2014 Index of Economic Freedom

Mali

overall score55.5
world rank122
Rule of Law

Property Rights20.0

Freedom From Corruption27.7

Limited Government

Government Spending81.7

Fiscal Freedom69.8

Regulatory Efficiency

Business Freedom48.0

Labor Freedom63.2

Monetary Freedom76.7

Open Markets

Trade Freedom73.2

Investment Freedom55.0

Financial Freedom40.0

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Quick Facts
  • Population:
    • 16.3 million
  • GDP (PPP):
    • $18.0 billion
    • -1.2% growth
    • 3.3% 5-year compound annual growth
    • $1,100 per capita
  • Unemployment:
    • 30.0%
  • Inflation (CPI):
    • 5.3%
  • FDI Inflow:
    • $310.5 million
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Mali’s economic freedom score is 55.5, making its economy the 122nd freest in the 2014 Index. Its score has decreased by 0.9 point from last year, mainly reflecting declines in property rights and five other economic freedoms that outweigh a notable gain in investment freedom. Mali is ranked 21st out of 46 countries in the Sub-Saharan Africa region, and its score is below the world average.

Over the 20-year history of the Index, Mali has advanced its economic freedom score by just over 3 points. Gains from score increases in five of the 10 economic freedoms, including freedom from corruption, fiscal freedom, government spending, trade freedom, and financial freedom, have been largely eroded by deteriorations in investment freedom, property rights, and business freedom. Rated “moderately free” from 2000 to 2002, Mali’s economy has fallen back to “mostly unfree.”

Overall institutional weaknesses continue to perpetuate the stagnation of economic freedom and limit economic dynamism. Corruption undermines the rule of law, and the inefficient judicial system remains vulnerable to political influence.

Background

President Amadou Toumani Touré was ousted in a March 2012 coup, and former National Assembly speaker Dioncounda Traore became interim president after a brief period of military rule. Tuareg separatists and al-Qaeda–linked militants continue to dominate much of northern Mali. In January 2013, French armed forces restored government control in the major cities, and Tuareg rebels signed a peace accord in June. Ex-Prime Minister Ibrahim Boubacar Keita won the presidential election in a second-round ballot in August. Terrorism remains a grave concern; French forces are scheduled to be reduced to 1,000 troops in 2014 and are being replaced by an African Union peacekeeping force. Subsistence agriculture, livestock, and fishing employ 80 percent of the workforce and account for about a third of GDP. Mineral resources remain underexploited, and infrastructure is inadequate.

Rule of LawView Methodology

Property Rights 20.0 Create a Graph using this measurement

Freedom From Corruption 27.7 Create a Graph using this measurement

Before President Touré’s removal in March 2012, a number of anti-corruption initiatives had been launched, including the creation of a general auditor’s office. However, corruption remained a problem in government, public procurement, and public and private contracting. Even before the coup, Mali’s judicial system was considered notoriously inefficient and corrupted by bribery and influence-peddling.

Limited GovernmentView Methodology

The top individual income tax rate is 40 percent, and the top corporate tax rate is 35 percent. Other taxes include a value-added tax (VAT). The overall tax burden is 14 percent of gross domestic income. Violence and political uncertainty have made tax collection difficult. Public expenditures equate to 25 percent of GDP, and government debt is 31 percent of gross domestic income.

Regulatory EfficiencyView Methodology

The minimum capital required for launching a business is about three times the level of average annual income, and obtaining necessary licenses is time-consuming and costly. The labor market remains underdeveloped. As Mali seeks to return to political stability with the help of the international community, the government must strengthen public financial management to restart economic growth.

Open MarketsView Methodology

Mali’s average tariff rate is 8.4 percent. Foreign and domestic investors are generally treated equally under the law. Civil unrest deters foreign investment. Financial intermediation remains low, and access to financing is limited. The inefficient legal framework is an impediment to enhancing the financial system. Much of the population relies on informal lending.

Country's Score Over Time

Bar Graph of Mali Economic Freedom Scores Over a Time Period

Country Comparisons

Bar Graphs comparing Mali to other economic country groups

Regional Ranking

rank country overall change
1Mauritius76.5-0.4
2Botswana721.4
3Cape Verde66.12.4
4Rwanda64.70.6
5Ghana64.22.9
6South Africa62.50.7
7Madagascar61.7-0.3
8Swaziland61.24.0
9Zambia60.41.7
10Uganda59.9-1.2
11The Gambia59.50.7
12Namibia59.4-0.9
13Burkina Faso58.9-1.0
14Gabon57.80.0
15Tanzania57.8-0.1
16Côte d'Ivoire 57.73.6
17Kenya57.11.2
18Benin57.1-0.5
19Seychelles56.21.3
20Djibouti55.92.0
21Mali55.5-0.9
22Malawi55.40.1
23Senegal55.4-0.1
24Niger55.11.2
25Mozambique 550.0
26Nigeria54.3-0.8
27Guinea53.52.3
28Mauritania53.20.9
29Cameroon52.60.3
30Liberia52.43.1
31Burundi51.42.4
32Comoros51.43.9
33Guinea-Bissau51.30.2
34Sierra Leone50.52.2
35Ethiopia500.6
36Togo49.91.1
37Lesotho49.51.6
38São Tomé and Príncipe 48.80.8
39Angola47.70.4
40Central African Republic46.7-3.7
41Chad44.5-0.7
42Equatorial Guinea44.42.1
43Republic of Congo 43.70.2
44Democratic Republic of Congo40.61.0
45Eritrea38.52.2
46Zimbabwe35.56.9
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