The Republic of Mali is Africa’s eighth-largest country but among the 25 poorest in the world. A landlocked nation bordered by Algeria, Niger, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Guinea, Senegal, and Mauritania, a huge chunk of its land is in the Southern Sahara Desert.

Mali’s economy is dependent on gold mining and the export of agricultural products with about 80% of its population engaging in farming and fishing. Its industrial operations are focused on processing farm goods and commodities.

The country also relies on foreign assistance. Its government has implemented a structural adjustment program initiated by the International Monetary Fund, which helped in the economic progress and draw investments from foreign countries. With the gold production slacking off, the country has started exploring its cotton and iron ore extraction to maintain its revenue. The country had ventured into tourism but because of security issues, the industry started to fall.

The country is a part of the “franc zone” and uses the CFA franc as its national currency. In 1962, the country pulled up from the Central Bank of the West African States or the Banque Centrale de Etats de l’Afrique de l’Ouest. From then on, the Bank of the Republic of Mali is responsible for the production of its banknotes.

Its first banknotes were issued in 1962 but were dated 22 SEPTEMBRE 1960, the date of Mali’s independence. These notes featured the country’s first president, Modibo Keita, and were printed by Statni Tiskarna Cenin in Prague, Czechoslovakia.

Following the overthrow of Modibo Keita’s on November 19, 1968, the Central Bank of Mali was established, and prior to rejoining the Central Bank of the West African States, a set of undated banknotes was introduced. These notes highlight the Mali people and their way of life.

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