Mauritania Economy

ECONOMY: GENERAL INFORMATION

For centuries, due to the desert climate that characterizes Mauritania, the only activity carried out by the population was nomadic farming and agriculture limited to oases and areas irrigated by the waters of the Senegal River. This situation continued even during the colonial period; it was only in the 1960s that the government launched a series of development plans to encourage the mining sector, transport, communications and institutions. In 1974 the mining sector was nationalized. Mauritania’s economy suffered in the early 1990s. XX, the consequences of a long series of internal and international crises which, in addition to hindering its development, efforts to implement the structural adjustment process begun in the second half of the 1980s also slowed down. The unfavorable weather conditions, institutional obstacles and socio-political difficulties caused a decline in the main productive sectors of the country. Starting from September 1992 Mauritania, in agreement with the World Bank and the IMF, intensified its efforts in the direction of a new structural adjustment that affected the different sectors of the economy. The GDP slowly began to grow and in 2008 was US $ 3,161 million, as well as the per capita GDP which stood at US $ 1,042 in the same year. The medium-term macroeconomic objectives are centered around strengthening the private sector, as well as accelerating programs for poverty reduction and human resource development. However, doubts remain regarding the country’s ability to free itself from a condition of dependence on a poorly diversified economic structure and the economic situation remains, in the first decade of the 2000s, not very comforting.

ECONOMY: AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY, LIVESTOCK AND FISHING

Agriculture can count on very small spaces; moreover subject to frequent climatic adversities (drought), it was strongly compromised. It contributes 24.7% to the formation of the GDP (2007). The cultivation of cereals is widespread in the Sahel belt, mainly represented by millet and sorghum, which has also been tried to extend into the arid regions of Assaba, Hodt and Brakna, where canalization works have been carried out that have allowed the spread of rice. In the oases the predominant crop is that of the date palm; in the shade of the palm groves, cereals and vegetables are grown. With a cooperation project between Senegal, Mali and Mauritania, the enhancement of the Senegal River was undertaken with dams, aqueducts, power plants and water desalination plants in the southern part of the country. § The forests, not very extensive, produce gum arabic, once the main resource of the country, as well as modest quantities of wood. § Far more important, however, is essentially nomadic breeding; its profitability is however compromised by repeated periods of drought and by the growing process of desertification. Sheep and goats, cattle and poultry predominate; almost one and a half million dromedaries are reared by nomads from the interior. § Fishing, practiced both in the Senegal River and in the high seas, occupies a place of increasing importance; it has achieved a strong development in particular during the eighties, as a result of cooperation agreements with other countries and thanks to the extension of the state monopoly on the export of fish products, tending more and more to assume an industrial character, thanks to the various canneries installed in the port center of Nouâdhibou. The area that extends off the coast of Mauritania is one of the most fishy in the world. it has achieved a strong development in particular during the eighties, as a result of cooperation agreements with other countries and thanks to the extension of the state monopoly on the export of fish products, tending more and more to assume an industrial character, thanks to the various canneries installed in the port center of Nouâdhibou. The area that extends off the coast of Mauritania is one of the most fishy in the world. it has achieved a strong development in particular during the eighties, as a result of cooperation agreements with other countries and thanks to the extension of the state monopoly on the export of fish products, tending more and more to assume an industrial character, thanks to the various canneries installed in the port center of Nouâdhibou. The area that extends off the coast of Mauritania is one of the most fishy in the world.

ECONOMY: INDUSTRY AND MINERAL RESOURCES

As for industry, small plants for the processing of agricultural and livestock products and the aforementioned fish canning factories prevail; there is also an oil refinery and a steel complex, both located in Nouâdhibou. § Good is the performance of the mining sector, which provides a high percentage of total exports. The production of rock salt has decreased considerably, while, after the crisis in the sector in the 1980s, iron is a strong point of the country’s economy; the main fields are located near Fdéric and Zouèrat,. Copper, gypsum, phosphates and ilmenite are also mined. According to allcountrylist, the modest production of electricity comes mostly from thermal power stations, fueled with imported fuels; however, two large dams have been built on the Senegal River both for the purpose of providing hydroelectric production and for irrigation purposes.

Mauritania Economy