Working in Mali?

Connect with fellow expats in Mali
Join exciting events and groups
Get information in our Mali guides
Exchange tips about expat life in Mali

Working in Mali

With Mali is still among the poorest nations in the world and as such, an understanding of the country’s diverse economy is essential for expats planning on conducting business. In this guide, we give you a first economic overview as well as introduce you to work permit and income taxation regulations.

Economic Overview

Because Mali is a part of the Zone Franc, or the “French Zone”, the national currency is the CFA Franc. Mali is also therefore a part of the Central Bank of West African States (the BCEAO), a central bank that serves eight West African nations and that is connected to the French Central Bank. 

The Malian economy can be divided into three key areas: agriculture, mining and energy. Regarding agriculture, the largest crop export of Mali is cotton, which is disseminated throughout Senegal and the Ivory Coast. Around 80% of Malian workers are employed within agriculture; seasonal variations in the amount of work available result in repeated temporary unemployment for these workers. 

Another key export is gold; since relaxing its enforcement of mining codes in 1991, foreign investment in Mali’s mining industry has steadily risen. The sizeable quantities of gold mined in the southern region of Mali means that it has the third largest gold production in Africa. 

Half of all of Mali’s energy is supplied by efficient hydroelectric power plants. However, only 50% of the population has access to electricity. 

Work Permits for Mali

Expatriates planning on working in Mali require a business visa. A passport, completed application form, photographs and letter from the company that one plans to conduct business on behalf of while in Mali are required. For the business visa, a registration certificate and recent income tax filed from the inviting company in Mali are also needed. The visa should be applied for at the closest embassy or consulate prior to entering Mali .

Income Taxation in Mali

Expatriates should note that regarding corporate tax, foreign companies are taxed the same as local companies for profits at a rate of 30%. 

With regards to personal taxation, residents are taxed on their worldwide income while non-residents are only taxed on their income generated in Mali. The taxation system is progressive:

  • 0 CFA to 175,000 CFA — 0%
  • 175,001 CFA to 600,000 CFA — 5%
  • 600,001 CFA to 1,200,000 CFA — 13%
  • 1,200,001 CFA to 1,800,000 CFA — 20%
  • 1,800,001 CFA to 2,400,000 CFA — 28%
  • 2,400,001 CFA to 3,500,000 CFA — 34%
  • 3,500,001 CFA — 40%

Matthew Brown

"As a development aid worker I am mostly busy near Timbouctou and Gao. InterNations helped me to exchange ideas with other development agencies."

Rikke Johansen

"A friend recommended InterNations for my relocation to Mali. Glad I joined -- settling in Bamako was much easier with the help of fellow expats."

Global Expat Guide