It’s Now Official: Mali No More Using French As An Official Language

With its new constitution, Mali has dropped French, which has been the country’s official language since 1960.

French is no longer the official language under the new constitution, which was approved by a referendum on June 18 with a vote total of 96.91 percent.

Despite the fact that French will be the functioning language, 13 other national dialects spoken in the country will get official language status.

Mali which has around 70 other local dialects spoken in the country with some of them, including Bambara, Bobo, Dogon, and Minianka, were granted national language status under a 1982 decree.

Back in the years, Mali’s junta leader Col. Assimi Goita put the country’s new constitution into effect, marking the beginning of the Fourth Republic in the West African nation.

The Presidency says that the military in Mali has said that the constitution is important for rebuilding the country since it took power in a coup in August 2020.

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In recent years, Mali saw two more coups, one in May 2021 and one in August 2020.

The junta had at first vowed to hold elections in February 2022 but later postponed them to February 2024.

The decision by Mali to drop the French language comes all at once of growing anti-France sentiments across West Africa because of its apparent military and political impedance.

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