2015 Index of Economic Freedom

Mali

overall score56.4
world rank119
Rule of Law

Property Rights25.0

Freedom From Corruption28.0

Limited Government

Government Spending89.2

Fiscal Freedom69.6

Regulatory Efficiency

Business Freedom47.2

Labor Freedom50.7

Monetary Freedom81.1

Open Markets

Trade Freedom73.2

Investment Freedom60.0

Financial Freedom40.0

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Quick Facts
  • Population:
    • 16.9 million
  • GDP (PPP):
    • $18.6 billion
    • 1.7% growth
    • 2.9% 5-year compound annual growth
    • $1,103 per capita
  • Unemployment:
    • 8.5%
  • Inflation (CPI):
    • -0.6%
  • FDI Inflow:
    • $410.3 million
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Mali’s economic freedom score is 56.4, making its economy the 119th freest in the 2015 Index. Its score has increased by 0.9 point since last year, with improvements in property rights, monetary freedom, investment freedom, and the control of government spending outweighing a notable loss in labor freedom. Mali is ranked 21st out of 46 countries in the Sub-Saharan Africa region, and its score is below the world average but higher than the regional average.

Over the past five years, improvements in investment freedom and fiscal freedom have been offset by declines in labor freedom and property rights. Mali’s weak institutional framework traps many of its citizens in subsistence agriculture and poverty. Political instability and the struggle against Islamist rebels in the North have distracted policymakers from making much-needed reforms to spur growth and reduce poverty.

Mali has yet to open its domestic economy to global markets. Tariff rates remain high, and political unrest and security concerns deter foreign investment. These issues are exacerbated by a weak rule of law. Corruption is present in all levels of government and has spilled over into the judiciary, which remains notoriously inefficient.

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Background

After President Amadou Toumani Touré was ousted in a March 2012 military coup, Tuareg separatists and militants linked to al-Qaeda took control of Northern Mali and declared independence. French armed forces restored government control in the major cities in January 2013, and Tuareg rebels signed a peace accord in June. In August 2013, former Prime Minister Ibrahim Boubacar Keita won the presidential election in a second-round ballot. In May 2014, peace talks with Tuareg separatists in the North broke down, and rebels seized control of several northern cities. Approximately 1,500 French troops remain in the country along with a U.N. peacekeeping operation. The economy depends on agricultural exports such as cotton for revenue, and price fluctuations and drought have contributed to poverty and political instability.

Rule of LawView Methodology

Property Rights 25.0 Create a Graph using this measurement

Freedom From Corruption 28.0 Create a Graph using this measurement

Mali held presidential and parliamentary elections in 2013 after a coup in 2012. The new president has pledged to restore his predecessor’s anti-corruption initiatives, including creation of a general auditor’s office. Nevertheless, corruption remains a problem in government, public procurement, and both public and private contracting. The judicial system is inefficient and prone to corruption.

Limited GovernmentView Methodology

Mali’s top individual income tax rate is 40 percent, and its top corporate tax rate is 35 percent. Other taxes include a value-added tax. The overall tax burden equals 14.5 percent of gross domestic product. Government expenditures are equal to 19 percent of domestic production, and government debt is equivalent to about 32 percent of domestic output.

Regulatory EfficiencyView Methodology

The non-transparent and costly regulatory framework continues to discourage entrepreneurial dynamism. Labor regulations are not enforced effectively, and the informal sector employs a large share of the workforce. As Mali seeks to return to political stability with the help of the international community, the government is trying to strengthen public financial management to help accelerate economic growth.

Open MarketsView Methodology

Mali’s average tariff rate is 8.4 percent, and importing goods can be expensive. Foreign and domestic investors are generally treated equally under the law. The environment for foreign investment has improved. The financial sector is concentrated in urban areas and remains underdeveloped. The small banking sector provides a limited range of financial services. The cost of long-term financing is high.

Country's Score Over Time

Bar Graph of Mali Economic Freedom Scores Over a Time Period

Country Comparisons

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Regional Ranking

rank country overall change
1Mauritius76.4-0.1
2Botswana69.8-2.2
3Cabo Verde66.40.3
4Rwanda64.80.1
5Ghana63-1.2
6South Africa62.60.1
7Madagascar61.70.0
8Swaziland59.9-1.3
9Uganda59.7-0.2
10Namibia59.60.2
11Benin58.81.7
12Zambia58.7-1.7
13Burkina Faso58.6-0.3
14Côte d'Ivoire 58.50.8
15Gabon58.30.5
16Senegal57.82.4
17Tanzania57.5-0.3
18Djibouti57.51.6
19The Gambia57.5-2.0
20Seychelles57.51.3
21Mali56.40.9
22Nigeria55.61.3
23Kenya55.6-1.5
24Mozambique 54.8-0.2
25Malawi54.8-0.6
26Niger54.6-0.5
27Burundi53.72.3
28Mauritania53.30.1
29São Tomé and Príncipe 53.34.5
30Togo533.1
31Liberia52.70.3
32Comoros52.10.7
33Guinea52.1-1.4
34Guinea-Bissau520.7
35Cameroon51.9-0.7
36Sierra Leone51.71.2
37Ethiopia51.51.5
38Lesotho49.60.1
39Angola47.90.2
40Chad45.91.4
41Central African Republic45.9-0.8
42Democratic Republic of Congo454.4
43Republic of Congo 42.7-1.0
44Equatorial Guinea40.4-4.0
45Eritrea38.90.4
46Zimbabwe37.62.1
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