Mali Transportation

By | March 15, 2021

In the car through difficult terrain

In the car through difficult terrain

The inland location and the insufficiently developed transport infrastructure have a very difficult effect on the country’s development. After the outbreak of serious domestic political crises in the Ivory Coast, the 650 km long Bamako – Dakar (Senegal) railway line had become an important foreign trade route for Mali. It is also the only railway line in Mali. However, the operation of this line is faced with a number of serious problems (for example prolonged shutdowns) which are a significant obstacle to the realization of important industrial and mining investment projects in Western Mali.

A railway line from Bamako to Conakry (Guinea) is being planned. The construction of this 900 km long transport route, for which the People’s Republic of China committed a large loan in 2014, would enable a better connection between Mali and the overseas port of Conakry and increased raw material exports.

According to homosociety, Mali is a country located in Western Africa. The Malian road network has a length of over 21,000 km, of which around 6,200 km are asphalted. Over the past 25 years the road connections to Senegal, Guinea, western Niger and Mauritania have been expanded with vigor. With the construction of new highways, the connection to West Mali and the Timbuktu region is to be improved. There are also plans to build a road between Bourem (north of Gao) and the Algerian border, which would significantly improve the connection between Northern Mali and the national and Algerian road networks.

Construction of the country’s first motorway began at the end of 2015. The 60 km long expressway connects Bamako with the regional capital Koulikoro. However, the question seems justified as to whether the undoubtedly necessary improvement of the important Bamako – Koulikoro transport axis could not also have been achieved more cost-effectively, for example through better maintenance of the existing highway and the construction of some bypasses.

In the area around Bamako, a logistics company from Dubai is building a 1,000-hour, modern container handling center. The commissioning of the center is expected to simplify and further increase the increasing container traffic on the important Bamako – Dakar axis.

On the highways are road tolls collected that the road maintenance serve. However, there sometimes seem to be irregularities in the way tolls are collected and how the revenues are used.

Many roads and slopes continue to be of poor quality as a result of insufficient maintenance and overloading of trucks, which makes overland transport considerably more difficult (see photos below). Another major problem is the collection of illegal charges at roadside inspection posts.

Shipping on the Senegal and Niger rivers is only possible for a few months during the high water season. Primarily locally made wooden boats are used.

Bamako is home to the country’s largest international airport, which has been extensively expanded and modernized in recent years. It is planned that the airport will in future be operated by a private company on the basis of the principle of public-private partnership.

Road conditions are sometimes catastrophic in large parts of Mali

Road conditions are sometimes catastrophic in large parts of Mali

In 2011 the expansion of the airport of the regional capital Kayes to an international airport was completed. As a result, at least temporarily, the accessibility of large parts of western Mali was considerably improved. In November 2019, construction work began on a new international airport in the regional capital Kidal. The implementation of the project is expected to improve the accessibility of parts of northern Mali.

The airline Air Mali flew to a number of domestic and international destinations until it ceased operations at the end of 2012. The airports in Mopti / Sévaré, Timbuktu, Gao and Kayes were also served by European charter lines, which were used in particular by foreign tourists, until the outbreak of the latest conflict in the winter months.

With Sky Mali, a new airline started operations in September 2020, which is financed by an investor from Abu Dhabi.