For six decades now, Mali and Germany have been engaged in building cooperation based on partnership despite the in part difficult circumstances. Many people in Mali are keenly aware that the Federal Republic of Germany was the first country to recognise the independent Republic of Mali in 1960.
Bilateral visits between Germany and Mali are frequent. Former President Keita visited Berlin in February 2019, while Federal Chancellor Merkel travelled to Mali in May 2019. In the meantime, several visits have taken place at ministerial level. In April 2022, Federal Foreign Minister Baerbock visited Bamako and Gao. There are not many German nationals living permanently in Mali, while a few thousand Malians live in Germany.
Germany is engaged in Mali in a variety of ways. The Bundeswehr will continue its involvement in the UN mission MINUSMA until May 2024. Furthermore Germany provides personnel for the Mali civilian training mission EUCAP Sahel. Similarly, the Federal Government supports Mali with measures to strengthen the civilian security sector.
The Federal Government promotes projects on crisis prevention and stabilisation, for example, to flank the peace and reconciliation process, to promote local mediation and to strengthen social cohesion, as well as moves to establish rule of law structures.
The Sahel is one of the regions of the world worst affected by the climate crisis. Due to a lack of rain, millions of people have lost their livelihoods with many having to flee. Germany is providing needs-based emergency humanitarian assistance independent of government authorities in Mali aiming for example to provide emergency food aid, improve access to clean drinking water and regain pastoral land all with a view of helping the people in the country.
German-Malian development cooperation focuses on decentralisation and municipal development, agriculture and water/sanitation. Projects for example to improve agricultural productivity and access to clean drinking water or to strengthen democratic participation in decision-making at municipal and regional level are designed to help the people in Mali, one of the least developed countries in the world, to build livelihoods and open up prospects for the future.
German cultural activities in Mali focus on promoting the German language and facilitating further training for Malian students by providing university and professional education scholarships, as well implementing a youth dialogue project.
Bilateral trade is relatively insignificant and despite the bilateral investment protection agreement concluded in 1977, there is currently no major German private-sector investment in Mali.