Strategic Support for Sustainable Development in Inner Niger Delta


At the request of the Dutch Embassy in Mali, Royal Tropical Institute offered strategic assistance for the development of a support programme for sustainable development of the Inner Niger Delta in Central Mali. In this role we defined the types of interventions and the institutional arrangements necessary for ensuring effective co-ordination of interventions while strengthening governance of natural resources.

Targeted development in a vital economic centre

The Inner Niger Delta plays a vital role in the national economy of Mali. While hosting an area of outstanding biodiversity recognised by the Ramsar Wetlands Convention, the dependence of local farming and fisheries on reliable flood cycles means they are highly inter-related. At the same time, the area is vulnerable to population and pressure and inadequate governance by both modern and traditional institutions.

Numerous projects, including projects funded by the Dutch Embassy, are being implemented in the Inner Niger Delta. These projects focus mainly on protecting and restoring its natural resource base. However, they are poorly coordinated, which limits their impact.

The Embassy’s ambition is to contribute to the development of a comprehensive approach and effective coordination of interventions that link ‘ecology’ with ‘economy’ and strengthen local institutions including local governments and organisations of farmers, livestock raisers and fishermen.

Involvement of KIT

KIT’s involvement includes:

  • Analysis of the institutional environment of the  Inner Niger Delta
  • Identifying the issues at stake for sustainable economic development
  • Defining the conditions for private investments in sustainable exploitation of its natural resources
  • Forward direction involving recommendations for programme ownership and management of different programmes and improved documentation

Based on KIT’s recommendations, the Embassy has launched a call for proposals for programmes that support the sustainable development of the Inner Niger Delta of Mali.