Mali Administrative Structure

By | March 15, 2021

National symbols

The focus of the text of the national anthem “Le Mali” is not only on building and defending the Malian nation, but also on realizing African unity.

The colors of the national flag symbolize the hope (green), the gold (yellow) and the memory (red) of those who died in the struggle for national sovereignty. The colors are the pan-African colors.

In the state coat of arms, the words “One people – one goal – one faith” appear under the official state name. A dove, a city symbol, a stylized sunrise and two arches are depicted as symbols in the coat of arms.

Formal state structure and territorial administration

According to areacodesexplorer, Mali is a country located in Western Africa. The national territory is divided into ten central administrative regions (régions), which in turn are made up of 57 districts (cercles). The Bamako district, which includes the area of the capital Bamako, has a special administrative position.

The administrative structure consists of four administrative levels: central government, regional assemblies, district councils and the municipal councils (conseils de commune) established since 1999, which form the lowest level of power. These will be elected by the eligible population for five years. District councils (conseils de cercle) exist at the district level. Each municipality sends elected representatives to the district council. The regions are governed by regional assemblies in which elected district council members sit. The multi-layered structure described ensures that the political will of the community residents and thus the population entitled to vote is of decisive importance.

In 2011, a bill for the administrative reorganization of the state was passed, which among other things provided for an increase in the number of administrative regions to 19 regions in the future. In early 2016, with the creation of the Taoudéni and Ménaka regions, the number of administrative regions was increased from eight to ten.

In October 2018 it was announced that the creation of a total of 19 administrative regions was planned. As a result, there were demonstrations and protests, the focus of which was on the territorial layout of the new regions and cercles.

The policy of decentralization is one of the most important core programs of the Malian government. In the course of decentralization a total of 703 municipalities have been created since 1999. The municipal councils were elected in two election rounds in 1998/1999. In the second local election in 2004, the weakened ADEMA became the strongest party with only 28%. In the third local election in 2009, an important test election for the 2012 election year, ADEMA and its allies maintained their leading position. Occasional complaints were made about irregularities and attempts at fraud. Overall, the election was peaceful but largely by a parent and the course marked. As usual at important elections, the Independent National Electoral Commission also prepared a report on this election.

The local elections in November 2016 were seen as a test of whether the government had regained control of the entire state. However, despite considerable logistical support from MINUSMA in the preparation of the elections, there was no election in the northern Malian regions of Kidal, Ménaka and Taoudéni due to a call for a boycott by extremist Tuareg groups. In addition, in the Timbuktu and Mopti regions no elections could be held in some municipalities, which was also due to politically motivated acts of violence. The local elections had been postponed four times since April 2014 due to the unstable situation in large parts of the country. Before the elections, the opposition faced massive election fraud warned by the RPM and its allies.

In the course of decentralization, the municipalities were gradually given responsibility for a wide range of areas of responsibility that affect the economic, social and cultural development of the municipalities (e.g. primary education, economic and tourism promotion, water supply and land use planning). The municipalities can take out loans, hire their own staff and levy taxes and duties. The greatest current challenges for municipalities include citizen participation, poverty reduction, land use, problems with the transfer of resources and competencies to municipalities as well as the increase in municipal income. Corruption, insufficiently motivated employees and land speculation also cause problems in some places.

Representative of a rural community

Representative of a rural community

Law, order and security

In the course of the political transformation that has taken place since 1991, an independent legal system was created, whose representatives, however, are often exposed to accusations of corruption and favoritism in public. The judicial system must be assessed overall as weak. For this reason too, improvements in the judiciary are sought. The trust of many citizens in the police and the judiciary is rated as rather low.

In theory, every citizen has the option of turning to an independent mediator (Médiateur de la République) appointed by the government in disputes with state institutions.

The security forces want to act increasingly against the drug trafficking that is spreading in the country, but also in neighboring countries.