Mauritania Economy

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…

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Living in Mauritania

On the beach of Nouakchott Mauritania

Currency: Ouguiya (MRU) Exchange rate: 41 MRU per € (December 2020) Time zone: UTC ± 0 Country code (phone): +222 Climate (for capital): dry and warm desert climate Entry and residence regulations German citizens need a valid visa to enter Mauritania. The Mauritanian embassy in Berlin has not issued visas since 2016; these are only issued at the international airport in Nouakchott and at a border point near Nouadhibou. It…

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Mauritania Culture and Religion

Saudi mosque in Nouakchott Mauritania

Proportion of literate adults: 45.5% (2017) most important religion: Islam (state religion) Urban population: 53.7% (2018) Life expectancy (male / female): 63.1 / 66.3 (2018) Gender Inequality Index: Rank 150 of 162 (2018) Number of births: 4.6 per woman (2015-2020) Infant mortality: 79/1000 live births) Culture According to internetsailors, Mauritania has experienced numerous waves of immigration and unites very different cultures on its territory. The dominant culture is the Arab-Berber…

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Mauritania Education and Health

Koran students in Mauritania

Children and young people Mauritania ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child in 2001, making it part of the Mauritanian legal system. It is also subject to the sharia reservation. For a long time it was common for children to be beaten in schools. A legal opinion by religious Islamic leaders in 2011 found that violence against children contradicts the Koran and that the prevailing practice…

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Mauritania Society

Huts in Nouakchott Mauritania

Urban-rural relationship A fundamental change has taken place in Mauritania after independence. In 1960 90% of the population were nomads, today 53.7% live in cities. 46.3% of Mauritanians live in the countryside and 5% of them are still nomadic. The main trigger for the immense rural exodus was the Sahel droughts since the end of the 1960’s. The capital Nouakchott, planned for 20,000 residents, has now passed the one million…

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Mauritania Macrosocial Structure

Mauritania Small boutique

Ethnic structure Arab, Berber and black African ethnic groups live together in Mauritania. About 70% of the population belong to the Arab-Berber Moors, who speak Hassania an Arabic dialect. A small minority calls themselves berberophon. About 30% of the population belong to the Bidhan or White Moors. They form the two upper layers of the traditionally strongly hierarchical Mauritanian society, which is divided into Hassani (warriors) and Marabout (scholars of…

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Mauritania Economic Policy

Mauritania Economic Policy

Economic Policy and Development Potential Reform programs Since 1999, the Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSP) have replaced the “structural adjustment programs” that had fallen into disrepute at the IMF and World Bank. So far there have been three action plans in Mauritania (2002-2004; 2006-2010; 2011-2015). The action plans are designed to ensure that debt relief is used to reduce poverty. According to franciscogardening, Mauritania meets the expectations of the international…

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Mauritania Economy Part III

Tourism in Mauritania

Energy mix 2019 Energy source in % Hydropower 17th Thermal power stations 62 Wind energy 10 solar power 10 Mauritania is the country with the highest share of renewable energy in Africa. Several wind and solar energy projects have been implemented. The Sheikh Zayed solar power plant in Nouakchott with a capacity of 15 MW was for a long time the largest plant in Mauritania. In Toujounine A new facility…

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Mauritania Economy Part II

Mauritanian Energy

The Mauritanian state generates high income from the sale of fishing licenses to European and Asian fishing fleets. After long negotiations, the fourth follow-up agreement was concluded between the EU and Mauritania in July 2015, with a term of four years. The EU pays around € 60 million annually for the partnership. Of this, € 4.125 million is earmarked for supporting local fishing communities. The agreement wure 2019 by one…

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Mauritania Economy Part I

fish market in Nouakchott

Estimated GDP: US $ 15.9 billion (2017) Per capita income (purchasing power parity): 3746 US $ (2018) Human Development Rank (HDI): Rank 161 of 189 (2018) Proportion of poverty (national poverty line): 31% (2014) Distribution of income (Gini coefficient): 32.6 (2010-2018) Economic transformation index BTI: Rank 106 of 137 (2020) Economic situation The relevant development indicators clearly show that Mauritania is one of the poorest countries in the world. It…

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Mauritania Foreign Policy

Abdel Aziz and Barack Obama

Since its independence, Mauritania has pursued a policy of integration into the world community. It is a member of the United Nations and its sub-organizations. Its function as a bridgehead between the Arab north and sub-Saharan Africa is also reflected in its membership in regional organizations. Mauritania belongs to the African Union (AU), the Arab League (AL), the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), the Organization of the Sahel States…

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Mauritania Freedom of Press and Human Rights

Mauritania Freedom of Press

Press and media BBC certifies Mauritania one of the most open media landscapes in the entire Maghreb. Radio and television were opened to private companies. The state continues to hold shares in Télévision de Mauritanie (TVM) and Radio Mauritanie. The right to freedom of expression has been more respected since 2005. This is also evident in the international press freedom rankings by Freedom House and Reporters Without Borders. In 2020,…

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Mauritania Domestic Political Situation

Mauritania's national coat of arms since 2017

Presidential elections June 22nd, 2019 In the presidential elections on June 22nd, 2019, the candidate of the ruling party Mohamed Ould Ghazouani won the absolute majority with 52.01% of the vote in the first ballot. He is the preferred candidate of the previous incumbent Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, who was no longer allowed to run after two terms. The anti-slavery activist Biram Ould Dah Ould Abeid achieved a remarkable 18.58%…

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Mauritania Government

Mauritanian flag

Form of government, constitution and separation of powers The Islamic Republic of Mauritania is a presidential democracy. The president is directly elected with an absolute majority. (possibly runoff election). The term of office is five years, he can stand for re-election once and the maximum age is set at 75 years. The rights of the president in a centralized presidential system are very extensive. The constitution removes it from any…

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Mauritania Aziz Government (2009-2019)

Election campaign Abdel Aziz

Independence Day: 11/28/1960 Head of state: Mohamed Ould Ghazouani Head of government: Mohamed Ould Bilal Political system: Presidential Republic Democracy Status Index (BTI): Rank 91 of 137 (2020) Corruption Index (CPI): Rank 137 of 180 (2019) Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG): Rank 40 of 54 (2019) The presidential elections in 2009 the surprise winner in the first round with 52.5% of votes Abdallah Abdel Aziz, the leader of the…

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Mauritania Spring

Islamic Scriptures

“Mauritanian Spring” and Abdallahi government (2006-2008) With the coup of the “Military Council for Justice and Development” (CMJD Conseil Militaire pour la Justice et la Démocratie) under the leadership of Colonel Ely Ould Mohamed Vall on August 3, 2005, Ould Taya’s more than 20-year-old authoritarian and repressive rule ends and one begins Time of upheaval towards more democracy in Mauritania. From the beginning, the military council gives itself a mandate…

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Mauritania Development after Independence

Mauritania Development after Independence

First Republic: Moukhtar Ould Daddah 1960-75 In the first 15 years of its independence, the domestic political development of Mauritania under President Moukhtar Ould Daddah was comparatively peaceful and uniform. Mauritania’s path led from a temporary multi-party system to a constitutionally established one-party system (1965). The aims of the one-party system were to consolidate national unity, to abolish all disadvantages and to destroy regionalism and tribalism. The existing parties were…

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Colonial History of Mauritania

Old mosque in Chinguetti

Arab invasion (14th-18th centuries) Beginning with the conquest of the western Maghreb by the Arabs, Mauritania experienced a slow but constant Arab infiltration. A third wave of immigration, this time from the north, was the Arab immigration of various groups from Yemen, displacing Berbers and Africans alike southwards. It was not a sudden invasion, but a continuous infiltration that lasted two to three centuries. The Berbers, who did not want…

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Pre-colonial History of Mauritania

Pre-colonial History of Mauritania

Early days The beginnings of the history of this region are largely unknown. The main sources of pre-European history are oral narratives, legends and archaeological findings. Archaeological finds on Mauritanian territory show a settlement in the Neolithic. The Bafour, a people of the original Berbers, lived in the land of today’s Mauritania as hunters, farmers and fishermen. The Imraguen, fishermen in the Banc d’Arguin and the Nemedi, hunters in southeast…

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Mauritania Social Conditions

Garbage collection in Nouadhibou

The last official census in Mauritania took place in 2000. Mauritania currently had 2,508,159 residents, 70% of whom belonged to the group of Arab-Berber Moors (Bidhan and Haratin). The remaining 30% are mostly Mauritanians of black African origin. Population figures are a political issue in Mauritania. A census planned for 2012 was canceled after violent protests and unrest. Black Mauritanians had to disclose their origins over several generations and ran…

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Mauritania Ecology

Garbage collection point in Nouakchott

Desertification The climate in Mauritania has changed dramatically since the onset of prolonged droughts in the 1960’s, which are part of the Sahel’s wet and dry cycles. The minimum annual rainfall required for agriculture is 150 millimeters. This line has shifted about 100 km in Mauritania since the start of the drought and is now south of Nouakchott. In the 80’s, the desert advanced at a speed of 6 km…

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Mauritania Flora and Fauna

Mauritania Flora and Fauna

Mauritania – the forgotten country between the Maghreb and sub-Saharan Africa – is one of the large territorial states of Africa and consists for the most part of deserts. After independence from France in 1960, the development of democracy was repeatedly interrupted by military coups. The 2019 presidential elections mark the first democratic and peaceful change of power in the country’s history. Flora and fauna The flood savannahs along the…

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Mauritania Overview

Reforestation near Nouakchott

The borders of Mauritania are the result of European colonial policy. Mauritania fills the void between Morocco and Senegal. Endless deserts and the Atlantic coast shape the landscape of a country that only has agricultural land on the Senegal River. History Berber-Arab immigration and the West African kingdoms are the historical base of the country. After independence from France, there were repeated military coups. Mauritania is an important partner of…

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