France and Mali


Political relations

Following France’s engagement under Operation Serval in January 2013, Mali and France developed close, confident relations that also drew on historical and cultural ties and on the presence in France of a large Malian diaspora. The political relations between the two countries have however taken a turn for the worse since the two coups d’État in 2020 and 2021.

French presence

Consulate-General of France: Bamako
French community in Mali: 6,000 (2022 estimate)
Malian community in France: around 90,000 people with valid residence permits (2019).


  • From 26 to 28 January 2021, the interim President of Mali, Mr Bah N’Daw, made a working visit to France. During this visit, he had a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron.
  • On 25 and 26 October 2020, the French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Jean-Yves Le Drian, made a two-day visit to Bamako.
  • On 13 January 2020, Malian President, Boubacar Keïta, took part in the Pau Summit alongside his G5 Sahel counterparts.
  • In September 2019, the Malian Prime Minister, Boubou Cissé, visited Paris.
  • In February 2019, French Prime Minister Édouard Philippe visited Mali.
  • In November 2018, Malian President Boubacar Keïta was received in France for the commemorations of the centenary of the First World War.
  • On 22 September 2018, the French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Jean-Yves Le Drian, attended the festivities for President Keïta’s inauguration and the Malian national holiday, held on the same day.
  • On 31 October 2017, Malian President Boubacar Keïta was received at the Élysée Palace by his French counterpart, Mr Emmanuel Macron.
  • On 2 July 2017, French President Emmanuel Macron visited Mali for the Extraordinary Summit of the G5 Sahel Heads of State, accompanied by the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Jean-Yves Le Drian, and the Minister for the Armed Forces, Florence Parly.
  • On 19 May 2017, French President Emmanuel Macron visited Mali to meet with his counterpart and soldiers from the Barkhane forces.
  • In January 2017, Mali hosted the 27th Africa-France Summit, attended by 32 Heads of State and Government.

Economic relations

France remains a major economic partner for Mali, as the leading direct private employer, the leader in the number of companies present in the country, and the top foreign contributor to government revenue (20%).
In the Africa-Indian Ocean region, the country is France’s 10th-largest customer. It represents 3.4% of French exports to the region. France is the country’s second-largest supplier.
French companies are notably present in the digital sector (Orange, Thomson Broadcast), the media (Canal Plus), logistics (Bolloré), refined petroleum (TotalEnergies), agrifood (Castel, GIE AMI), air transport (Air France, Servair), construction (Sogea-Satom, Razel), mining services (JA Delmas), banking services (BNP Paribas), and secure documents (Oberthur).

Cultural, scientific and technical cooperation

Mali is one of the 19 priority countries for French development policy. However, our official development assistance has been suspended in light of the worsening political situation in Mali.

Other cooperation

Under the 11th EU European Development Fund (2014-2022), Mali received €615 million in European support, allocated as follows:

  • State reform and consolidation of the rule of law: €280 million;
  • Rural development and food security: €100 million;
  • Education: €100 million;
  • Roads: €110 million;
  • Civil society support: €25 million.

The Malian armed forces also benefit from the European Union Training Mission in Mali (EUTM) and training and advice for internal security forces. Activities have however been scaled back significantly given the situation in the country.

Updated: 26 January 2023