Mauritania

Mauritania is a multiethnic and multicultural country where the Maghreb region and Sub-Saharan Africa meet. Despite sustained growth in recent years, it is ranked among the world’s Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and faces many challenges. Social and territorial cohesion is one of AFD’s main concerns.
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Mauritania, Students of the Arafatt high school, Nouakchott
AFD AND MAURITANIA: STRENGTHENING ACCESS TO BASIC SERVICES AND SUPPORTING EDUCATION
Mauritania, Students of the Arafatt high school, Nouakchott

Promoting education, training and employment

Higher Institute for Electronic Engineering , Mauritania

Promoting education, training and employment

The Education Sector Development Plan (PNDSE) has provided all children with access to primary school. But the teaching staff lacks qualifications to ensure high-quality education, particularly in terms of languages. Between 2012 and 2021, AFD will have committed EUR 12.7m to improve the quality of education and bilingualism (Arabic-French) of teachers, as well as access to secondary education for girls. 

To facilitate access to the labor market, AFD has also decided to assist 7 vocational training centers in purchasing equipment, refurbishing their premises and establishing training courses in sectors where there is strong labor demand (fishing and water-based activities). 
Proparco, AFD’s private sector financing arm, is actively involved with Mauritanian banks: it is a shareholder of Attijari Bank and has allocated a EUR 2m credit line to the People’s Bank of Mauritania. AFD also allocates portfolio guarantees (ARIZ) to the national subsidiary of Société Générale and to Attijari Bank and provides a facility for access to financing for small businesses.

Faciltating access to essential services

Mauritania access to fresh water

Faciltating access to essential services

Mauritania is a desert country, where water is particularly scarce. Only 58% of the population has access to drinking water (48% in rural areas) and only 14% of people in rural areas have access to basic sanitation infrastructure. Similarly, electricity remains a luxury of the privileged few, with overall access of the population at 30%, and significant inequality between urban and rural areas.

AFD is working to facilitate access to drinking water and sanitation services through several projects co-financed with the European Union. By the end of 2019, these projects are estimated to have provided 200,000 people with access to drinking water and 550,000 people with improved hygiene conditions and access to sanitation. These operations are currently being expanded in the Two Hodhs region, as part of the G5 Sahel Emergency Development Programme, in collaboration with the Sahel Alliance. More than 70 communities in the two provinces will benefit from this program.

Since 2010, AFD has been supporting the restructuring of the energy sector and in particular, the Mauritanian electricity company, (SOMELEC). In 2013, in partnership with the European Union, AFD financed the construction of a hybrid thermal/photovoltaic power plant in the Kiffa region, as well as a transmission and distribution network to supply neighboring towns and villages. The aim is to replicate this pilot project across the region: AFD is thus supporting, in partnership with the EU and the World Bank, an innovative rural electrification project to further advance the economic development of isolated populations.
With regard to governance, AFD is financing a project in support of democracy and social cohesion, with the main objective being to strengthen links between the justice system and citizens throughout the country.
 

Supporting local and rural development

Mauritania Water conveyance Vaincre

Supporting local and rural development

In Mauritania, economic activity and populations are unequally distributed across the country. In recent times, communities have settled in a vast network of small towns situated far away from each other, making it difficult and costly to provide basic social services and for inhabitants to access economic opportunities (i.e. products, markets, jobs). Ensuring the balanced and sustainable development of these areas is a major future challenge. In addition, a serious food crisis continues to affect rural populations, forcing the country to import food.

To tackle security and development issues in the region, AFD financed the Promoting Initiatives for Equitable Regional Growth (Valorisation des Initiatives de Croissance Régionale Équitable – VAINCRE) program. Between 2006 and 2015, close to 1,000 projects (focusing on health care, education, and water) were implemented by the 73 beneficiary towns. A new phase was launched in early 2019, called DECLIC: the project is designed to improve the supply of basic services and promote sustainable economic development, notably by building infrastructure (schools, dispensaries, drinking water facilities, etc.).
Aiming to improve food security for rural populations by further developing infrastructure, AFD is also supporting projects to improve productivity through Village Irrigation Schemes (Périmètres Irrigués Villageois – PIVs), along the Senegal River, while helping to create jobs, especially for women, by developing the female market gardening sector.

Supporting sustainable development

Mauritania Mines Project SNIME

Supporting sustainable development

Mauritania is a country with contrasting natural resources. It is made up of a huge desert space, with most of its activity concentrated on a narrow coastal strip, which also holds unique biological wealth.

AFD, in partnership with the French Facility for Global Environment (FFEM), supports projects to protect the country’s marine and coastal biodiversity. 

We promote lasting and sustainable development by encouraging reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, while supporting the exploitation of the country’s mining natural resources in partnership with the National Industrial and Mining Company of Mauritania (SNIM).

Keeping alive women who give life

Health center Dar Naïm Post-childbirth consultation, Mauritania

Keeping alive women who give life

The country has experienced a decline in its maternal mortality rate in recent years, but it remains high at around 500 for 100,000 births. There are many reasons for this, which include the fact that the population is scattered over a massive territory and that there is a low level of medical staff. 

Since 2008, we have been supporting the extension of the obstetrical package, a voluntary insurance system which covers maternal healthcare costs in public health facilities.

45.7
million euros committed in 2019
40
years operating in Mauritania
22
projects in progress

Mauritania is a multiethnic country. At the crossroads between the Maghreb and sub-Saharan Africa, its population is characterized by great gaps in wealth and social status. Despite its rather low population growth, the country remains ranked among the least developed countries (LDCs) of the planet and must rebalance its development.

Because of lower market prices for the minerals Mauritania mines, the country must turn to a more sustainable and job-creating development model, and to better sharing of wealth.

Present in the country since 1978, AFD is an important partner both for local and national authorities and for private operators in the country.

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