Bamako's history goes back into ancient times. Going back farther than 150,000 years ago, civilization has been living in the Niger River Valley where Bamako resides. The land is rich for agriculture and thus promoted permanent societies; early kingdoms used the land to their advantage. They became master farmers and used trade routes to pass the Niger River Valley and on to the Sahara and much later, even to Europe. This allowed for a variety of goods to enhance the life here. The route became known as the trans-Saharan route and a required tax to use it brought wealth to Bamako and Mali. Salt, nuts, gold, and ivory were among the top resources that this area provided for trade. By the 11th century, Bamako was under the kingdom of Ghana and flourishing due to trade.

But the area was to become more prosperous still when in the 1300s it was under the Kingdom of Mansa Musa. But the success was short lived, the Mali Empire fell to the Songhai Empire which took over much of the surrounding area. The trans-Saharan route as a result, became a thing of the past and suddenly kingdoms lost power and numbers, dividing up into small towns and without the benefit of trade and incoming products, declined in advancement.

In the 1800s, the French came in and colonized much of the region and Mali became a part of French West Africa until 1959. Upon freeing themselves from France, Mali has been on a slow struggle to reposition itself politically. But in 1992 the dictatorship government ended and the residents gained the right to free election.