The Most Famous


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This page contains a list of the greatest Malian Politicians. The pantheon dataset contains 15,710 Politicians, 17 of which were born in Mali. This makes Mali the birth place of the 101st most number of Politicians behind Sudan and Democratic Republic of the Congo.

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 78.24, Musa I of Mali is the most famous Malian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 51 different languages on wikipedia.

Musa I (c. 1280 – c. 1337), or Mansa Musa, was the ninth Mansa of the Mali Empire, an Islamic West African state. 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, Gambia and the modern state of Mali. Musa conquered 24 cities, along with their surrounding districts. During Musa's reign, Mali may have been the largest producer of gold in the world, and Musa has been considered one of the wealthiest historical figures. However, some modern commentators have concluded that there is no accurate way to quantify Musa's wealth.In 1324–1325, Musa performed the hajj. En route, he spent time in Cairo, where his lavish gift-giving caused a noticeable drop in the price of gold for over a decade. After completing the hajj, Musa returned to Mali, annexing the cities of Gao and Timbuktu upon his return.

Photo of Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta

2. Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta (1945 - )

With an HPI of 72.70, Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta is the 2nd most famous Malian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 50 different languages.

Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta (French: [ibʁ bubakaʁ ke.ita]; born 29 January 1945), often known by his initials IBK, is 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 Modibo Keïta

3. Modibo Keïta (1915 - 1977)

With an HPI of 68.86, Modibo Keïta is the 3rd most famous Malian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 43 different languages.

Modibo Keïta (4 June 1915 – 16 May 1977) was the first President of Mali (1960–1968) and the Prime Minister of the Mali Federation. He espoused a form of African socialism.

Photo of Moussa Traoré

4. Moussa Traoré (1936 - 2020)

With an HPI of 68.24, Moussa Traoré is the 4th most famous Malian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 41 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 Amadou Toumani Touré

5. Amadou Toumani Touré (1948 - 2020)

With an HPI of 67.62, Amadou Toumani Touré is the 5th most famous Malian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 53 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 Askia Mohammad I

6. Askia Mohammad I (1443 - 1538)

With an HPI of 65.97, Askia Mohammad I is the 6th most famous Malian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 22 different languages.

Askia Muhammad I (1443 – 1538), born Muhammad Ture sylla or Muhammed Touré sylla in Futa Tooro, later called Askia, also known as Askia the Great, was an emperor, military commander, and political reformer of the Songhai Empire in the late 15th century. He was of Songhai and Soninke origins. 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. After Sunni Ali Ber died, Sunni Baru, his son and intended successor, was challenged by Muhammad because he was not seen as a faithful Muslim. This gave one of Sunni Ali Ber's generals, Muhammad Ture, a reason to challenge his succession. General Ture defeated Baru and ascended to the throne in 1493.General Ture, later known as Askia Muhammad I or Askia the Great, 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 Alpha Oumar Konaré

7. Alpha Oumar Konaré (1946 - )

With an HPI of 64.69, Alpha Oumar Konaré is the 7th most famous Malian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 38 different languages.

Alpha Oumar Konaré (born 2 February 1946) is a Malian politician, 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 Dioncounda Traoré

8. Dioncounda Traoré (1942 - )

With an HPI of 63.75, Dioncounda Traoré is the 8th most famous Malian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 27 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.

Photo of Sonni Ali

9. Sonni Ali (1464 - 1492)

With an HPI of 63.34, Sonni Ali is the 9th most famous Malian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 18 different languages.

Sunni Ali, also known as Si Ali, Sunni Ali Ber (Ber meaning "the Great"), was born in Ali Kolon. He reigned from about 1464 to 1492. Sunni Ali was the first king of the Songhai Empire, located in Africa and the 15th ruler of the Sunni dynasty. Under Sunni Ali's command, many cities were captured and then fortified, such as Timbuktu (captured in 1468) and Djenné (captured in 1475). Sunni conducted a repressive policy against the scholars of Timbuktu, especially those of the Sankore region who were associated with the Tuareg whom Ali expelled to gain control of the town. Sunni Ali organized a fleet to the Niger river. During his reign, Songhai surpassed the height of the Mali Empire, engulfing areas under the Mali Empire (and the Ghana Empire before it). His death, on November 6, 1492, is a matter of conjecture. According to the Tarikh al-Sudan, Ali drowned while crossing the Niger River. Oral tradition believes he was killed by his sister's son, Askia Muhammad Ture. He was succeeded by his son, Sunni Baru, who was challenged by Askia because Baru was not seen as a faithful Muslim. Askia succeeded to the throne. According to the Tarikh al-Sudan it is believed that this action caused Sonni Ali's daughters to shout out "A si kiya!" a more modern phrasing would be “A si tiya” or (he shall not be it), at the news of this take over.Sunni Ali ruled over both urban Muslims and rural non-Muslims at a time when the traditional co-existence of different beliefs was being challenged. His adherence to African animism while also professing Islam leads some writers to describe him as outwardly or nominally Muslim.

Photo of Cheick Modibo Diarra

10. Cheick Modibo Diarra (1952 - )

With an HPI of 56.55, Cheick Modibo Diarra is the 10th most famous Malian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 18 different languages.

Cheick Modibo Diarra (born 1952) is a Malian astrophysicist, businessman, and politician who was acting Prime Minister of Mali from April 2012 to December 2012. On 11 December 2012, Diarra presented his resignation on state television in a broadcast at 4 a.m. local time, hours after soldiers who led the 2012 Malian coup d'état arrested him at his home in Bamako.

Pantheon has 17 people classified as politicians born between 1280 and 1977. Of these 17, 11 (64.71%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living politicians include Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, Alpha Oumar Konaré, and Dioncounda Traoré. The most famous deceased politicians include Musa I of Mali, Modibo Keïta, and Moussa Traoré. As of October 2020, 3 new politicians have been added to Pantheon including Cissé Mariam Kaïdama Sidibé, Boubou Cissé, and Soumeylou Boubèye Maïga.

Living Politicians

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Deceased Politicians

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Newly Added Politicians (2020)

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Which Politicians were alive at the same time? This visualization shows the lifespans of the 3 most globally memorable Politicians since 1700.