2020 Index of Economic Freedom

Mali

OVERALL SCORE55.9
WORLD RANK126
Rule of Law

Property Rights36.1

Judicial Effectiveness32.7

Government Integrity20.7

Government Size

Tax Burden69.2

Government Spending85.8

Fiscal Health73.6

Regulatory Efficiency

Business Freedom49.2

Labor Freedom52.2

Monetary Freedom81.6

Open Markets

Trade Freedom65.0

Investment Freedom65.0

Financial Freedom40.0

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Quick Facts
  • Population:
    • 18.5 million
  • GDP (PPP):
    • $44.2 billion
    • 4.9% growth
    • 5.9% 5-year compound annual growth
    • $2,384 per capita
  • Unemployment:
    • 9.6%
  • Inflation (CPI):
    • 1.7%
  • FDI Inflow:
    • $365.9 million

Mali’s economic freedom score is 55.9, making its economy the 126th freest in the 2020 Index. Its overall score has decreased by 2.2 points, dragged down by deteriorating fiscal health. Mali is ranked 20th among 47 countries in the Sub-Saharan Africa region, and its overall score is slightly above the regional average and well below the world average.

The economy of Mali has been mostly unfree for the past 18 years. GDP has been expanding at a good rate for the past five years due to an increase in gold production, but the benefits of that growth are not widely shared.

For countries like Mali, one of the least developed and poorest in the world, weak rule-of-law institutions constitute an almost insurmountable obstacle to development. Without protection of private property or an honest and transparent judicial system, and with a seeming cultural tolerance of corruption, it is virtually impossible to stimulate domestic demand or build investor confidence.

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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, prompting a French military intervention. In 2015, the government signed a peace accord with an alliance of Tuareg separatist groups. Failure of the accord led to the deployment of French and U.N. peacekeeping troops. Ibrahim Boubacar Keita easily won a second five-year term in a low-turnout 2018 vote amid allegations of fraud. The prime minister and the cabinet resigned in 2019 amid escalating sectarian and terrorist violence. One of the world’s 25 poorest countries, Mali depends on gold mining and agricultural exports.

Rule of LawView Methodology

Property Rights 36.1 Create a Graph using this measurement

Judicial Effectiveness 32.7 Create a Graph using this measurement

Government Integrity 20.7 Create a Graph using this measurement

Property rights are protected by law, but the absence of a nationwide land registry leads to competing claims for land. The judicial sector is neither independent nor transparent, and corruption is common. There is a general perception that minor economic crimes are prosecuted while high-level official corruption goes largely unpunished. Corruption is allegedly most common in government procurement and dispute settlement.

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 16.1 percent of total domestic income. Government spending has amounted to 21.8 percent of the country’s output (GDP) over the past three years, and budget deficits have averaged 3.9 percent of GDP. Public debt is equivalent to 36.6 percent of GDP.

Regulatory EfficiencyView Methodology

Unreliable electricity makes operating a business difficult. Terrorism, drug trafficking, and smuggling in conflict-affected regions create uncertainty and risk. Privatization of several state-owned enterprises is ongoing. Forced labor and the worst forms of child labor continue. Although the government has eliminated fuel subsidies through market pricing, it still maintains other extensive subsidies, and price caps for agricultural and staple goods remain in effect.

Open MarketsView Methodology

The total value of exports and imports of goods and services equals 61.4 percent of GDP. The average applied tariff rate is 10.0 percent, and 20 nontariff measures are in force. Other barriers increase the cost of trade considerably. The investment regime remains severely hampered by instability and a lack of reform. With financial intermediation minimal, the banking sector lacks the capacity to provide adequate access to financing.

Country's Score Over Time

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Regional Ranking

RANK COUNTRY OVERALL CHANGE
1Mauritius74.91.9
2Rwanda70.9-0.2
3Botswana69.60.1
4Seychelles64.32.9
5Cabo Verde63.60.5
6Tanzania61.71.5
7Namibia60.92.2
8Madagascar60.53.9
9Côte d'Ivoire 59.7-2.7
10Uganda59.5-0.2
11Ghana59.41.9
12South Africa58.80.5
13Senegal581.7
14Nigeria57.2-0.1
15Burkina Faso56.7-2.7
16Gabon56.70.4
17Guinea56.50.8
18The Gambia56.33.9
19São Tomé and Príncipe 56.22.2
20Mali55.9-2.2
21Mauritania55.3-0.4
22Eswatini55.30.6
23Kenya55.30.2
24Benin55.2-0.1
25Niger54.73.1
26Lesotho54.51.4
27Togo54.13.8
28Comoros53.7-1.7
29Cameroon53.61.2
30Ethiopia53.60.0
31Zambia53.5-0.1
32Guinea-Bissau53.3-0.7
33Djibouti52.95.8
34Malawi52.81.4
35Angola52.21.6
36Central African Republic50.71.6
37Mozambique 50.51.9
38Chad50.20.3
39Democratic Republic of Congo49.5-0.8
40Liberia49-0.7
41Burundi490.1
42Equatorial Guinea48.37.3
43Sierra Leone480.5
44Sudan45-2.7
45Zimbabwe43.12.7
46Republic of Congo 41.82.1
47Eritrea38.5-0.4
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