The Most Famous


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This page contains a list of the greatest Malian Politicians. The pantheon dataset contains 15,577 Politicians, 25 of which were born in Mali. This makes Mali the birth place of the 91st most number of Politicians behind Moldova, and Uzbekistan.

Top 10

The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary Malian Politicians of all time. This list of famous Malian Politicians is sorted by HPI (Historical Popularity Index), a metric that aggregates information on a biography’s online popularity. Visit the rankings page to view the entire list of Malian Politicians.

Photo of Musa I of Mali

1. Musa I of Mali (1280 - 1337)

With an HPI of 71.83, Musa I of Mali is the most famous Malian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 64 different languages on wikipedia.

Mansa Musa (reigned c. 1312 – c. 1337) was the ninth Mansa of the Mali Empire, which reached its territorial peak during his reign. Musa's reign is often regarded as the zenith of Mali's power and prestige. He was extremely wealthy; it has been suggested that he was the wealthiest person in history, but the extent of his actual wealth is not known with any certainty. It is known from local manuscripts and travellers accounts that Mansa Musa's wealth came principally from the Mali Empire controlling and taxing the trade in salt from northern regions and especially from gold panned and mined in the gold-rich regions to the south: Bambuk, Wangara, Bure, Galam, Taghaza and other such kingdoms over many centuries. Over a very long period Mali had created a large reserve of gold. Mali is also suspected to have been involved in the trade in many goods such as ivory, slaves, spices, silks, and ceramics. However presently little is known about the extent or mechanics of these trades. At the time of Musa's ascension to the throne, Mali in large part consisted of the territory of the former Ghana Empire, which Mali had conquered. The Mali Empire consisted of land that is now part of Guinea, Senegal, Mauritania, the Gambia, and the modern state of Mali. Musa went on Hajj to Mecca in 1324, traveling with an enormous entourage and a vast supply of gold. En route, he spent time in Cairo, where his lavish gift-giving is said to have noticeably affected the value of gold in Egypt and garnered the attention of the wider Muslim world. Musa expanded the borders of the Mali Empire, in particular incorporating the cities of Gao and Timbuktu into its territory. He sought closer ties with the rest of the Muslim world, particularly the Mamluk and Marinid Sultanates. He recruited scholars from the wider Muslim world to travel to Mali, such as the Andalusian poet Abu Ishaq al-Sahili, and helped establish Timbuktu as a center of Islamic learning. His reign is associated with numerous construction projects, including part of Djinguereber Mosque in Timbuktu.

Photo of Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta

2. Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta (1945 - 2022)

With an HPI of 63.59, Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta is the 2nd most famous Malian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 59 different languages.

Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta (French: [ibʁ bubakaʁ ke.ita]; 29 January 1945 – 16 January 2022), often known by his initials IBK, was a Malian politician who served as the president of Mali from September 2013 to August 2020, when he was forced to resign in the 2020 Malian coup d'état. He served as Mali's prime minister from February 1994 to February 2000 and as president of the National Assembly of Mali from September 2002 to September 2007. Keïta founded the centre-left political party Rally for Mali (RPM) in 2001. After a number of unsuccessful campaigns, he was elected president in the 2013 presidential election and reelected in 2018. He was deposed by mutinous elements of the Malian Armed Forces on 18 August 2020 and officially resigned the following day.

Photo of Amadou Toumani Touré

3. Amadou Toumani Touré (1948 - 2020)

With an HPI of 60.11, Amadou Toumani Touré is the 3rd most famous Malian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 58 different languages.

Amadou Toumani Touré (4 November 1948 – 9 November 2020) was a Malian politician. He supervised Mali's first multiparty elections as chairman of the transitional government (1991–1992), and later became the second democratically elected President of Mali (2002–2012). Touré was head of President Moussa Traoré's personal guard (and parachute regiment) when a popular revolution overthrew the regime in March 1991; Colonel Touré then arrested the President and led the revolution onward. He presided over a year-long military-civilian transition process that produced a new Constitution and multiparty elections, then handed power to Mali's first democratically elected president, Alpha Oumar Konaré, on 6 June 1992. Konaré promoted Touré to the rank of General. Ten years later, after retiring from the army, Touré entered politics as a civilian and won the 2002 presidential election with a broad coalition of support. He was easily re-elected in 2007 to a second and final term. On 22 March 2012, shortly before his scheduled departure from office, disgruntled soldiers initiated a coup d'état that forced him into hiding. As part of the agreement to restore constitutional order to Mali, Touré resigned from the presidency on 8 April, and eleven days later he went into exile.

Photo of Modibo Keïta

4. Modibo Keïta (1915 - 1977)

With an HPI of 59.89, Modibo Keïta is the 4th most famous Malian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 46 different languages.

Modibo Keïta (4 June 1915 – 16 May 1977) was a Malian politician who served as the first President of Mali from 1960 to 1968. He espoused a form of African socialism. He was deposed in a coup d'état in 1968 by Moussa Traoré. Born and raised in Bamako, Keïta began a career as a teacher in 1936 under French colonial rule before entering politics during the 1940s. In 1945, he co-founded the Sudanese Union (US) with Mamadou Konaté which became part of the African Democratic Rally (RDA) the following year to form the US-RDA. Being elected to several positions, his political prominence grew in the 1950s, and in 1959, he became Prime Minister of the Mali Federation, a short-lived federation of Mali and Senegal. Following the federation's collapse in 1960, Mali became an independent state, and Keïta became the new country's inaugural president. As President, Keïta soon established the US-RDA as the only official party, and began implementing socialist policies based on extensive nationalization. In foreign affairs, Keïta supported the Non-Aligned Movement and maintained strong relations with the West despite his socialist leanings. A leading Pan-Africanist, he played important roles in the drafting of the charter of the Organization of African Unity and the negotiation the 1963 Bamako Accords, which ended the Sand War between Morocco and Algeria. During the late 1960s, dissatisfaction with his regime grew due to progressive economic decline and his repressive responses to dissent. He was overthrown in the 1968 Malian coup d'état by Moussa Traoré, who succeeded him as president and sent him to prison, where he died in 1977.

Photo of Moussa Traoré

5. Moussa Traoré (1936 - 2020)

With an HPI of 59.14, Moussa Traoré is the 5th most famous Malian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 44 different languages.

Moussa Traoré (25 September 1936 – 15 September 2020) was a Malian soldier, politician, and dictator who was President of Mali from 1968 to 1991. As a lieutenant, he led the military ousting of President Modibo Keïta in 1968. Thereafter he served as head of state until March 1991, when he was overthrown by popular protests and a military coup. He was twice condemned to death in the 1990s, but eventually pardoned on both occasions and freed in 2002. He retired from public life and died in 2020.

Photo of Alpha Oumar Konaré

6. Alpha Oumar Konaré (b. 1946)

With an HPI of 56.31, Alpha Oumar Konaré is the 6th most famous Malian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 42 different languages.

Alpha Oumar Konaré (born 2 February 1946) is a Malian politician, professor, historian and archaeologist, who served as President of Mali for two five-year terms from 1992 to 2002 and was Chairperson of the African Union Commission from 2003 to 2008.

Photo of Bah Ndaw

7. Bah Ndaw (b. 1950)

With an HPI of 55.58, Bah Ndaw is the 7th most famous Malian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 29 different languages.

Bah Ndaw (also spelled N'Daw, N'Dah, and N'Daou; born 23 August 1950) is a Malian retired military officer and politician who served as the president of Mali between 25 September 2020 and 24 May 2021 when he was overthrown during the 2021 Malian coup d'état. Between May 2014 and January 2015 he was Minister of Defense.

Photo of Askia Mohammad I

8. Askia Mohammad I (1443 - 1538)

With an HPI of 55.51, Askia Mohammad I is the 8th most famous Malian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 29 different languages.

Askia Muhammad I (1443–1538), born Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr al-Turi or Muhammad Ture, was the first ruler of the Askia dynasty of the Songhai Empire, reigning from 1493 to 1528. He is also known as Askia the Great, and his name in modern Songhai is Mamar Kassey. Askia Muhammad strengthened his empire and made it the largest empire in West Africa's history. At its peak under his reign, the Songhai Empire encompassed the Hausa states as far as Kano (in present-day Northern Nigeria) and much of the territory that had belonged to the Songhai empire in the east. His policies resulted in a rapid expansion of trade with Europe and Asia, the creation of many schools, and the establishment of Islam as an integral part of the empire. Muhammad was a prominent general under the Songhai ruler Sunni Ali. When Sunni Ali was succeeded by his son, Sunni Baru, in 1492, Muhammad challenged the succession on the grounds that the new ruler was not a faithful Muslim. He defeated Baru and ascended to the throne in 1493. Ture subsequently orchestrated a program of expansion and consolidation which extended the empire from Taghaza in the North to the borders of Yatenga in the South; and from Air in the Northeast to Futa Djallon in Guinea. Instead of organizing the empire along Islamic lines, he tempered and improved on the traditional model by instituting a system of bureaucratic government unparalleled in Western Africa. In addition, Askia established standardized trade measures and regulations, initiated the policing of trade routes and also established an organized tax system. He was overthrown by his son, Askia Musa, in 1528.

Photo of Sonni Ali

9. Sonni Ali (1464 - 1492)

With an HPI of 53.86, Sonni Ali is the 9th most famous Malian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 23 different languages.

Sunni Ali, also known as Si Ali, Sunni Ali Ber (Ber meaning "the Great"), reigned from about 1464 to 1492 as the 15th ruler of the Sunni dynasty of the Songhai Empire. He transformed the relatively small state into an empire by conquering Timbuktu, Massina, the Inner Niger Delta, and Djenne.

Photo of Dioncounda Traoré

10. Dioncounda Traoré (b. 1942)

With an HPI of 53.51, Dioncounda Traoré is the 10th most famous Malian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 30 different languages.

Dioncounda Traoré (born 23 February 1942) is a Malian politician who was President of Mali in an interim capacity from April 2012 to September 2013. Previously he was President of the National Assembly of Mali from 2007 to 2012, and he served as Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1994 to 1997. He was President of the Alliance for Democracy in Mali-African Party for Solidarity and Justice (ADEMA-PASJ) beginning in 2000, and he was also President of the Alliance for Democracy and Progress (ADP), an alliance of parties that supported the re-election of President Amadou Toumani Touré in 2007.


Pantheon has 26 people classified as Malian politicians born between 1280 and 1983. Of these 26, 13 (50.00%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living Malian politicians include Alpha Oumar Konaré, Bah Ndaw, and Dioncounda Traoré. The most famous deceased Malian politicians include Musa I of Mali, Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, and Amadou Toumani Touré. As of April 2024, 2 new Malian politicians have been added to Pantheon including Django Sissoko, and Abdoulaye Idrissa Maïga.

Living Malian Politicians

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Deceased Malian Politicians

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Newly Added Malian Politicians (2024)

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Overlapping Lives

Which Politicians were alive at the same time? This visualization shows the lifespans of the 8 most globally memorable Politicians since 1700.