ESL Eco Blog

Internet cafés in Mali

Now that our container has arrived at its destination, we have the time to look into the phenomenon of Internet cafés in Africa in general and in Mali in particular. Following the example of that of Timbuktu, they often assure the only

Internet access possible for the locals without a computer and the possibility of taking the from now on omnipresent « information superhighway ».


The one which interests us here is located opposite the Great Mosque of Djingareyber. Its manager, Mr. Ahmadou Sididje Ben Essayouti, who is also in charge of the Library of Manuscripts, took charge of taking the photos of the arrival of the container and sent them to Daniel Robert by e-mail.

Here is the message he had sent to his friend Daniel at the end of June :

Hello Daniel

How are you? I hope you and all the family are well.

Here in Timbuktu, everyone is well

Yesterday was a big day for Mr. Harande Toure. He is very happy with the arrival of the container and called me this morning to tell me that the container has arrived.

I left directly to borrow a friend’s digital camera in order to take the photos.

Here are the photos attached.

I am sending the photos in two parts because my connection is not very fast this morning

Take care and lots of greetings,

Best wishes,

Ahmadou sididje ben essayouti

manager of the library of manuscripts El IMAM ben essayouti



During the World Cup, the Internet cafés in Africa were often stormed with people – because they allowed people to see the matches live on the computer screen. This opportunity was highly appreciated by young people who also find information of a completely other nature there.

In an Internet café of the Adama district, in Bamako, a young student has taken his place. « I come here two to three times per week ». And this has been for two years. Even if he doesn’t have great knowledge of the websites to allow himself detailed visits, some addresses are enough for him. The rest of the time is spent exchanging e-mails.

But the godsend is without doubt offered by clairvoyance and astrology websites. It is not rare to see, in an Internet café, several computers stalled on a horoscope. « I have just consulted an oracle regarding my exam », confides this student. « He has asked me to come back for the answer next week in order to find out more. Last year, it told me that I would pass into the higher class and this came true. Therefore, I’m coming back to him…And you see (whilst showing the computer screen), he’s telling me to come back next week ! He will no doubt be faithful to the meeting, like these girls who do not come away from the screen, searching for a soulmate in dating websites or reading the future in the horoscope pages.

Computerised or not, predicting the future remains uncertain!


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