The city of Segou, of the Segou Region, MALI, became a sister city of the city of Richmond, Virginia, USA on 13th of October 2009 in Richmond and on the 5th of February 2010 in Segou. 

La Ville de Segou, Region de Segou, MALI est devenues une ville-jumelle de la Ville de Richmond, Virginie, USA le 13 Octobre 2009 au Richmond et le 5 Fevrier 2010 au Segou.

2016 Activities


  • Building and equipping a youth tailor shop (just completed Dec 2015)
  • Medical research on AIDS in Ségou hospital with VCU, funded by Gates Foundation


  • Promotion of understanding about Virginia’s African heritage (music, food, culture, …)
  • Promoting in Virginian elementary schools the knowledge about Mali
  • Promoting to Malian schools the knowledge about Virginia and USA
  • Educational partnerships between VCU, Uni Ségou and ULSHB Bamako
  • Cultural exchanges with the Richmond and Segou Music Festivals
  • Partnership between VFoM and the Foundation CM Haidara in Ségou 
  • Support and scholarships in Malian schools with supplies, maps, etc
  • Support to Malian and Virginian educators to visit each other’s countries
  • Mutual support to promote African history in Virginia and in Mali: the cemeteries, the culture, common (but different) stories of oppression and slavery, of war and redemption and progress and success


  • Book on the Sister City story (in preparation)
  • Books (4 or 5 books) about Mali for American students and adults (in progress)
  • Book on the politics of terrorism and democracy in the Sahara, by RE Poulton and R. Greco (Edwin Mellen Press, 2016). Richmond Launch planned for November 2016.
  • Collective book in French called Paroles sur les Crises maliennes (L’Harmattan, Paris 2016)
  • Supply of hospital medical equipment for Ségou hospital by Project CURE in Colorado 
  • Supply of hospital medical equipment for community health centers 
  • Richmond House: Creation of the Richmond House complex on 2.5 acres in Sebougou; construction of a well for the making of bricks; design and construction of the community center and playing fields for boys and girls
  • Book on the anthropology of AIDS by Professor Christopher Brooks of VCU and teacher of philosophy Salim Coumaré from Ségou (2017)

What's next? 

  • Richmond House: Phase II - Major education and IT project to benefit young girls in Ségou 
  • Richmond House: Phase III - Launch of a hostel to promote the education of girls from Ségou region
  • Supply of hospital medical equipment for North Mali
  • Solar energy project between Ségou and Richmond & VCU

Sinignessigi Atelier and Boutique, Segou

August 2015 Richmond House Partnership 

October 2014 Segou Delegation led by regional Governor CISSE

Segou Regional Governor Thierno B. CISSE greets Richmond-based blues singer Corey Harris at a closing reception for the delegation from Richmond's sister city hosted by Elegba Folklore Society. Omilade Janine Bell and daughter Imani Bell (both in blue) performed a traditional Manding dance that was very warmly received by the delegation as a statement of empathy and unity.

University Partnerships: VCU, UniBAM, UniSEG

2014 VCU Student Delegation to Cote d'Ivoire and Mali - Dr. Patricia Cummins (PI of the French West Africa Grant), Brahima Koné (Instructor of French and organizer of the Ivory Coast trip), along with the six students Minsun Kim, Amanda Radke, Taron Ware, Luke Nelson, Samantha McCartney, and Lindsey Fitzgerald, who participated in this summer’s Africa trip, presented the sights, sounds and deep linguistic and cultural acumen gained during their study abroad. Attendees were impressed by the students’ command of the language and the depth of their cultural knowledge.

2013 Women War & Peace Conference

University Agreements Signed - Crisis notwithstanding, the Virgirginia Friends of Mali and Richmond Sister City Commission signed memorandums of agreement with the vice-rector of th e University of Bamako, Macki SAMAKE, and the rector of the University of Segou, Abdoulaye TOURE. 

Peep This Segou!

Written and filmed onsite at the 2012 Festival Sur Le Niger by 6 youthful documentarians, the finished film, "My Cloth, My Country" was premiered at the city hall of Segou on January 9, 2013.

VCU West Africa Project grant sends faculty to Mali - January 2013

Water = Health and Sanitation

Our final monitoring and evaluation visit took place on January 9, 2013. All latrines and wash-stations have been installed and in use for a year and our site visit revealed levels of use, efficacy, and maintenance from very good to needs improvement. The maternity clinic renovation was completed, but promised funds for the clinic and laboratory's equipment did not materialize so new funds raised by members of VFOM and others were turned over to the clinic during this visit. These funds will allow the purchase of some basic equipment and consumable supplies and for the laboratory to meet at least some of the clinic's testing needs. 


  1. Hello Friends of Mali
    I have a project in Segou, Mali...
    It's all about plastic bags (waste) collection and reuse. See pictures and video at
    ... but I have much more to share with you.
    Please contact me


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