Relations between Switzerland and Mali are good. They are based on Switzerland's long-standing commitment to international cooperation and to a lasting peace in Mali.
Bilateral relations Switzerland–Mali
Key aspects of diplomatic relations
Switzerland has defined a strategy for sub-Saharan Africa for the period 2021–24.
In the Sahel region, which includes Mali, Switzerland focuses primarily on promoting peace, the respect for international humanitarian law, the bolstering of basic services, and the sustainable management of natural resources.
Switzerland is committed to improving security, stability and development in Mali. This support is implemented through its three foreign policy instruments: development cooperation, humanitarian aid and peace policy.
Switzerland and Mali have signed a wide range of bilateral treaties (trade, economic cooperation, mutual investment protection and civil aviation). With a total trade volume in 2019 of CHF 1.3 billion, Mali is one of Switzerland's major trading partners in Africa. Switzerland's leading exports to Mali are pharmaceuticals and machinery. Imports from Mali are almost exclusively made up of gold.
Cooperation in education, research and innovation
Researchers in Mali can apply to the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) for Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships.
Measures to promote peace and human security
Switzerland supports violence-prevention measures and activities that promote peace in Mali (the 2015 peace agreement and inclusive frameworks for dialogue). Switzerland encourages Malian initiatives for national reconciliation and carries out projects for the protection of the civilian population (promotion of international humanitarian law).
Switzerland also supports civilian-military exchanges that help build trust between civilians and Malian security forces.
In addition, Switzerland is helping to develop the civilian component of the École de Maintien de la Paix. Lastly, Switzerland seconds Swiss civilian and police experts to international organisations (re-establishment of state authority, judicial and security reform).
Development cooperation and humanitarian aid
In Mali, Switzerland is active mainly in rural development, food security, governance, peacebuilding, basic education and vocational training.
Mali has been gripped by a security and humanitarian crisis since 2012. Challenges in the areas of peace and security, poverty alleviation, governance, education and employment remain. Switzerland supports the authorities and people of Mali in their efforts to exploit these opportunities and address these challenges.
Swiss citizens in Mali
According to statistics on the Swiss abroad, 73 Swiss citizens were living in Mali at the end of 2020 and 220 Malian citizens were living in Switzerland.
History of bilateral relations
On 26 September 1960, the Federal Council recognised the Republic of Mali, establishing diplomatic relations in 1961.
The SDC has been working in Mali since the great droughts of the 1970s. During this initial period, it focused on environmental protection, water supply and health