivoire disarmament and peace mission included ECOMOG troops from Benin, Ghana, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal and Togo. Overall, Nigeria has contributed the largest amount of troops, materials and financial support to ECOMOG missions. ECOWAS is seeking international support to enable it to train and equip the 15 battalions of troops pledged by member states. The training of the composite units facilitates their effectiveness in peacekeeping, humanitarian assistance and other missions for which they could be deployed. Commercial energy resources in ECOWAS, primarily petroleum and natural gas, are concentrated in coastal and offshore regions. Electricity in West Africa is generated through thermal (57.8 percent of installed capacity) or hydroelectric (42.2 percent) resources. Natural gas could take a more significant role in the Community's energy sector as fields in Nigeria and Côte d'Ivoire are developed. Due to a relatively small urban population in ECOWAS (approximately 33.9 percent) and lack of infrastructure, access to commercial energy sources is limited.

In 2005, Nigeria had petroleum exports of 2.3 million barrels per day (bbl/d), while Côte d’Ivoire, exported 39,000 bbl/d of petroleum. All other ECOWAS countries are net energy importers. In 2003, ECOWAS consumed 1.43 quadrillion British thermal units (Btu) of commercial energy (0.4 percent of total world consumption) and produced 5.82 quadrillion Btu (1.4 percent of total world production). Also in 2003, the region generated 33.2 million metric tons of carbon equivalent (0.5 percent of the world total). Nigeria accounted for 66.7 percent (0.99 quadrillion Btu) of energy consumption in ECOWAS, 96.3 percent (5.6 quadrillion Btu) of energy production, and 76.9 percent (33.16 million metric tons) of the Community's carbon emissions. ECOWAS has plans to create a $50 billion fund that will be used to boost energy services for the West African population and to curb energy shortfalls that are seen as a hindrance to economic development and regional integration. ECOWAS has set December 2007 as the target for the creation of the fund. By 2015, with the help of additional energy, ECOWAS would like to see a 50 percent reduction in poverty within the Community.

Energy production and consumption

Oil Gas
Consumption: 5,600 bbl/day (2006 est.)  
Imports: 5,600 bbl/day (2006 est.)  
Major fields:

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