2016 Index of Economic Freedom

Mali

overall score56.5
world rank121
Rule of Law

Property Rights25.0

Freedom From Corruption32.0

Limited Government

Government Spending82.8

Fiscal Freedom70.3

Regulatory Efficiency

Business Freedom46.3

Labor Freedom50.8

Monetary Freedom83.0

Open Markets

Trade Freedom70.2

Investment Freedom65.0

Financial Freedom40.0

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Quick Facts
  • Population:
    • 15.8 million
  • GDP (PPP):
    • $27.3 billion
    • 6.8% growth
    • 3.4% 5-year compound annual growth
    • $1,729 per capita
  • Unemployment:
    • 8.1%
  • Inflation (CPI):
    • 0.9%
  • FDI Inflow:
    • $198.9 million
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Mali’s overall institutional weaknesses continue to limit economic dynamism and perpetuate poverty. The government has implemented regulatory reforms over the past year to enhance the entrepreneurial environment, but these reforms have been undercut by ongoing political instability.

Economic Freedom Snapshot

  • 2016 Economic Freedom Score: 56.5 (up 0.1 point)
  • Economic Freedom Status: Mostly Unfree
  • Global Ranking: 121st
  • Regional Ranking: 23rd in Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Notable Successes: Monetary Freedom
  • Concerns: Property Rights, Corruption, and Financial Freedom
  • Overall Score Change Since 2012: +0.7

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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 former Prime Minister Ibrahim Boubacar Keita won the presidential election in a second round of balloting in August. In June 2015, the government and an alliance of Tuareg separatist groups signed a peace accord, but clashes between the separatists and pro-government militias soon resumed. Approximately 1,000 French troops remain in the country along with a U.N. peacekeeping operation. The economy depends on agricultural exports such as cotton for foreign exchange. Cotton-price fluctuations and drought contribute to poverty and political instability.

Rule of LawView Methodology

Property Rights 25.0 Create a Graph using this measurement

Freedom From Corruption 32.0 Create a Graph using this measurement

Government corruption remains a problem and was a factor in the Islamist takeover of the North. Demands for bribes are frequently reported in large public procurements and in both public and private contracting and investment projects. Corruption also poses an obstacle to foreign direct investment. The judicial system is inefficient and prone to corruption. Property rights are not adequately protected in practice.

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. Overall tax revenue equals 12.2 percent of total domestic income, and government spending has decreased to 23.9 percent of GDP. The budget has been in deficit for five years, and public debt has reached a level equal to about 30 percent of GDP.

Regulatory EfficiencyView Methodology

Commercial regulations are not enforced effectively. Economic diversification has lagged, and much private-sector activity takes place outside of the formal economy. Labor regulations, although not fully enforced, are relatively rigid. In 2015, the IMF urged the government to take additional steps to place the state-owned, heavily subsidized electricity company’s finances on a sustainable footing.

Open MarketsView Methodology

Mali’s average tariff rate is 7.4 percent. Importation of goods is expensive and time-consuming. Foreign and domestic investors are generally treated equally under the law, and there are no limits on foreign ownership in most cases. The financial sector remains underdeveloped, and banks cannot provide adequate financing for entrepreneurial activity. Much of the population has little access to formal financial services and 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 Download Charts

Regional Ranking

rank country overall change
1Mauritius74.7-1.7
2Botswana71.11.3
3Cabo Verde66.50.1
4Rwanda63.1-1.7
5Ghana630.0
6Seychelles62.24.7
7South Africa61.9-0.7
8Namibia61.92.3
9Madagascar61.1-0.6
10Côte d'Ivoire 601.5
11Swaziland59.7-0.2
12Benin59.30.5
13Uganda59.3-0.4
14Burkina Faso59.10.5
15Gabon590.7
16Zambia58.80.1
17Tanzania58.51.0
18Senegal58.10.3
19Kenya57.51.9
20Nigeria57.51.9
21The Gambia57.1-0.4
22São Tomé and Príncipe 56.73.4
23Mali56.50.1
24Djibouti56-1.5
25Mauritania54.81.5
26Niger54.3-0.3
27Cameroon54.22.3
28Burundi53.90.2
29Togo53.60.6
30Guinea53.31.2
31Mozambique 53.2-1.6
32Comoros52.40.3
33Sierra Leone52.30.6
34Liberia52.2-0.5
35Guinea-Bissau51.8-0.2
36Malawi51.8-3.0
37Ethiopia51.50.0
38Lesotho50.61.0
39Angola48.91.0
40Democratic Republic of Congo46.41.4
41Chad46.30.4
42Central African Republic45.2-0.7
43Equatorial Guinea43.73.3
44Republic of Congo 42.80.1
45Eritrea42.73.8
46Zimbabwe38.20.6
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