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Mali Economy

    Economy—overview: Mali is among the poorest countries in the world, with 65% of its land area desert or semidesert. Economic activity is largely confined to the riverine area irrigated by the Niger. About 10% of the population is nomadic and some 80% of the labor force is engaged in farming and fishing. Industrial activity is concentrated on processing farm commodities. Mali is heavily dependent on foreign aid and vulnerable to fluctuations in world prices for cotton, its main export. In 1997, the government continued its successful implementation of an IMF-recommended structural adjustment program that is helping the economy grow, diversify, and attract foreign investment. Mali's adherence to economic reform, and the 50% devaluation of the African franc in January 1994, has pushed up economic growth. Several multinational corporations increased gold mining operations in 1996-98, and the government anticipates that Mali will become a major Sub-Saharan gold exporter in the next few years. Annual growth thus may fall in the 5% range in 1999-2000, and inflation held to 5% or less.

    GDP: purchasing power parity—$8 billion (1998 est.)

    GDP—real growth rate: 4.6% (1998 est.)

    GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$790 (1998 est.)

    GDP—composition by sector:
    agriculture: 49%
    industry: 17%
    services: 34% (1995)

    Population below poverty line: NA%

    Household income or consumption by percentage share:
    lowest 10%: NA%
    highest 10%: NA%

    Inflation rate (consumer prices): 5% (1998 est.)

    Labor force: NA

    Labor force—by occupation: agriculture and fishing 80% (1998 est.)

    Unemployment rate: NA%

    Budget:
    revenues: $730 million
    expenditures: $770 million, including capital expenditures of $320 million (1997 est.)

    Industries: minor local consumer goods production and food processing; construction; phosphate and gold mining

    Industrial production growth rate: 0.6% (1995 est.)

    Electricity—production: 288 million kWh (1996)

    Electricity—production by source:
    fossil fuel: 21.88%
    hydro: 78.12%
    nuclear: 0%
    other: 0% (1996)

    Electricity—consumption: 288 million kWh (1996)

    Electricity—exports: 0 kWh (1996)

    Electricity—imports: 0 kWh (1996)

    Agriculture—products: cotton, millet, rice, corn, vegetables, peanuts; cattle, sheep, goats

    Exports: $590 million (f.o.b., 1998 est.)

    Exports—commodities: cotton 50%, gold, livestock (1998 est.)

    Exports—partners: Thailand 20%, Italy 20%, China 9%, Brazil, franc zone (1997)

    Imports: $600 million (f.o.b., 1998 est.)

    Imports—commodities: machinery and equipment, construction materials, petroleum, foodstuffs, textiles

    Imports—partners: Cote d'Ivoire 19%, France 17%, other franc zone and EU countries (1997)

    Debt—external: $3.1 billion (1998)

    Economic aid—recipient: $596.4 million (1995)

    Currency: 1 Communaute Financiere Africaine franc (CFAF) = 100 centimes

    Exchange rates: Communaute Financiere Africaine francs (CFAF) per US$1—567.81 (January 1999), 589.95 (1998), 583.67 (1997), 511.55 (1996), 499.15 (1995), 555.20 (1994)

    Fiscal year: calendar year

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Revised 1-Mar-99
Copyright © 1999 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)