FATF AML Deficiency List


Higher Risk

Supporter or Safe Haven of international terrorism
Non - Compliance with FATF MER Recommendations
Corruption Index (Transparency International & W.G.I.)
World Governance Indicators (Average Score)

Medium Risk

Weakness in Government Legislation to combat Money Laundering




FATF Status

Mali is on the FATF List of Countries that have been identified as having strategic AML deficiencies

FATF Statement re AML Strategic Deficiencies:   21 October 2021 

In October 2021, Mali made a high-level political commitment to work with the FATF and GIABA to strengthen the effectiveness of its AML/CFT regime. Since the adoption of its MER in November 2019, Mali has made progress on a number of the MER’s recommended actions to improve its system, including by adopting its National Risk Assessment (NRA). Mali will work to implement its FATF action plan by: (1) disseminating the results of the NRA to all relevant stakeholders including by conducting awareness raising activities with the highest risk sectors; (2) developing and starting to implement a risk based approach for the AML/CFT supervision of all FIs and higher risk DNFBPs and demonstrating effective, proportionate and dissuasive sanctions for noncompliance; (3) conducting a comprehensive assessment of ML/TF risks associated with all types of legal persons; (4) increasing the capacity of the FIU and the LEAs and enhancing their cooperation on the use of financial intelligence; (5) ensuring relevant competent authorities are involved in investigation and prosecution of ML; (6) strengthening the capacities of relevant authorities responsible for investigation and prosecution of TF cases; (7) establishing a legal framework and procedures to implement targeted financial sanctions; and (8) implementing a risk-based approach for supervision of the NPO sector to prevent abuse for TF purposes. 


Compliance with FATF Recommendations 

The last Mutual Evaluation Report relating to the implementation of anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing standards in Mali was undertaken in 2020. According to that Evaluation, Mali was deemed Compliant for 6 and Largely Compliant for 15 of the FATF 40 Recommendations. It was deemed Highly Effective for 0 and Substantially Effective for 0 of the Effectiveness  & Technical Compliance ratings.


US Department of State Money Laundering assessment (INCSR) 

Mali was deemed a ‘Monitored’ Jurisdiction by the US Department of State 2016 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR). Key Findings from the report are as follows: -


Mali is not a regional financial center and has no free trade zones or offshore sectors. Illegal proceeds derive primarily from rampant trafficking of everyday commodities, people, small arms, and narcotics across the Algerian, Nigerien, and Mauritanian borders. Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb and other al-Qaida-linked and armed groups, known to operate in the sparsely populated north, are involved in smuggling as well as kidnapping for ransom to generate funds. Mali’s economy is largely cash-based, making it difficult to detect illicit financial activity or track the proceeds of crime. Malian authorities believe the proceeds of trafficking activity in Europe may pass through Malian banks as they are returned to South America or elsewhere, but lack the resources to make a definitive determination.


Mali is a member of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU), which also includes Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Niger, Senegal, and Togo. All of the WAEMU members share a common currency, the West African CFA, and have developed similar AML/CFT frameworks, including legal and financial intelligence unit (FIU) structures.



The UN Security Council has adopted Resolution 2374 (2017) imposing travel restrictions and an asset freeze. Restrictive measures can be imposed on those responsible for or complicit in, or having engaged in actions and policies that threaten the peace, security, or stability of Mali.




Rating                                                                           (100-Good / 0-Bad)

Transparency International Corruption Index                           30

World Governance Indicator – Control of Corruption             27

Corruption is a very high risk for companies operating in Mali. Corruption in public procurement, in the settlement of commercial disputes, and petty corruption are common obstacles for investors. Mali is one of the world's poorest countries and is currently recovering from a multidimensional political, security and economic crisis, which is not yet overcome in parts of the country, particularly in the north. Key anti-corruption laws include the Penal Code and the Law on the Prevention and Repression of Illicit Enrichment, which prohibit active and passive corruption, mostly in the public sector. The maximum punishment for corruption offenses is 20 years' imprisonment or fines, but the anti-corruption provisions are poorly enforced. Mali has ratified the United Nations Convention against Corruption. For further information - GAN Integrity Business Anti-Corruption Portal


Among the 25 poorest countries in the world, Mali is a landlocked country that depends on gold mining and agricultural exports for revenue. The country's fiscal status fluctuates with gold and agricultural commodity prices and the harvest; cotton and gold exports make up around 80% of export earnings. Mali remains dependent on foreign aid.


Economic activity is largely confined to the riverine area irrigated by the Niger River and about 65% of its land area is desert or semi desert. About 10% of the population is nomadic and about 80% of the labour force is engaged in farming and fishing. Industrial activity is concentrated on processing farm commodities. The government subsidizes the production of cereals to decrease the country’s dependence on imported foodstuffs and to reduce its vulnerability to food price shocks.


Mali is developing its iron ore extraction industry to diversify foreign exchange earnings away from gold, but the pace will largely depend on global price trends. Mali’s economic performance has improved since 2013 although physical insecurity, high population growth, corruption, weak infrastructure, and low levels of human capital remain hindrances to sustained growth.


Agriculture - products:

cotton, millet, rice, corn, vegetables, peanuts; cattle, sheep, goats



food processing; construction; phosphate and gold mining


Exports - commodities:

cotton, gold, livestock


Exports - partners:

Switzerland 48.5%, China 9.4%, India 9.1%, Bangladesh 8%, Thailand 4.5%, Indonesia 4.4% (2015)


Imports - commodities:

petroleum, machinery and equipment, construction materials, foodstuffs, textiles


Imports - partners:

Cote d’Ivoire 9.9%, France 9.5%, Senegal 7.7%, China 7% (2015)


Investment Climate  -  US State Department

As Mali recovers from the multidimensional security, political, and economic crisis of the last four years, the Government of Mali (GOM) is looking towards foreign investment as a key promoter of stability. With current annual economic growth rates at over five percent, important political progress including the signature of a peace accord and the continuation of direct negotiations between the government and armed groups are sources of hope for further economic revitalization. Using this positive momentum, the Malian government expects an important increase of investment opportunities throughout the country, including in northern Mali, particularly in the mining and renewable energy sectors, as well as in infrastructure, agriculture, and tourism. The government also continues to strengthen the business environment by adopting measures to simplify business creation and operating procedures.


Despite an improving political environment and promising economic opportunities for U.S. firms, Mali faces significant electricity access, infrastructure, corruption, as well as drug trafficking and smuggling challenges, primarily in the northern conflict affected portion of the country. The instability in the northern regions has permitted terrorist groups to conduct attacks against westerners and Malian government forces. Both Malian and foreign businesses face corruption in procurement, importation, and export of products, paying taxes, and administrative processing, as well as land management.


After a tumultuous period in 2012 with negative economic growth and heightened insecurity, Mali’s economy is currently on the upswing with over 5 percent growth each year since 2014. The government is developing a new regulatory framework for public-private partnerships and hopes to welcome investors in the infrastructure, telecommunication, service, mining, as well as agricultural sectors. As a nation with development challenges, Mali continues to depend upon multilateral financial institutions including the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, African Development Bank and bilateral donors for short term funding. Local banks have a conservative lending strategy but are beginning to increase their lending portfolios. At the same time, the investment climate is benefiting from the financial and economic reform processes that accompany this institutional lending.


Given the strong bilateral relationship between the United States and Mali, the Malian private sector considers products from U.S. to be high quality reliable goods and openly searches for new business partnerships with U.S. firms. Mali’s strong economy (projected to grow at 5.5 percent in 2016) and eagerness to attract foreign investment have made Mali a rewarding investment climate for U.S. companies.


Country Links
Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO)
Other Useful Links
US State Department
Transparency International
World Bank
CIA World Factbook