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The most important economic sectors


Mauritania is generally considered as an agricultural and pastoral country. Despite the drought decades that hit the country, with its varying effects, Mauritania maintained significant livestock mainly consisting in goats, sheep, cows and camels (more than twenty million head), especially in the regions east and south east of the country.

In addition to that, there is the agricultural sector, on which depends most of the population and it absorbs a large proportion of the labor force.

The State focuses on irrigated agriculture, which has seen a remarkable development in recent years thanks to the policy that has been pursued and which is based on reclaiming hundreds of thousands of hectares (500 thousand hectares of which 135 thousand irrigated on the River Bank), taking incentive measures in favor of the farmers, diversifying production and stimulating investment.


Mauritanian beaches are characterized by their huge and diverse fish wealth (600 varieties of marine products). This enabled Mauritania to be at the forefront of the countries producing fish. In fact the country is naturally endowed with a 700 kilometer long beach along the Atlantic Ocean. Warm and cold ocean currents converge in its territorial waters, which prepared these waters to be a home for many fish and Aquatic organisms that migrate in most seasons of the year from other areas to live and reproduce in its unique waters.

The reason for this convergence is the existence of a wide continental shelf (sometimes up to 80 miles) that attracts large amounts of high-quality fish over the seasons of the year coupled with a marine environment in the bottom of the ocean suitable for food and spawning.

To optimally exploit this unique marine wealth (more than 1,000,500 tons per year) the State has pursued a policy based on caring and developing this sector through the enactment of laws and regulations that enable to run it in the best way. The private investment has also been encouraged, which has dramatically increased the value of the country’s exports of fish from MRO 1 billion in 1978 to tens of billions Ouguiya at present.

Industry and Mines

Mauritania has an iron mining wealth that enabled it to be at the forefront of iron exporters in terms of quantity and quality. The exploitation of this mine, located on the outskirts of the city of Zouerate along the mountain range adjacent to it, began since the fifties of the last century just before independence. Mauritanian iron is classified as the finest in the world and the country annually exports, on average, 12 million tons of iron ore.

Mauritania also has other minerals of which some are being exploited, such as gold, copper, oil and gas, phosphate and gypsum. More than 800 metal indicators have also been detected.

The most important touristic areas:

The country has an important touristic potential, including deserts, mountains, beaches and historic cities. The most important touristic attractions:

– Arguin Bank: a place where rare birds and fish gather. It is located on the coast near the city of Nouadhibou.

– White Cape Bay (Nouadhibou)

– Diawling reserve (in Keur Macene south-west of the country)

– TERJIT tourist resort in Adrar

Historic Cities on the UNESCO List of World Heritage Sites

These cities constitute a destination for cultural tourism and they host annual cultural activities that attract tourists. These cities are:

– Chinguitti, in the region of Adrar (north of the country)

– Wadane, in the region of Adrar (north of the country)

– Walata, in the region of Hodh Charghi (east of the country)

– Tichitt, in the region of Tagant, (in the center of the country)

The most important seaports:

– Port of Nouakchott (known as Friendship Port).

– Traditional Fishing Port in Nouadhibou.

– SNIM IRON ORE Export Port in Nouadhibou.

– Oil port in Nouadhibou.

– Tanit Traditional Fishing Port, located 60 km north of Nouakchott.

Nouadhibou Free Zone

The Law No. 001-2013, dated 2 January 2013, has established Nouadhibou Free Zone, which is an economic zone of priority in the social, economic and environmental framework. The Free Zone contains areas exclusively designated for the activities of industrial nature, commercial services, ports, airports, in addition to supportive jobs (housing, tourism, commerce, entertainment, offices).

The Free Zone includes the whole city of Nouadhibou and part of the Bay Peninsula, which bears the same name, the adjacent maritime domain, its surroundings and also the development zones, all the coastal strip and the territorial waters (up to two miles (2) offshore from the beaches).

The strategic objective targeted by the Free Zone is to make Mauritania and Nouadhibou, in particular, a favorite destination for international investors and local actors.

From this perspective, the Free Zone’s mission is to work to accomplish the following objectives:

Attracting investment and promoting private sector development;
Developing infrastructure in the region;
Promoting Nouadhibou development to make it a competitive and huge commercial pole with a huge international dimension in the sub-region;
creating new jobs and improving the professional competencies of the national workers;
Giving fresh impetus to the economic and social development in Mauritania in general.

Growth forecast

Mauritania is pursuing an economic policy emanating from a strategic vision for development in 2030 taking into account the challenges related to the diversification of the economy, the development of the resources, the sustainable management of wealth and acceleration of growth to create more jobs.

This future vision gives the private sector a special place as it is considered a development engine, a locomotive of growth and a determining factor in the creation of wealth and the provision of jobs.

Currency Exchange:

The national currency in Mauritania is the Ouguiya, which is issued by the Central Bank of Mauritania in the following categories:

(1/5 Ouguiya (MRU1/5) – 5 Ouguiya (MRU5) – 10 Ouguiya (MRU 10) – 20 Ouguiya (MRU 20) – 50 Ouguiya (MRU 50) – 100 Ouguiya (MRU 100) – 200 Ouguiya (MRU 200) – 500 Ouguiya (MRU 500) -1,000 Ouguiya (MRU 1,000). (One US dollar equals approximately 35 Ouguiya). Foreign currencies can be exchanged at the Central Bank and other banks, at the airport and at a number of exchange offices located in most of the Mauritanian cities.
Procedures for entering Mauritania: Please refer to the following link:
Time: Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).
The electric current: 220 volts with French specifications.
How to enter Mauritania:
– By land: via nearly 35 border points east, south and north.

– By sea: Via five seaports in both of Nouadhibou and Nouakchott, in addition to river crossing points in Kaedi and Rosso.

– By air: Via Nouakchott International Airport and eight other international airports in Nouadhibou, Zouerate, Nema, Atar, Selibaby, Tidjikja and Kiffa, in addition to 18 paved airstrips.