Natural resources and energy
Mauritania has rich assets in iron ore, oil
and other minerals. The assets have greatly contributed
to good economic growth since the turn of the
Plaster, salt, gold and copper are mined to a lesser
extent. Furthermore, there are reserves of diamonds,
phosphate, sulfur, peat, manganese and uranium.
Major exports by Mauritania with a full list of the top products exported by the country. Includes trade value in U.S. dollars and the percentage for each product category.
The iron ore deposits are among the largest in the
world and accounted for almost half of export revenues
in 2013. Iron extraction is concentrated in the area
around the city of Zouérate in the north.
For a couple of years, oil exports were dominant, but
production declined rapidly. An Australian company began
extracting oil off the coast of Mauritania in 2006, and
in the first marketing year, oil exports accounted for
almost half of its export revenue. Soon, however, they
encountered technical problems, which made production
more expensive and more time-consuming. The extraction
of oil and also natural gas has continued, but the
difficulties persist and the exploration for new
discoveries has not been successful.
There is also uncertainty about gold mining since
gold prices on the world market have fallen. In 2014,
the only active mine was shaken by protests since 300
workers were laid off.
Since 2002, hydropower has become an important part
of electricity generation and reduced dependence on
oil-fired power plants. In 2013, a solar power plant was
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Most of the energy consumed is extracted from oil,
but firewood also accounts for a significant part,
despite the country's large forest deficiency.
FACTS - ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT
Carbon dioxide emissions in total
2 710,000 tonnes (2014)
Carbon dioxide emissions per inhabitant
0.7 ton (2014)
The share of energy from renewable sources
32.2 percent (2015)
Government victory in boycott parliamentary elections
When the parliamentary elections held in two rounds are concluded, it is
clear that the UPR government gets 75 seats and thus its own majority. The
election is boycotted by the majority of the opposition. After the first round
of elections in late November, the leader of the Islamist party Tawassoul
complained of "serious irregularities". In the end, UPR gets together with its
allies a total of 108 of the 146 seats. The opposition gets 38 seats, 16 of
which are awarded to Tawassoul.
Continued boycott plans despite dialogue
A national dialogue initiated in September to agree on the terms of the
election yields no results. Representatives of the government and FNDU / COD
have met for the first time, and the opposition alliance claims to have
abandoned the requirement for the president to resign before the election. But
in the end, the Islamist Party Tawassoul is the only one of the eleven parties
in the FNDU / COD to announce candidates in the parliamentary elections.
Elections are planned during the autumn
The government announces that elections to Parliament and municipalities will
be held in October. However, the opposition alliance FNDU / COD plans to boycott
the election, as President Abdelaziz has not obeyed the demand to leave well in
advance of the next election so that it can be held under a neutral transitional
government. The government has called the resignation requirement "an obstacle
to the national democratic project". After a short time, the Election Commission
decides to postpone the election for six weeks, with the intention of giving the
opposition time to review its boycott. The date will now be November, with a
possible second round in December.
Protest against increased violence
Hundreds of women protest outside the Ministry of the Interior in Nouakchott
against the rapidly increasing violence in the capital, not least sexual abuse
International military exercise at troubled border
In the vicinity of the border with Mali, a three-week long exercise is
started to deal with "unconventional attacks". A total of 1,100 soldiers from 20
countries are participating, including the United States, Africa, the Arab world
and Europe. The Mauritanian government says the exercise has no direct
connection to the conflict in northern Mali.
Prohibition of plastic bags
The government prohibits the manufacture and use of plastic bags. According
to the Ministry of the Environment, 70 percent of the deaths among cattle,
sheep and goats in Nouakchott are caused by the animals eating plastic bags.
Those who make plastic bags risk up to one year in prison.