Mali s rocky ride with water privatization experimentation began in 2000, but lasted only five years when the company, SAUR International, withdrew from the management contract, apparently under pressure from the Malian government due to unhappiness over failure by the company to fulfill contractual obligations. The experiment followed pressure from the World Bank and International Monetary Fund which saw the semi-public Electricite de Mali (EdM) privatized in a 20-year management contract. Renamed Energie du Mali (EDM SA), ownership saw 40% going to the State of Mali, 39% to French company SAUR International and 21% to the Aga Khan fund. The contract intended to improve access, as well as technical and financial performance. The main client basis of EDM is the capital of the Republic of Mali, with the largest population, Bamako. The city had about 1,500,000 inhabitants, or about 11% of the total population of Mali. EDM was regarded as key to increased access to piped water as 40% of the population relied on stand pipes. But water fees increased and so did debt because people could not afford to pay. This in turn led to defaults. Once the contract imploded, the new ownership structure saw EDM SA split 66%/34% between the state of Mali and the Aga Khan Fund respectively. The issue is not over because government officials have indicated they are not closed to leasing contracts with international partners in order to develop the water sector. In 2008, an attempt to privatise water services in Lere, northwestern Mali, led to protests. One person was killed and five injured. Driven by the Washington Consensus, Mali s privatisation was meant to champion how public private partnerships could work in poor countries, but its failure led to much introspection.