The lifting of ECOWAS sanctions offers a breath of fresh air to the Malian economy

General view of the central market in Bamako, Mali.


Text by: RFI Follow

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The leaders of the member states of ECOWAS decided on Sunday July 3, during a summit in Accra, to lift part of the sanctions which had weighed on the country since January.

ECOWAS had sanctioned Bamako for failing to obtain a reasonable timetable for the return to constitutional order.


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ECOWAS finally accepted the latest calendar proposal from the ruling Malian military junta: a presidential election in February 2024, a constitutional referendum in March 2023 and legislative elections between October and November 2023. It therefore decided at its summit in Accra

a partial lifting of the sanctions

that weighed on Mali.

The diplomatic standoff between Bamako and the regional organization will have cost the Malian economy dearly, which lost two points of growth during these six months of sanctions.

In its last note on the country's economic situation, published in May, the World Bank warned: " 

If the sanctions were to last two quarters or more, the Malian economy is likely to fall back into recession in 2022.


Mali's economy is low-income.

Undiversified, it is mainly based on the agro-pastoral and mining sectors.

Without access to the sea, Mali has a crucial need for trade to export its raw materials, such as cotton or cattle, and import its manufactured goods.

In addition, it suffers shocks related to insecurity and global warming.

With the lifting of sanctions, the Malian state can now resume its program defined in 2019 in the Strategic Framework for Economic Recovery and Development.

The World Bank recommends tackling the root causes of the country's fragility, namely shortcomings in the provision of basic services and governance. 

Joined by RFI, the economist Modibo Mao Makalou, believes that this lifting of sanctions will have immediate consequences and will quickly relieve the Malian economy.

And there is the reopening of the borders.

The fact that we could once again trade with all the ECOWAS countries and outside, will really improve the living conditions of Malians.

You know that we have a large diaspora within ECOWAS.

90% of the Malian diaspora lives in ECOWAS member countries.

Modibo Mao Makalou, economist

Gaelle Laleix


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