Mali is one of the poorest countries in the world with an average per capita annual income of about US$470 (2006), an unemployment rate of 14.6% and 64% below the poverty line (2001) . The economy is almost entirely agricultural even though less than 2% of the land is cultivable. Livestock and subsistence crops such as millet, sorghum, maize and rice are raised for domestic consumption.
The main cash crop is cotton, of which Mali is one of Africa's largest producers and exporters. The Malian cotton industry, upon which one-third of the population depend for their livelihood, is in serious difficulty because of exceptionally low world prices.
Mali is one of the largest gold producers in Africa. Marble, salt and phosphates are also being exploited; there are also known reserves of iron ore and uranium.
Much of the economy has been privatised and deregulated since 1997 under the supervision of the IMF with which Mali presently enjoys good relations. Mali has also been one of the main beneficiaries of the debt cancellation for the poorest countries, and it continues to rely on foreign aid and remittances from émigrés. Mali is a member of ECOWAS and various other West African multinational economic organisations.
Information can be obtained from the embassy (see Contact Addresses).