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Monday, January 05, 2009

Diplomatic appointment: Mali? I said Bali, you idiots!

Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today announced the appointment of Virginie Saint-Louis to Ambassador to the Republic of Mali.

Dr. Virginie Saint-Louis is a 20-year veteran with the Department of Foreign Affairs and has held posts in Cairo and Hanoi.

The Republic of Mali is not likely to be a vacation destination anytime soon. It’s the poorest nation in west Africa, and it’s land locked. But it is an exploration target for junior Canadian mining companies that are part of the Mali gold rush.

North Atlantic Resources, in particular, has an advanced exploration property in the country called the FT project. The company is trading near its 52-week low, given the recent stock market sell-off – but gold is showing signs of life again.

As for doing business in Mali, the CIA World Factbook calls the country “one of the strongest democracies on the continent.” But in Africa, this often means that instead of one tyrant to bribe, you’ve got 12,324,029, the entire population of Mali.

Posted by Matthew Johnston

Mali map 

Posted by westernstandard on January 5, 2009 | Permalink


"One of the strongest democracies on the continent" - they must be kidding! Having lived in a country next door to Mali and have travelled there many times, I have to wonder if the people who wrote this even know where Mali is located. As I lived in Senegal which was also considered a "democracy" since elections were held from time to time, I should point out that people only had one party for which to vote. Anyone trying to form an opposition, just seemed to disappear...

May she enjoy her stay in Bamako, better her than me.

Posted by: Alain | 2009-01-05 7:11:47 PM

Senegal? Why did you live there, Alain?

Posted by: Matthew Johnston | 2009-01-05 8:03:23 PM

I lived and worked there, and I have to say I have great memories of my life there. As Senegal had been part of French West Africa, there was still an important French population.

Although the population was probably 80% Muslim, there was no tension or friction with non Muslims and the Senegalese Muslim women were as independent as most European women, totally different from Muslim Arab countries. However that all changed with the infiltration of Islamists (radical Muslims) and I am glad to have left.

Posted by: Alain | 2009-01-05 11:50:33 PM

I see they are party to the Kyoto Protocal. That should turn things around for them. :-)

Posted by: Matthew Johnston | 2009-01-06 10:28:03 AM

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