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Commune and town
CountryFlag of Mali.svg Mali
RegionKayes Region
Cercle (district):Bafoulabé Cercle
 • MayorMakan Diakité (CNID)
272 ft (83 m)
 • Total24,870

Coordinates: 13°48′30″N 10°49′50″W / 13.80833°N 10.83056°W / 13.80833; -10.83056

Bafoulabé is a town and commune in south-western Mali. It is located in the Region of Kayes. Bafoulabé is the capital of the Cercle of Bafoulabé, which in 1887 was the first Cercle to be created in Mali.

Local administration

Until the 1996 law creating communes, Bafoulabé Commune was an arrondissement. While now deprecated, the commune retains the same boundaries, extending far beyond the town of Bafoulabé, its seat (chef-lieu). Bafoulabé is also the seat of the larger Bafoulabé Cercle. Apart from the town, there are 28 villages, official rural subdivisions within the Commune. It is a Rural Commune, meaning it is subdivided in villages, in contrast to the smaller Urban Commune, divided into urban Quarters. Commune affairs are directed by an elected Commune Council (conseil communal) of 23 members and a Commune executive (bureau communal) of the elected Mayor and three adjutants. The executive is tasked with carrying out the directives voted by the Council. National policies are carried out by a Sub-Prefect (sous préfet), who also carries out certain of the Council's directives over the local arms or national bodies.[1]

Geography and climate


At Bafoulabé the Bafing and Bakoy rivers meet to form the Sénégal River. In Bambara, Bafoulabé means "meeting of two rivers". The Manantali hydroelectric dam and its reservoir, Lake Manantali, the largest in Mali, is located 90 km to the south-east of Bafoulabé.

Extending across two banks of the Senegal River, the Commune is bounded to the east by Kontéla Commune and Oualia Commune, to the north Tomora Commune and Sidibéla Commune, to the south by Mahina Commune and to the west by Diamou Commune of Kayes Cercle. The climate is Sahelian. The June to October rainy season accounts for all the less than 900 mm of precipitation a year. While hot year round by temperate standards, a hot season lasts from roughly February to June, and a cooler season runs from roughly November to February. Maximum yearly temperature may reach 41°C in the shade.[1]


The Sahel landscape of the Commune is made up of grasslands punctuated by trees, often large. These include the Baobab, the Rônier, Raffia palm (from which textiles, rope, and palm oil is made), Karité (from which Shea Butter is made), Duguto, and Néré trees.[1]

Population and culture

Bafoulabé had a population of 16,670 in 1998, with a 2008 estimated population of 24,870.[2] Prior to colonialism, Bafoulabé had been a thriving commercial center. The construction of the Dakar Bamako railway in the early 20th century bypassed the river trade, making Kayes the center of commercial activity in the area.[3] The town's population consists primarily of Khassonkés, Malinkés, Soninkés and Fulas. Fily Dabo Sissoko, writer and one of the founding fathers of independent Mali, was a native of Bafoulabé. The Festival dansa/diawoura, a festival of traditional dance, took place in Bafoulabé from April 8 to April 10, 2005.

Sister cities


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Presidency of the Republic of Mali, Project on Food Security. (French)Plan De Securite Alimentaire Commune Rurale De Bafoulabe 2007- 2011. Projet de Mobilisation des Initiatives en matière de Sécurité Alimentaire au Mali (PROMISAM), l'USAID/Mali (December 2006)
  2., retrieved 2008-01-14.
  3. Jim Jones. Conversation with Sekou Diawara, Chef de Campement de Bafoulabé (Bafoulabé, Friday, March 20, 1992).

External links

cy:Bafoulabé de:Bafoulabé et:Bafoulabé eo:Bafoulabé fr:Bafoulabé it:Bafoulabé nl:Bafoulabé pl:Bafoulabé fi:Bafoulabé zh:巴富拉贝