I went to Mali to work with the Cooperative of Women Fish Dealers in Mopti, Mali. The cooperative is comprised of more than 50 women working in partnership with fishermen, wholesale buyers, fishing equipment sellers, and transporters. While in Mali, I provided needs assessments for the women’s cooperative, conducted a value chain analysis of the country’s fishing sector, and made recommendations to the Mopti Regional Directorate of Fisheries on how to ensure the sectors sustainable growth.
Mali is a landlocked country located in West Africa with a surface area of 1,241,000 sq meters. The largest country in West Africa, it is surrounded with seven neighboring countries: Algeria in the North, Niger in South-east, Burkina Faso and Côte d’Ivoire in the South and Guinea, Senegal and Mauritania in the West. The climate is subtropical to arid; hot and dry February to June; rainy, humid, and mild June to November; cool and dry November to February.
Mali has a population estimated at 14.5 million (2009) inhabitants composed of ethnic groups, such as Manding (Bambara or Bamana, Malinke) 52%, Fulani 11%, Saracolé 7%, Songhai 7%, Dogon 5%, Tuareg and Maur 5%, Mianka 4%, other (Bozo, Bwas, Senufo) 9%.
In Mali, people are divided up between the three main confessions: Islam 90%, Indigenous 6% and Christian 4%. .French language is the official one but Bamanan remains by far the most spoken language (about 80% of the populations speak it).