Information by Country

Mali: Background

This map does not reflect a position by UNICEF on the legal status of any country or territory or the delimitation of any frontiers.
Mali is a landlocked West African country with approximately 13 million people, more than half of them under age 18. It is heavily dependent on international aid, and its agricultural sector is extremely vulnerable to climatic changes. Civil unrest in neighbouring Côte d'Ivoire has compelled the Government and development partners to reallocate substantial resources to providing humanitarian assistance for refugees and displaced people.

Under the concept of  ‘un village, une école’ (‘a school for each village’), the Malian Government is looking to strengthen school-community linkages, promote decentralized management and provide educational opportunities for all children.

Barriers to girls’ education

  • Schools are remotely located from homes in many small villages and hamlets.
  • Women are traditionally seen as wives and mothers, not as students.
  • Child marriage leads to girls dropping out of school.
  • Lack of emphasis on girls’ education.

UNGEI in action

An UNGEI partnership has not been launched in Mali, but a high-level partnership on education, Cadre partenarial de l’Education (CPE), functions at the national level.

Key initiatives

  • Move schools closer to homes in rural areas.
  • Ensure that roads leading to schools are safe, especially for girls.
  • Improve access to educational opportunities in rural areas.
  • Develop child-friendly schools.
  • Support community-based initiatives to improve education and create gender equity.


UNGEI works with a variety of actors at all levels, including the European Union, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the World Bank.

UNGEI within other national and international frameworks

The Common Country Assessment/United Nations Development Assistance Framework (CCA/UNDAF) process exists at the national level.


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