By Karambe Housseyni


Karambe Housseyni

First Published: January 29, 2020

Mali is a country in the West-Central African Division that first received the Adventist message in 1978 and is under the Mali Mission church administrative unit.

Statistics for Year 2018

Seventh-day Adventist Churches: 5

Companies: 21

Membership: 1,9371

Population: 19,431,0002

Thus, the ratio of Seventh-day Adventists to the general population is 1:10,032.

In the general population of Mali, Muslims make up 94.8%, Animists 2%, no religion 0.5%, unspecified 0.3% (2009 est.).3


Officially called the Republic of Mali, Mali is a landlocked country in West Africa. Its capital city is Bamako, which is located in the southwestern part of the country. The area of Mali is more than 1,240,000 square kilometers (480,000 square miles), making it the eighth-largest country in Africa. It is divided into eight regions. Much of northern part of the country lies within the Sahara Desert. The majority of the inhabitants live in the south, along the valleys and tributaries of the Niger and Senegal rivers. In the late 19th century, France took control of Mali and made it part of French Sudan. The country became independent from France on June 20, 1960.4

Agriculture and fishing dominate Mali’s economy, and some of its prominent resources include salt and gold—it is the third-largest producer of gold in Africa. About half the population lives below the international poverty line of US$1.25 a day. The currency is the West African CFA franc.5

The famous city Timbuktu is located in Mali, situated on the southern edge of the Sahara, 20 kilometers (about 12.5 miles) north of the Niger River. It is the capital of the Timbuktu Region. Historically, Timbuktu was the center of trade and Islamic scholarship in the area. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1988, Timbuktu had to be added to the UNESCO List of World Heritage in Danger in 2012 because of armed conflict in the region.6

Adventist Faith in Mali

The Seventh-day Adventist message was first brought to Mali by a Senegalese lay missionary, Dona Sabou, in 1978. He came with his wife, Elisa Datta Sambou.

The first Malian to be baptized was Modibo Sissoko. He was baptized on June 12, 1982, by Pastor Malton Braff, then the president of the now defunct Sahel Union Mission. But the first official missionary, Pastor Patrick Maeder, a Swiss, and his wife, Doris Maeder, did not arrive in Mali until 1983.

The first Malian to be trained as a pastor in the seminary was Mamadou Diallo. After his graduation, he worked as a pastor for two years and then joined ADRA Mali.


ADRA, active in Mali since 1988, has a tradition in this Muslim society for building dams, offering literacy programs, and fighting desertification.

A major witnessing tool in Mali is the Adventist World Radio (AWR) programming in the Dyula language, which is understood by those who speak Bambara.7

Adventist Leadership

Since the Mali Mission was organized in 1982, the following have been the presidents: Patrick Maeder, Kra Kona Michel (1982 – 1999), David Ferraro (2000 – 2007), Famara Mansal (2008 – 2013), and Modibo Sissoko (2014 – 2015). The present president is Jean Pierre Mulumba Tshimaga (2016 – ).8


God’s International Family. Parade of Nations, 59th General Conference Session of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A., 2010.

Office of Archives, Statistics, and Research. 2019 Annual Statistical Report: Advance Release of Membership Statistics by Division for 2018.

Seventh-day Adventist Online Yearbook. Years 1982 – 2019. Accessed October 1, 2019.

“The World Factbook: Africa: Mali.” Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed June 6, 2018.


  1. Office of Archives, Statistics, and Research, 2019 Annual Statistical Report: Advance Release of Membership Statistics by Division for 2018,, 19.

  2. As of June 30, 2018. Seventh-day Adventist Online Yearbook, “Mali Mission,” accessed October 1, 2019,

  3. “The World Factbook: Africa:: Mali,” Central Intelligence Agency, accessed June 6, 2018,

  4. Wikipedia, s.v. “Mali,” last modified September 22, 2019, 18:20,

  5. Ibid.

  6. Encyclopaedia Britannica Online, s.v. “Timbuktu, Mali,” accessed June 13, 2018,

  7. “Mali,” God’s International Family, Parade of Nations, 59th General Conference Session of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A., June 23–July 3, 2010.

  8. “Mali Mission,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook, years 1982-2019, accessed October 17, 2019,


Housseyni, Karambe. "Mali." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. January 29, 2020. Accessed August 03, 2022.

Housseyni, Karambe. "Mali." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. January 29, 2020. Date of access August 03, 2022,

Housseyni, Karambe (2020, January 29). Mali. Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. Retrieved August 03, 2022,