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Mali’s Fragility: Root Causes and Potential Recovery Pathways

KOLOMA, YAYA (2022): Mali’s Fragility: Root Causes and Potential Recovery Pathways.

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Abstract

Since 2012, Mali has been in crisis, with significant socioeconomic damages over the past nine years. Despite several efforts by national, regional, and international partners, violence is on the rise and spreading, institutions are dysfunctional, and the military remains inefficient, leading to questions about whether Mali has become ungovernable and when the crisis will end. Following the African Development Bank conception of fragility analysis, this paper aims to expose some of the root causes of Mali's fragility and to recommend a few actions to address them. We conduct an in-depth literature review by emphasizing five main dimensions, such as political and institutional, economic, social, and climate-environmental, and geopolitical and geostrategic considered key drivers of fragility. It is clear that one of the main causes of Mali's fragility is the poor performance of institutions and therefore of governance. The spread of the insecurity from the North to the Central region of the country is making the crisis more complex. Particularly, its ramification into inter-communities’ conflicts challenge the way to address the whole crisis. Possible solutions may include reorganizing military institutions, strategies, and services, establishing more equitable and well-distributed justice, engaging in dialogue with various communities, including armed and jihadist groups, implementing integrative, conflict-sensitive, and climate-sensitive development projects and programs, strengthening the economy based on the policy of developing regional competitiveness clusters, and finding a better balance between various and conflicting geopolitical interests.

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