EU Cooperation with Mali - road infrastructure projects
Roads are key to link land lock Mali to the rest of the West African region, as well as the fertile Southern region of Mali to the desert North where a feeling of neglect is one of the causes of the 2012 Tuareg uprising. The EU has funded 4,500 kilometers of roads in the Republic of Mali, thus becoming Mali’s first partner on road infrastructure and transport in general since independence. Kati’s toll station and weigh bridge, 18 kilometers North of Mali’s capital Bamako, is one of the capital’s main entry points for products such as cement, salt, sugar, rice as well as oil products, as it links to the port of Dakar, in neighbouring Senegal. Authorities say there is a high percentage of overweighing by truck companies. In total, 28 station tolls such as this one have been built in recent years, generating yearly revenue of €4 million. When added to fuel levy, revenues allocated to road maintenance reach almost €30 million / year. Fight against overweighing means control and law enforcement but also dialogue between all transport actors, together with accompanying measures in order to raise public awareness and strengthen private sector. The EU has been the main contributor of this road that links Bamako to Dakar, providing a fund of €30 million. The EU is also funding a 483 kilometer tarmac road to link Goma Coura to Timbuktu.