Mali’s public service, amidst profound poverty and corruption, grapples with systemic issues like nepotism and the absence of a long-term career strategy, intensifying under the current transitional government. The merit-based approach in public administration has been sidelined since the tenure of Prime Minister Ibrahim Boubacar Keita in February 1994, giving rise to favoritism and graft.
The 2022 annual report by the VGAL (General Auditor of the State) revealed a staggering loss of 700 billion FCFA over two years (2020-2022) due to corruption. This implicates both government officials and individuals in authoritative positions. Prime Minister Dr. Choguel Kokalla Maiga acknowledged instances of some Malians receiving multiple salaries while a significant portion of the population grapples with poverty.
Notably, the report highlighted the incorporation of Touareg rebels into the public sector as part of peace accords. This has resulted in stark societal divisions where certain segments benefit from government quotas while others face poverty. Mali’s poverty rate has persisted and worsened since the 1990s, reflecting the social inequality prevalent in the country.
Rise of New Social Movements
A new movement, ‘Assimi Takokelé for continuity’ (MSAT), led by an individual with a contentious background, has surfaced, sparking doubts about its true intentions and objectives.
Mali’s complexities are compounded by the closure of the MINUSMA base in Ansongo, part of a withdrawal plan, despite ongoing security challenges in the area. This decision, alongside the escalating influence of extremist groups in the Sahel region of West Africa, adds to Mali’s existing challenges.
Amidst Mali’s issues, the global political sphere witnesses its own shifts. From the FBI’s raid on Mayor Eric Adams’ top campaign fundraiser over a corruption inquiry to Liberian President George Manneh Weah’s unexpected concession speech during elections, the dynamics of governance are in constant flux.