Germany is one of Mali’s most important international development partners. Since Mali gained its independence in 1960, technical and financial cooperation has focused on building the capacities of its central government, public authorities, municipalities, civil society organisations and private sector. The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH currently has 272 staff working in the country.
A landlocked West African country, Mali is more than three times larger than Germany. It faces a number of major challenges: it must consolidate basic government functions and public services throughout the country, expand production and build crisis resilience in the agricultural sector, and foster economic growth. In early 2012, Mali was shaken by a major political and security crisis. The situation only improved after the election of a civilian government in September 2013. In June 2015, an Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation in Mali was signed between the government and various armed groups
GIZ currently focuses on three priority areas in Mali:
- decentralisation and good governance
- the promotion of productive and sustainable agriculture
- drinking water supply and sanitation in small and medium-sized towns.
In vast and sparsely populated Mali, efficient local authorities which are close to citizens have a vital role to play in providing basic social amenities such as schools, health centres and an energy supply and in strengthening local democracy. Despite the tense security situation, Mali’s municipalities – with GIZ’s support – have consistently improved their performance capacity and expanded local basic service provision and were thus able to make a substantial contribution to restoring stability during the crisis year of 2012. In the current post-conflict situation, decentralisation is therefore a priority for the Government of Mali. GIZ is working on behalf of the German Government to improve the relevant institutional frameworks, promote fiscal decentralisation, improve the economic performance of Mali’s regions, and expand the mechanisms for governance and citizen participation.
In agriculture, GIZ is promoting more intensive use of small-scale irrigation, which enables farmers to produce good harvests even in years with little rainfall. GIZ is also training women to process their harvests properly and market their produce. Supporting livelihood security in this way also has a positive effect on social stability by building crisis resilience.
Other fields of action include adaptation to climate change, and the promotion of transparency and good governance in the context of public finances and resource management. In addition, through a regional partnership with the African Union, GIZ is supporting cross-border cooperation between Mali and its neighbours Burkina Faso, Guinea and Senegal.
Since 2013, GIZ has been supporting the newly established institutions comprising Mali’s peace architecture, namely the Ministry of National Reconciliation, the High Representative of the President for the Implementation of the Peace Agreement, and the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission. GIZ is working to promote reconciliation in Mali through participatory dialogue and is implementing various microprojects in order to generate tangible peace dividends for communities in the northern regions, which were worst affected by the conflict. With GIZ’s support, for example, grain warehouses operated by a women’s cooperative have been refurbished, and in Gao Region, sports facilities destroyed by the jihadists are being rebuilt.
Projects and Programmes
Security, Reconstruction and Peace
Governance and democracy
Environment and climate change
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