2018 Index of Economic Freedom

Mali

overall score57.6
world rank113
Rule of Law

Property Rights31.9

Government Integrity31.4

Judicial Effectiveness32.4

Government Size

Government Spending85.3

Tax Burden68.1

Fiscal Health84.8

Regulatory Efficiency

Business Freedom52.8

Labor Freedom48.4

Monetary Freedom81.9

Open Markets

Trade Freedom68.7

Investment Freedom65.0

Financial Freedom40.0

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Quick Facts
  • Population:
    • 16.8 million
  • GDP (PPP):
    • $38.1 billion
    • 6.1% growth
    • 4.0% 5-year compound annual growth
    • $2,266 per capita
  • Unemployment:
    • 8.1%
  • Inflation (CPI):
    • -1.8%
  • FDI Inflow:
    • $125.5 million
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Mali’s economic freedom score is 57.6, making its economy the 113th freest in the 2018 Index. Its overall score has decreased by 1.0 point, pulled down by lower scores for nine of the 12 economic freedom indicators, including all indicators related to the rule of law and government size. Mali is ranked 14th among 47 countries in the Sub-Saharan Africa region, and its overall score is above the regional average but below the world average.

Landlocked Mali’s economy is mostly confined to the area irrigated by the Niger River, but the government is encouraging diversification. Tax administration has been improved, and the cotton markets are moving toward privatization. Restrained public spending and stable monetary policy have stimulated a growing entrepreneurial sector. More efforts are needed to address endemic corruption and poor infrastructure. Rigid labor regulations hurt job growth, and the underdeveloped financial sector limits access to finance, hampering investment.

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Background

After decades of French colonial rule and a brief federation with Senegal, the Republic of Mali was established in 1960. Following a 2012 military coup, Tuareg separatists and militants linked to al-Qaeda took control of northern Mali and declared independence. After military intervention by France, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita won a five-year term as president in 2013. In 2015, the government signed a peace accord with an alliance of Tuareg separatist groups, but separatist clashes with pro-government militias soon resumed. French troops remain in Mali along with a U.N. peacekeeping operation that has suffered the highest number of casualties in U.N. history. Mali is one of the world’s 25 poorest countries and depends on gold mining and agricultural exports.

Rule of LawView Methodology

Property Rights 31.9 Create a Graph using this measurement

Government Integrity 31.4 Create a Graph using this measurement

Judicial Effectiveness 32.4 Create a Graph using this measurement

Property rights are not always adequately protected in practice, despite significant donor aid aimed at improving them. The judicial system is inefficient and prone to corruption. Bribery and influence peddling are widespread in the courts. Government corruption is widespread in all sectors, especially in public procurement and both public and private contracting, where demands for bribes are frequent.

Government SizeView 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. The overall tax burden equals 19.0 percent of total domestic income. Over the past three years, government spending has amounted to 22.2 percent of total output (GDP), and budget deficits have averaged 2.9 percent of GDP. Public debt is equivalent to 30.5 percent of GDP.

Regulatory EfficiencyView Methodology

In 2016, Mali made starting a business less expensive by reducing the paid-in minimum capital requirement. It also improved bankruptcy procedures. Enforcement of the labor code is rather arbitrary. Child labor and human trafficking continue to be serious problems. The government has eliminated fuel subsidies through market pricing and has increased electricity tariffs, but it still subsidizes agriculture.

Open MarketsView Methodology

Trade is moderately important to Mali’s economy; the combined value of exports and imports equals 47 percent of GDP. The average applied tariff rate is 10.6 percent. Nontariff barriers impede some trade. Government openness to foreign investment is above average. The financial sector remains underdeveloped, and banks cannot provide adequate financing for entrepreneurial activity. Much of the population relies on informal lending.

Country's Score Over Time

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Regional Ranking

rank country overall change
1Mauritius75.10.4
2Botswana69.9-0.2
3Rwanda69.11.5
4South Africa630.7
5Uganda621.1
6Côte d'Ivoire 62-1.0
7Seychelles61.6-0.2
8Burkina Faso600.4
9Cabo Verde603.1
10Tanzania59.91.3
11Namibia58.5-4.0
12Nigeria58.51.4
13Gabon58-0.6
14Mali57.6-1.0
15Guinea-Bissau56.90.8
16Madagascar56.8-0.6
17Benin56.7-2.5
18Comoros56.20.4
19Ghana56-0.2
20Swaziland55.9-5.2
21Senegal55.7-0.2
22Kenya54.71.2
23Zambia54.3-1.5
24Mauritania54-0.4
25Lesotho53.90.0
26São Tomé and Príncipe 53.6-1.8
27Ethiopia52.80.1
28The Gambia52.3-1.1
29Guinea52.24.6
30Democratic Republic of Congo52.1-4.3
31Malawi52-0.2
32Cameroon51.90.1
33Sierra Leone51.8-0.8
34Burundi50.9-2.3
35Liberia50.91.8
36Niger49.5-1.3
37Sudan49.40.6
38Chad49.30.3
39Central African Republic49.2-2.6
40Angola48.60.1
41Togo47.8-5.4
42Mozambique 46.3-3.6
43Djibouti45.1-1.6
44Zimbabwe440.0
45Equatorial Guinea42-3.0
46Eritrea41.7-0.5
47Republic of Congo 38.9-1.1
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