MALI AT A GLANCE
Population: 16 million (2013)
GDP per capita: $1100 (2013 PPP)
Ranked 155th of 189 countries in the World Bank Group’s 2014 Doing Business Report.
Longstanding divisions between Mali’s north and south contributed to a presidential coup in 2012 that created thousands of refugees and brought foreign military intervention. Mali is making a swift recovery, however, and held peaceful presidential elections in 2013. The country a major producer of gold and cotton, is working to win back investment to its economy and tourists to its World Heritage sights.
Supporting Private Sector Development through the Conflict Affected States in Africa Initiative
IFC’s CASA Initiative, which engaged in Mali in 2013, will help coordinate IFC’s advisory services interventions in the country, with a focus on encouraging entrepreneurship, building the capacity of MSMEs, improving the investment climate, and providing support to projects in strategic sectors, namely infrastructure and agribusiness.
Improving the Investment Climate
CASA is helping design a new investment climate program for Mali, which had been a top regional reformer before its 2012 political crisis, but slipped two places to 155th out of 189 countries on the World Bank Group’s 2014 Doing Business report. The new investment climate program is designed to help the country attract investment and promote private sector growth.
Supporting Smaller Businesses
Prior to Mali’s 2012 crisis, IFC helped the country establish a one-stop-shop for business registration within Mali’s investment promotion Agency (API-Mali). The one-stop-shop has cut the average time needed to open a business from 26 days in 2008 to only 11 days in 2013. IFC has also supported API-Mali, which has helped attract $25 million into Mali’s agribusiness sector in recent years.
With CASA’s support, IFC has developed a strategy in Mali to encourage entrepreneurship, promote leasing activities, and build the capacity of smaller businesses and local banks. Part of this strategy includes supporting the preparation of a planned $50 million World Bank project that will help Mali’s young people develop their skills, strengthen existing businesses, or help them launch new enterprises.
National Investment Strategy
IFC has teamed with the World Bank and Mali’s government to draft a national investment promotion strategy, which will serve as a roadmap for the country’s future economic growth. The strategy focuses on boosting development in Mali’s important agriculture, mining, and tourism sectors, and also addresses longstanding infrastructure problems, such as access to electricity, which stands at only about one third of the population, according to the World Bank.