Since 2008, DVV International has been involved in Mali and supports model basic education projects for young people and adults, contributes to the strengthening of partner organisations and maintains a policy dialogue in the interest of adult education. Since 2011, the West Africa regional office, which formerly had its headquarters in Guinea, has been based in Mali.

DVV International gives technical and financial assistance toward a continuous policy dialogue between civil society and government partners. Thus the form and content of lifelong learning will be developed together and contribute to improving the living conditions of the people as well as the development prospects.

Given the ongoing decentralisation process and the increasing responsibility of local authorities, it is especially necessary to develop local demand-oriented educational programmes in remote rural areas. They must be taken into account in the national literacy programme, in the local development plans, and above all they must find adequate funding.

Main focus of work

The main focal points of the work in Mali result from:

  • the very high – by regional standards – illiteracy rate, especially among women in rural areas, 80 percent of whom do not have access to basic education and training. This is where remedial, functional literacy courses are organised that supply the participants (more than three quarters of them female) with further information, which ranges from family planning to the management of small (and smallest) businesses;
  • the poor availability of training institutions in close proximity to the people. There is a high potential for synergies here with ongoing efforts to decentralise administration and public services. DVV International and its partners accordingly offer courses which impart knowledge about the democratic organisation of communities;
  • the long term consequences – which are far from over – of the security and political crisis that led to a de facto partition of the country in 2012. DVV International conducts courses for IDPs and returnees that combine income-generating activities for the restoration of local economic cycles with a reappraisal of their often traumatic experiences. This, together with civic education and promoting peaceful conflict resolution strategies, can be the basis for a new beginning;
  • the insufficient supply of food for the people. DVV International is engaged in this respect under the BMZ special initiative A world without hunger, a cross-border programme with Guinea for development to increase rural productivity.


As part of a cooperation agreement with the Ministry of Education, the Mali office supports the state agencies that deal with non-formal education and adult education and the eight non-governmental partners that implement grassroots projects in various regions. These link literacy with the Paolo Freire inspired REFLECT method (Regenerated Freirian Literacy through Empowering Community Techniques), income-generating activities, community support, civics and vocational training. Moreover, DVV International works with two national networks in Mali, Yelen Bulon and Pamoja Mali, who constantly and nationally promote the qualification of their member organisations and their professionals, but also do lobbying work for adult education. The technical-topical and managerial skills of governmental and nongovernmental partners are being continuously improved through training and specialist consultation.

Contact in Mali

DVV International
Regional Office West Africa
Badalabougou-Est (à côté de l'ancienne Ambassade du Nigéria)
BP: E 409

Regional Director West Africa:
Christina Wagner  

Contact in Germany

West Africa and Maghreb:
Gerhard Quincke