While services have on average accounted for 43 percent of the GDP in the last decade, the service sector remains comparatively less diversified than Mali's other economic sectors. The service sector is dominated by financial services and tourism. The Dakar-based Banque Centrale des l'Afrique de l'Ouest (Central Bank of West Africa, BCEAO) acts as the central bank for Mali and 7 other West African Franc zone countries. The commercial banks include Banque Malienne de Credit et de Depots and the highly successful Bank of Africa-Mali. In this sector Mali faces the challenge of diversifying credit instruments in favor of small- and medium-sized enterprises which have historically relied on informal sources for loans.
Tourism has contributed little to the services sector, despite Mali's undisputed potential attraction for culture, adventure, and eco-tourism . Its attractions include Djenne, a UNESCO site of world heritage; Timbuktu, which although dilapidated still retains international allure; and the Bandiagara escarpement which is home to the Dogon. The Dogon are said to be one of the most ethnologically exotic and visually spectacular of all African traditional cultures.
|Trade (expressed in billions of US$): Mali|
|SOURCE: International Monetary Fund. International Financial Statistics Yearbook 1999.|