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Working in Bamako

Find out how to get a job and work in Bamako

Mali is in general a poor country and Bamako does not have a very strong economy making it hard for expats to find a job in Bamako. There are some tricks, however, to successfully entering the local job market and to make the most of it. Check out the InterNations GO! Guide for more information!

Employment in Bamako

Many expats who travel to Mali end up working in Bamako. It is the largest city in the country and the administrative capital, so there are more jobs here than anywhere else. The most common work in Bamako is relief work with one of the many charities in the area. However, in recent years the thriving music scene and newly discovered gold mines have led to a small export boom.

Local Economy

Mali is one of the poorest countries in the world, and Bamako is visibly impoverished in certain areas. There is a lot of homelessness in the city, and temporary villages around the city limits house large numbers of refugees from the north of Mali and neighboring countries.

Much of Bamako’s economy is driven by foreign aid and World Bank loans. However, some signs of economic independence are emerging. In 1999, a number of gold mines were found to be viable, and these have led to a small uptick in the country’s export trade. Bamako is situated in the fertile lower 10% of the country, and agriculture plays a huge role in the city’s development. Cotton, peanuts, corn and rice are the county’s main agricultural exports, and approximately 80% of Mali’s population work within this sector.

Job Hunting in Bamako

As an expat, job hunting in Bamako will be a lot easier if you can speak fluent French or, better yet, Bambara. Most local jobs are offered by word of mouth, so it pays to be able to join in the conversations.

The city is home to some large and small aid agencies, which offer anything from medical care to administrative support. Contact charities such as UNICEF, WaterAid, World Vision and Oxfam, but make it clear that you are looking for paid work, not a voluntary placement.

Income Taxation in Bamako

Bamako has a very loose approach to taxation. Expats and residents are expected to self-register at a local tax office, where they will be expected to pay one year’s tax bill up front, usually in cash. The standard rate for income tax is either 3% or 30%, depending on your circumstances, although this can usually be negotiated.

Once a year, the tax officials take a census in the city’s different neighborhoods and fines are meted out to anyone who has been avoiding taxation. When paying your taxes, make sure you get everything in writing so that you can prove that you have paid if you are ever asked.

Do you want to relocate? If you have never moved abroad, the process will be overwhelming, and if you have, you know the burden that lies ahead. Whatever stage you are at, InterNations GO! can help you with a complete set of relocation services, such as home finding, school search, visa solutions, and even pet relocation. Our expert expat team is ready to get your relocation going, so why not jump-start your move abroad and contact us today? Best to start early!

Updated on: January 27, 2022
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Once we've helped you move to Bamako, we can make you feel at home by introducing you to other expats who have already settled and are part of our Bamako Community. Attend our monthly events and activities in Bamako and get to know like-minded expats in real life.

InterNations Bamako Online Event

Start date Apr 4, 2021, 7:00 PM

Attendees 74

InterNations Bamako April Online Event

Start date Apr 25, 2021, 6:00 PM

Attendees 100

InterNations Bamako May Event

Start date May 16, 2021, 2:00 PM

Attendees 18

InterNations Bamako Online Music Event

Start date Jun 27, 2021, 7:00 PM

Attendees 130

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