Mali-Folkecenter (MFC) is a Malian NGO which represents the Danish Folkecenter for Renewable Energy. Mali-Folkecenter's permanent staff consists of Malians and expatriates including: engineers, socio-economists, socio-environmentalists, a sociologist and technicians. This core team is complemented by contractual staff when additional expertise is necessary.


The Mali-Folkecenter approach to development activities has always been based on grassroots initiatives from the communities concerned, with direct involvement of local people during execution. The emphasis is on comprehensive training of target groups and, where appropriate, creation of maintenance and management committees, in order to facilitate appropriation of activities and build the capacity needed to assure maximum impact in the long term. Priority is also given to use of income generating mechanisms which can ensure profits for operators, local economic growth and provision of funds for maintenance, repairs and continued operation. MFC works with local populations, municipal authorities, government departments, multi-lateral institutions, local & international NGOs and other development partners.

Following the results obtained in the field, Mali-Folkecenter signed a protocol of cooperation with the government of Mali through the Ministry in charge of Energy in 2000.

Background to the opening of Mali-Folkecenter

A Folkecenter team visited Mali in November-December 1998 following an invitation from the Malian President, Alpha Oumar Konare. The Folkecenter team consisted of Executive Director, Mr. Preben Maegaard, the Head of the Folkecenter Information and Training Programme, Ms. Jane Kruse, and the then Programme Coordinator for Mali, Mr. Ibrahim Togola (who is now Regional Director of the Mali Folkecenter).

During the meeting with the Folkecenter team, the President explained the government priority in the areas of education, health, and water supply. The President expressed the view that through cooperation, Folkecenter could share its know-how within sustainable development with Malian institutions and independent organizations (NGOs) as well as with the private sector (especially small enterprises). To this end, Folkecenter opened the Mali Folkecenter in July 1999. The Mali Folkecenter is an independent NGO, cooperating with the government and other NGOs to promote sustainable development in the rural areas of Mali and other West African countries.

Following the meeting with the Malian President, the Folkecenter team had meetings with the following ministers who are all involved with the development of the rural areas:

The ministers are concerned about the situation in Mali, and they were very positive towards the possibility of implementing development projects in line with the government programme for improvement of the standard of living in the rural areas.

From 23 to 28 October 1999, a delegation from the Malian Government visited Folkecenter in Denmark, by invitation of Folkecenter. The delegation was made up of the Minister of Energy and Mines, Prof. Yoro Diakite, two of his advisors, and the Director of the National Centre for Solar Energy. Future tasks of the Mali Folkecenter were discussed, and a firm basis for cooperation was established. The Minister expressed the wish of the Malian Government that the Folkecenter could contribute its know-how and experience to implement rural development projects in Mali.