Transport in Mali

Transport in Mali

Mali's transportation infrastructure is regarded as poor, even by regional standards, and deficiencies have limited economic growth and development. Nevertheless, improvements have been noted in the early 2000s. A number of road and airport projects were initiated prior to Mali’s hosting of the African Nations Cup football tournament in 2002. [ Mali country profile] . Library of Congress Federal Research Division (January 2005). "This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.]


Mali has only one railroad, including 729 kilometers in Mali, which runs from the port of Koulikoro via Bamako to the border with Senegal and continues on to Dakar. The Bamako-Dakar line, which has been described as dilapidated, is owned by a joint company established by Mali and Senegal in 1995, with the eventual goal of privatization. In 2003 the two countries sold a 25-year concession to run the rail line to a Canadian company, which has pledged to upgrade equipment and infrastructure. The Malian portion of the railroad carried an estimated 536,000 tons of freight and 778,000 passengers in 1999, but the track is in poor condition and the line is closed frequently during the rainy season. The line is potentially significant because it links landlocked Mali to the port of Dakar, increasingly of interest for Malian exports in the face of the disruption of access to Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, as a result of civil conflict in that country beginning in late 2002. In the early 2000s, there also were plans to construct a new rail line between Bamako and Kouroussa and Kankan in Guinea.

Brakes: Air [ [ Indian MG coaches for Senegal/Mali - Railpage Australia Forums (Africa) ] ]

Couplings: unknown.

Railway links with adjacent countries

* Algeria - no - potential break of gauge 1000mm/1435mm
* Niger - no railways
* Burkina Faso - no - same gauge 1000mm
* Ivory Coast - no - same gauge 1000mm
* Guinea - no - same gauge 1000mm also 1435mm
* Senegal - yes - same gauge 1000mm
* Mauritania - no - break of gauge 1000mm/1435mm


* [ UN Map]
* []

Cities and Towns served by rail


* Dakar, Senegal
* Thies, Senegal
* Diourbel, Senegal
* Guinguinéo, Senegal
* Kaffrine, Senegal
* Tambacounda, Senegal
* Kidira, Senegal - Mali border
* Kayes, Mali
* Diamou, Mali
* Kita, Mali
* Kati, Mali
* Bamako - national capital
* Koulikoro - railhead and river port.




* [ Length]
* [ Rank - 3 Armenia 83,945 which is absurd!]


Mali had a road network totaling about 18,563 kilometers in 2000, including about 4,450 kilometers of paved roads. Mali’s main economic link to the coast is a paved road between Bamako and Abidjan in Côte d’Ivoire. The European Development Fund is financingconstruction of a road linking Bamako and Dakar, Senegal. The African Development Bank is funding the construction of a road linking Bamako and Kankan in Guinea. There are also plans for a trans-Saharan road linking Mali with Algeria. In general, road conditions outside of urban areas are hazardous, especially at night. Because of isolation, poor road conditions, and the prevalence of banditry, overland travel to the north of Mali is regarded as especially dangerous; flying or traveling by boat is reported to be preferable where possible. Many of Mali’s major thoroughfares in the north are little more than desert tracks with long isolated stretches.

Ports and waterways

Mali has no seaports because it is landlocked, but Koulikoro on the Niger River near Bamako, serves as a principal river port. Traditionally, Abidjan in Côte d’Ivoire has been Mali’s main seaport, handling as much as 70 percent of Mali’s trade (except for gold exports). Mali’s export trade suffered when turbulence in Côte d’Ivoire in the early 2000s interrupted that trade route.

Mali has 1,815 kilometers of inland waterways, principally the Niger River, some portions of which are navigable for medium and large shipping during the rainy season (June/July–November/December) in years of normal rainfall. Parts of the Senegal River also are navigable, providing year-round access to the Atlantic from Kayes to St. Louis in Senegal.


In 2007 Mali reportedly had 29 airports, 8 of which had paved runways. [CIA factbook.] The main airport is Senou International Airport in Bamako, which offers flights to neighboring countries and to Europe. As part of infrastructure improvements in 2002, the runway at Bamako was extended, and new airstrips were built in previously isolated areas of the west—Kayes, Mopti, and Sikasso. Air Mali was liquidated in April 2003, but intercontinental services from Bamako are provided by Air France and a Belgian airline, among others.


As of 2005, Mali had no pipelines.


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