Mali Political Leadership and Democratic Governance. A Book on Mali, A History. France's long-term plan for Mali is remarkably short-sighted. The recent French military intervention in Mali focuses on "restoring democracy," without any consideration for the political and economic problems that caused the government's collapse. The cumbersome colonial era-borders, erected by the French, dividing north and south Mali were significant in causing the conflict. Furthermore, French is the second official language, and the majority is not fluent. Almost 70% of Malians are illiterate, which seriously inhibits the state's democratic capacity. Mali's economy is also insecure. Apart from gold mining, all production companies are foreign owned. This further inhibits the government's ability to run the country because if several companies pull out, the state will lose the majority of its financing. It is hard to imagine a "recovery" for Mali without any attention to the major problems, which led to the destabilization.