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  • November 16, 2021

    The Grand Tortue Ahmeyim (GTA) project is a gas field, straddling the border between Mauritania and Senegal. It is considered the largest gas field in West Africa, with an approved reserve of 15 TCF.

    The work in the project revolves around four main components; construction of the breakwater that surrounds the deposit area, manufacture of an FPSO floating vessel, manufacture of an FLNG (floating gas liquefaction plant) and finally the subsea engineering component.

    The development of the project, launched at the end of 2019, reached nearly 60% with regards to the first 3 components, according to official data recently published by BP, which is the main operator of the project.

    Nevertheless, regarding the activities of the underwater gas extraction engineering component, the activities will, only, be launched next December, by the American company McDermott in partnership with Baker Hughes (a subsidiary of General Electric), for a period ranging from 12 to 17 months.

    The launch of the activities of this component was initially planned for 2020, but has suffered a significant delay of one year due to the negative effects of the covid-19 pandemic.


    The engineering phase


    The last component of the project work is, actually, the establishment of the subsea engineering system in EPCI mode (engineering, procurement, construction and installation).

    This phase is considered the most sensitive of the GTA project. It aims to lay more than 120 km of underwater pipes of various calibers (SURF) which will, among other things, connect the wells to the FPSO, as well as the underwater production system (SPS).

    The work in this phase represents a major logistical challenge, especially since it mainly involves transporting 250,000 tonnes of equipment, including 110,000 tonnes of pipes and several oversized offshore structures such as Spools (Jumpers), Manifold, PLEM, etc.

    In carrying out these activities, McDermott will be supported primarily by international partners, providers of technological services in the field of transportation and installation of subsea pipelines.


    The participation of national actors 


    Regarding national service providers, McDermott has just announced the selection of the Mauritanian company SOGECO SA as local logistics provider, which will in turn select local companies capable of providing logistics services for her.

    The overall amount of this phase oriented to national players, through the local supplier, is estimated at more than 50 million USD, including Freight Forwarding, related port operations as well as the marshalling yard, which will be dedicated to operations at the port of Nouakchott.

    This participation however, does not exceed 7% of the total envelope of the operation, which will reach 750 million USD. This shows the weakness of the local content in this component, which will be carried out on the national territory.

    The minimization of the envelope intended for domestic enterprises in the last component of the project requires a rapid revision to ensure more benefits, in the next phases of development.

    This worrying concern should be taken into account by both public and private decision-makers to put in place an effective solution, which will guarantee considerable participation for national companies, on the one hand, and strengthen the professional capacities of these companies, on the other.

  • November 09, 2021

    Our modern economic world is characterized by this operationl division into two sectors; public and private. Each one of these separate and interdependant sectors plays an initial role in developing daily life and accelerating economic growth.

    To make a long story short, the private sector seeks to produce and sell or offer a service, while a public body will perform public service missions for the general interest.

    Therefore, the role of the public sector is to ensure a business environment conducive to the creation and development of a healthy, dynamic and competitive private sector, in order to reduce poverty, create employment opportunities and accelerate economic growth.


    Cooperation and partnership


    To accomplish their interdependent missions, the two sectors must set up, closely, links of cooperation by establishing solid and transparent institutions, capable of improving and revitalizing this relationship.

    The cooperation links should contain a financial subsidy and a technical support provided by the public sector for the benefit of entrepreneurs and enterprises, in order to motivate them to improve economic activities and create more employment opportunities for jobseekers.

    In the same context, the public sector must favor national actors, when it comes to the services provision or the execution of public projects.

    In addition, the public sector must ensure the integration of private companies in the work of exploitation of natural resources, in order to maximize the impact on the national economy and provide a training opportunity for private sector actors.


    The industrial field


    Industrial activities constitute the main branch of the private sector in the modern economy, as they focus on the transformation and development of the country's natural resources.

    These activities demonstrate, through the jobs they create and the wealth they generate, the fundamental importance of the private sector as an engine of economic growth, sustainable development and poverty reduction.

    In addition, the development of the industrial sector helps stabilize the trade balance, by improving the level of self-sufficiency and increasing the value of the country's exports.

    Therefore, it is necessary that the public sector devote more efforts to motivate the industrial field in the private sector, through the mobilization of finance, the provision of technical advice and the establishment of an effective training system.

  • November 02, 2021

    The availability of financial resources represents, in fact, a main foundation for the creation and development of a diversified private sector in which many opportunities for the creation of new investment projects could, profitably, be found.

    These resources will allow entrepreneurs to have the necessary financing to start up and operate businesses and, above all, to set up an efficient and sustainable management system.

    To be sure, a dynamic financial system allows large companies to expand their activities by guaranteeing the settlement of their insolvency and ensuring their reliability with their various partners and especially with creditors.

    Access to these resources must be guaranteed by institutions and financial markets such as banks, leasing companies, financial investment organizations, stock exchanges ...


    The financial market in Mauritania


    The financial sector in Mauritania is made up of several financial institutions, including more than 15 commercial banks and several leasing companies and microfinance institutions.

    But “this sector is characterized by a low rate of banking of 20.4%, well below the average for sub-Saharan Africa [28.9%], and a small base of depositors not exceeding 320,000 accounts, 70% of which belong to individuals”.

    These figures published by the World Bank show that the private sector in Mauritania is essentially based on the financial cash system, which is limited and dominated by illegal procedures.

    Therefore, the Doing Business ranking placed Mauritania with 17 other economies in 168th place, with zero points obtained in this area.

    Access to funding


    Access to finance is identified by Mauritanian companies as the first obstacle to the development of the private sector, especially in the industrial field.

    In 2018, the total credit provided to the industrial sector does not exceed 2% of global financial resources exploited in the private sector, in general.

    This marks a serious lack of financing in the industrial field, which is the field of the valuation and promotion of natural resources. This serious lack harms, particularly, the extractive industries which represent a main sector in the national economy.


    Challenge to overcome

    All the improvements made recently in Mauritania for the development of the business climate, have not yet succeeded in putting in place a financial strategy to overcome this major challenge.

    This requires the development of a reliable financial system and the establishment of insolvency procedures to improve access to finance by companies, especially in industrial fields.

    These measures could help entrepreneurs to overcome the challenges in the areas of obtaining loans and resolving insolvency, in order to promote industrial activities and accelerate economic growth, through a strong private sector capable of standing up in face of crises and international market changes.

    In the following years, the issue of access to business financing should be one of the priorities of the reform program initiated by the Government. The recent initiative of the Central Bank to set up a Credit Information Bureau is to be welcomed.

    Law reform and practice development


    To definitively overcome these obstacles, it is urgent to amend certain juridical dispositions and to encourage the implementation, in the everyday life, of the practical attitudes.

    In that sense, the insolvency law should be revised to encourage debtors and creditors to resort to it. In addition, a major awareness-raising and training program should be implemented to develop the practice of collective debt clearance procedures. Moreover, the security law should also be reviewed.

  • October 26, 2021

    Mauritania has significant reserves of natural resources, particularly hydrocarbons and precious metals. This gives it an advanced place in the concert of pioneer African countries in the development and diversification of extractive industries.

    Geological data have now confirmed the presence in the subsoil of some 900 mining indicators; including mainly iron, gold, copper, phosphate, gypsum, uranium, quartz, rare earths and black earths …

    To this must be added, of course, the oil and gas resources in the Taoudenni basin and the coastal basin which has been confirmed during the past twenty years.

    The activities of the exploitation of these potentials, launched in 2006, currently representing the largest industrial field in the national economy, with the participation of several national and international giants, which exploit the deposits of gas, iron, copper, gold and uranium.

    During the year 2020, the contribution of extractive industries activities reached 24.2% of GDP, the highest contribution that a single sector could total in Mauritania, thus promoting a growth of the sector of 35.5%, thanks to a remarkable rise in the prices of gold and iron over the last period.

    The challenge of good governance


    Mauritania joined, in 2007, the international transparency initiative in the extractive industries, to harmonize its management system with global standards for the good governance of oil, gas and mining resources.

    From that year, the national commission published three reports on the level of transparency in the extractive industries and the progress made in the fight against mismanagement and corruption.

    These reports analyze the situation in Mauritania, based on Standard international criteria, to objectively measure the level of transparency and indicate the priority objectives for the action plan.

    The results of these reports show that the situation in Mauritania is generally satisfactory, according to the last report published in 2017 and updated in 2021

    Expected achievements

    Based on the criteria of transparency in this area, we could, yet, notice that the situation requires, in order to comply with these criteria, more improvement and development, particularly at the institutional level and in terms of facilitating access to information.

    With regard to improving the institutional system, it, certainly, requires the creation of a multidimensional body, representing all actors and operators in this field, to ensure good governance of income and reasonable exploitation of natural resources.

    Equally important is also the implementation of a mechanism guaranteeing free and rapid access to information and all documents, non-confidential, concerning the management of the extractive sector.

    Establishing these two institutions will, no doubt, allow private actors to increase their profits through active and effective participation in projects development work, which would, effectively, help to reduce the unemployment rate and ensure the development of local content.

  • October 20, 2021

    Continuous training and professional supervision constitute an initial pillar in the process of development of industrial field and of the diversification of economic resources.

    This crucial pillar is the only means that could guarantee a continuous improvement for the industrial field and economic competitiveness in general; for it effectively allows the development of human resources.

    The vocational training must be integrated into all phases of school and university system, to prepare the new generations to adapt easily to the labor market conditions.

    This training system requires the availability of the necessary means, as well as qualified institutions, adapted curricula, experienced trainers and a favorable environment for the practical exercise of these professional trades.

    The situation in Mauritania

    The academic environment in Mauritania has recently seen the creation of a few vocational training institutions, in the University of Nouakchott and in the École supérieure polytechnique.

    The new institutions offer academic training in several industrial fields; such as mining, energy, fishing, agriculture and agri-food.

    These institutions work in close collaboration with industrial companies and public administrations, in order to adapt their pupils to labor market conditions.

    Improving this new strategy which brings the world of school and business closer together could provide an effective solution to the major problems in the industrial sector in Mauritania.


    The industrial market


    The industrial sector in Mauritania consists mainly of the extractive industries, agro-food, chemicals and plastics, mechanics and metallurgy, materials and construction, and the treatment and transformation of maritime products.

    Companies operating in this sector, which is not very diversified, still complain about the lack of a competent workforce with the skills they are looking for, notwithstanding the high number of young people graduated from university every year.

    Despite its long experiences in the fields of extractive and energy industries, Mauritania has just created its first training institution in these fields.

    New perspectives


    The new economic changes in the Mauritanian market constitute a favorable opportunity to launch an inclusive training strategy in all industrial trades.

    This strategy must take into account the concerns of private actors and put in place continuing training resources in collaboration with foreign industrial giants operating in these fields.

    The implementation of this strategy will allow the private sector to improve its activities thanks to the availability of skilled labor, by reducing the costs due to the importation of foreign experts.

    This situation has also prompted the State to impose a gradual Mauritanization of jobs, which obliges foreign companies to offer more opportunities to Mauritanians

  • October 12, 2021

    Following a series of exploration which lasted 9 years, the Australian company Aura Energy discovered, in 2019, an enormous potential of uranium in the north of Mauritania, particularly in the area of ​​Oued El Foule and Ain Sder which are located in the Wilaya of Tiris Zemmour.

    The company has just announced that the mineral resources of its project reach 65 million pounds with a grade between 254 and 450 parts per million uranium oxide (U3O8), according to a recent study of the deposit by JORC.


    Significant reserves


    The newly confirmed potential would allow Mauritania to join Niger and Namibia as a leading African nuclear fuel producer, at least, for the next 3 decades.

    This new development comes at a time when favorable winds are blowing on the uranium market: on the one hand, there are forecasts of an increase in global demand in the medium and long term and, on the other and consequently , a considerable increase in  prices.

    In addition to the promising prospects, the deposits discovered in Mauritania also have several advantageus criteria which distinguished them in terms of competition in the international market and which make them highly preferred by investors.

    These criteria are essentially characterized by the concentration of the ore in the deposits and by the superficiality of the reserves, as well as the availability of means of transport and hydraulic resources on site.


    Considerable income


    According to price forecasts in the coming years, the Mauritanian state could cash hundreds of millions of dollars from the exploitation of these mineral resources, not to mention the job opportunities, the income and the spinoffs on local content.

    In addition, the exploitation of this deposit will attract more national and international investors in the field, and increase the proven potential of uranium in Mauritania.


    A likely gigantic potential


    In addition to the potential already proven, Mauritania has eighty known uranium occurrences, and is the subject of active uranium exploration by a number of private companies. Data from seventeen of these appearances resulted in the publication of resource estimates, and can be considered mineral deposits.

    Among these occurrences, fourteen are calcrete-type deposits, easy to mine and shallow (6 to 8 m) with a total resource of 138.3 million tonnes, and an average grade of 331 ppm U3O8.

  • October 05, 2021

    Green hydrogen, commonly called "the fuel of the future", is one of the most recent and most important renewable energy resources. Strongly recommended and essentially desired by all policymakers in the whole world, il represent the future of the energy transformation in our life.

    This "fuel of the future" is produced using wind and solar energy to extract hydrogen atoms from water molecules. The process is considered completely clean because no environmentally harmful energy source is used, unlike gray or blue hydrogen which depends on the exploitation of natural gas, oil or coal.

    This new energy source is considered "the fuel of the future" because of its efficiency in energy storage and in the production of liquid fuels as an alternative to fossil fuels.


    The Mauritanian context 


    Mauritania, with its enormous solar and wind potentials and its vast territory, could occupy an advanced place in the first rank of the producing countries of this clean energy.

    Following the development of several projects in this field, Mauritania decided, in the first half of this year 2021, to join the global race for leadership in the field of green hydrogen, by signing two memoranda of understanding with international partners.

    The two protocols aim to create two projects for the production of green hydrogen, through the installation of wind and solar power plants in the coastal zone, located between Nouakchott and Nouadhibou.


    Considerable potentials


    According to meteorological data, Mauritania has a solar production capacity varying between 2000 and 2300 kWh per square meter per year, throughout the national territory, in addition to an estimated wind force of around 9 meters per second, throughout the year in onshore.

    These estimates are among the highest in the world and are a valuable asset for the future of green investments in Mauritania, if one takes into account the global trend towards stimulating the exploitation of environmentally friendly renewable energies.

    With the development of technologies for exploiting renewable energies and the significant drop in the costs of their production, Mauritania has become a leading global destination for investments in the energies of the future.


    The challenges of technology 


    Technological challenges are among the first obstacles that could prevent Mauritania from carrying out its projects in the field of green hydrogen. These challenges are essentially characterized by the absence of skilled labor and the lack of technological means and of an appropriate industrial environment.

    Preparations for the launch of these energy projects must be accompanied by a training strategy for private and public actors, to prepare them to actively participate in the implementation and operation phases.

    The implementation of this strategy would allow Mauritania to secure a place among the countries best prepared to welcome major investments in the field of green hydrogen.

  • September 28, 2021

    Mauritania has a coastal basin rich in significant natural resources, particularly hydrocarbons, which constitute an attractive potential for investors in the field of extractive industries.

    An immense potential

    The seismic surveys carried out in this basin, over the last twenty years, have led to the discovery of several oil and gas deposits; mainly a natural gas reserve of around 65 TCF, in the fields of Grand Tortue Ahmeyim (GTA) , and Biralla.

    In addition to this, one could mention the other small discoveries of oil and gas in various areas of this coastal basin, such as the Chinguitti oil field, operated for 15 years by Petronas, and the Banda gas field that will be exploited in the next few years.

    International giants

    These discoveries have attracted, over the past five years, many international companies operating in the field of hydrocarbons. This attraction is only growing, despite the new trend to invest more in renewable energies, because of the negative impacts of fossil fuels on the environment.

    Among these campaigns which have just joined the Mauritanian energy market, we can cite the five international giants: The French Total, the British BP, the American Kosmos Energy, the Irish-British Shell and the American ExxonMobil.

    Main reasons

    The attractiveness of the Mauritanian market can be explained by several advantageous factors, mainly; the gas potential which should be the main driver of the energy transition and the continuous improvement of the legal framework organizing this sector.

    Moreover, there is, certainly, the geopolitical advantages as well as the improvement of the business climate in Mauritania, according to international rankings; particulary that of the Doing Business published annually by the World Bank.

    Opportunity to seize

    Mauritania must seize this opportunity to launch its energy transition program, by exploiting the returns of these operations to develop the production of renewable energies.

    In this context, Wood Mackenzie, an international leading energy consultant, called on oil and gas producers to seize the opportunity of the last period of the fossil fuel era to ensure a reliable energy transition.

    The current circumstances must be taken into account by the government to maximize efforts in this area, emphasizing the primary role of the private sector.

  • September 13, 2021

    National Industrial and Mining Company, (SNIM), is a main actor in the field of extractive industries in Mauritania. It exploits the iron ore deposits located in the north of the country. These deposits contain a total reserve estimated at over one billion tons.

    As a backbone of the Mauritanian economy, (SNIM), formerly MIFERMA, has, since the 1970s, produced between 11 and 13 tons of iron ore annually, mainly exported to China.

    The income of these activities constitutes a main source for the state budget, which owns 78% of this economic giant which represents an employment center with more than 6,000 employees.

    Historic rise

    In the past two years, the prices of the iron ore exported by the company (concentrate 62%) have attained an all-time high record, reaching nearly $ 220 per ton, an increase of about 100% compared to the figures of January 2020.

    This unexpected increase would allow SNIM to repay its debts and carry out its development project, which essentially aims to improve production, to reach 24 million tons by 2026.

    This program is based on major projects, mainly:

    ∙ The production increase of the Guelb2 plant to 4 million;

    ∙ The current dredging project for the Nouadhibou mineral port;

    ∙ The rehabilitation and modernization of the Guelb1 plant;

    ∙ Rehabilitation of handling infrastructure in Rweissa to produce 2 million tons;

    ∙ The development of the production of the F’derick project which would have to generate 3 million tons;

    ∙ The construction of a new factory in Tzargaf to produce 6 million tons.

    Serious challenges

    The company should seize this opportunity to achieve these ambitious goals, instead of directing its revenues to other projects outside the development plan of the company, like what happened in 2014, when it tapped the cash flow to build a prestigious headquarters and subsidized the construction work of an airport.

    The new favorable price winds could turn the objectives into reality, by mobilizing the necessary financing to carry out the projects of the development of production and the modernization of industrial systems inside the company.

    But the achievement of this objective requires the establishment of a strict implementation plan, equipped with monitoring means and transparent management systems and focused on results.

  • August 31, 2021

    On the whole African continent, Mauritania is a leading mining country, thanks to its rich and diversified mineral reserves. Those reserves include, but are not limited to, gold (25 million ounces), iron (1.5 billion tons), copper ( 28 million tons), Quartz (12 million tons) and phosphate (140 million tons).

    According to official data, Mauritania contains more than 900 mining deposit indicators, confirmed and located on the geographical map for mineral resources.

    Rich experience

    The exploitation operations of these resources began in 1952, 8 years before the independence of the country, with the exploitation of the iron ore in “Kediat Idjil” by the multinational company with a capital predominantly French, MiFerMa , which will, soon, be nationalized in 1972, and transformed into SNIM, to continue the exploitation of these deposits.

    Several other operations have been carried out since independence to exploit mineral reserves in Mauritania, such as TASIAST and MCM, which currently mine, respectively, for gold and copper.

    On the other hand, many challenges facing the exploiting of these reserves have prevented the advancement of several other projects in this area: mainly the exploitation of the phosphate deposit at Bouffal and the gold deposits at Tijirit.

    Challenges and perspectives

    The development of this field is facing several challenges, mainly the unavailability of electricity in the areas of exploration and exploitation and the absence of road and port infrastructure.

    Moreover, the lack of skilled labor and certified industrial solutions are also major challenges in this area, as well as the complexity of administrative procedures and the non-compliance with the legal arsenal in force.

    To be sure, all over the past five years, Mauritania has made considerable progress in the production of electricity and the development of port infrastructure. Nevertheless, this advancement would only be useful if there is also creation of road and electricity networks linking industrial zones with energy resources to seaports and by encouraging PPP projects.

    To overcome the electricity challenge, which is preventing the advancement of all industrial activities, it is necessary to speed up the work on the high-voltage power lines, currently under construction, linking the capital Nouakchott to the mining regions.

    The inauguration of these lines and the maximization of the exploitation of renewable energy resources are capable of definitively solving the energy problems in Mauritania, in particular those of the high cost for production and the unavailability in industrial zones.

    Other measures should be taken in this direction, such as the financing and the creation of national companies, -which are developing the industrial field-, encouraging them to exploit the mining potential, in accordance with the international standards in force.

  • August 24, 2021

    Mauritania has a gigantic potential of renewable energy resources, which resources represent the most important economic challenge facing the future of our planet. This makes of our country a privileged direction for international investors in the energy field.

    Rich and diversified resources

    According to official statistics, the solar photovoltaic (PV) potential is estimated, in all Mauritanian regions, at 2,000-2,300 kWh per square meter per year (kWh / m2 / year). Wind potential is also high, especially in coastal areas, with a peak wind speed of up to 9 meters per second (m / s).
    Regarding hydroelectric power, Mauritania is a founding member of the Organization for the Development of the Senegal River, which has exploited significant hydroelectric resources since 2002 and is currently developing several electric dams in the same river.
    In addition to the diversification and richness of these resources, Mauritania stands out for its vast areas, ready to be exploited for the creation of wind and solar parks, particularly in the north-west of the country.

    Energy transition

    In the context of the exploitation of these resources, the Mauritanian government began, in 2013, the energy transition to renewable energies, required at the global level, especially because of the new constraints of climate change. This transition has so far led to the inauguration of two solar power plants and a wind turbine, as well as the hybridization of several power plants with solar systems.
    The total installed renewable energy capacity in Mauritania reached 168 MW, including 34 MW of wind resources, 86 MW of solar resources and 48 MW of hydroelectric resources. This capacity would have been doubled, with the finalization of a few current energy projects, mainly a 100 MW wind farm at Boulenouar in the Nouadhibou region.

    Political commitment

    Despite the achievement of these achievements, political commitment must require more efforts to accelerate the development of this sector, through the implementation of a detailed action plan, focused on results and equipped by the means necessary for its implementation.
    This political will must also strengthen the capacity of the high-voltage electricity transmission network, to make energy, at the lowest cost, available to all industrial players, especially in mining areas.
    The implementation of a strategy, based on the aforementioned factors, is capable of achieving the objectives of the energy transition, which essentially aim to achieve self-sufficiency in clean energy at the lowest cost.
    The implementation of this strategy must take into account the primary role of the private sector, especially in the phases of manufacture and supply of equipment as well as the installation and maintenance of solar panels and wind turbines.
    This strategy will undoubtedly also take into account the promising prospects of the green hydrogen project, which will open a new era of renewable energy and make our country a leader in the energy field on an international scale.

  • August 17, 2021

    Entrepreneurship is a main lever for the development of a modern market economy, in particular through the creation of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which help add value, offer more job opportunities and diversify budgetary resources.

    The favorable environment for the creation of these (SMEs) is considered by international economic rankings as an essential indicator for improving the business climate of a country.

    The current state of things

    While in the past decades it was placed in the last places on the rankings, Mauritania was launching, in recent years, a strategy aimed at improving the environment for economic activities. This strategy has led to considerable progress, especially at the legal level, and has facilitated the creation of SMEs through the single window.

    According to official data, this strategy has motivated entrepreneurs to create hundreds of SMEs, in several economic sectors, mainly service provision and general trade, but also industry and industrial solutions.

    The industrial field

    The branch specialized in industry, in general, attracted a lot of investment in several industrial fields, properly mobilized and led by national entrepreneurs experienced in their fields.

    These industrial activities focus primarily on manufacturing industries, engineering, food industry, agribusiness, recycling and industrial solutions. These areas have recently seen the appearance and establishment of several national and international companies, which are capable of create a nucleus for an industrial market in Mauritania.

    Industrial enterprises will add more benefits to the national economy. They help to develop natural resources, create more job opportunities, increase tax revenues and diversify economic activities.

    The development of this industrial entrepreneurship is an essential factor for increasing growth, reducing the unemployment rate and achieving all the objectives of economic recovery, post covid19.

    Perspectives and challenges

    Entrepreneurship development programs, launched by the State and its spezialed offices, must take into account the major challenges, which prevent the advancement of the industrial sector in Mauritania.

    The challenges in this area concern, above all, the financial difficulties, the lack of training and qualification of the workforce. This requires the provision of a reliable line of financing to industrial entrepreneurs, as well as the creation of a training center to train the workforce and improve national skills in the industrial field.

    To be sure, redressing these difficulties will allow national industrial entrepreneurs to overcome the challenges and actively participate in the prospects for the exploitation of natural resources, creating more job opportunities for young Mauritanians.

  • July 05, 2021

    The Doing Business is a report published each year by the World Bank to assess the economic situation and the business environment in a country. To do this, the report uses the analysis of 12 factors that include, mainly, business creation, sources of finance, labor, connection to electricity and legal regulations.

    According to this report, Mauritania has made significant progress in improving its business environment over the past five years. It became in 148th place in 2020, out of 190 ranked economies, instead of 176th place in 2015. This represents a gain of 28 points on the international ranking.

    These companies provide solutions by exploiting national expertise to offer solutions in the industrial field in Mauritania, at the lowest possible cost, instead of always bearing the costly expenses of foreign consultants and experts. Certainly, the industrial solutions offered by these companies represent a crucial factor for the development of the industry. Indeed, these solutions are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of industrial units, as well as financial profitability. The high cost of energy is also a major concern for the leaders of the sector, despite the great achievements in this field over the last decade, such as large power plants, high voltage lines, and the diversification of sources.

    According to a study published by the World Bank, Mauritania should continue its efforts to overcome the major challenges in this direction by intensly working, in particular, to the facilitation of the payment of taxes, the improvement of the connection to electricity, the access to credit and insolvency settlement. The Interministerial committee for the follow-up and the execution of the national plan “Doing Business 2021-2023” decided, a few days ago, to set up a technical committee in charge of identifying and proposing concrete, easy and fast measures to be implemented, with a view to significantly improving the ranking of our country in terms of Doing Business.

    In order to achieve the expected results, the said committee must maintain close collaboration with private sector actors, and integrate them into strategies aimed at improving the field, especially in view of the new promising prospects for investment in Mauritania.

  • June 14, 2021

    Over the past two decades, Mauritania has achieved significant industrial development, in several areas including in particular that of extractive industries, agro-food, chemicals and plastics, mechanics and metallurgy, materials and construction, in addition to the treatment and transformation of maritime products.
    The development of this sector can be seen mainly and clearly in the extractive industries (iron, gold, copper, petroleum, gypsum, etc.), which represent more than 30% of GDP and therefore constitute the backbone of Mauritanian economy.
    On the other hand, the other sectors of the formal and informal manufacturing industry had also experienced considerable growth, with the creation, in Nouakchott and Nouadhibou, of around 100 companies and factories specialized in processing, transforming, manufacturing and recycling industries.
    These sectors, which constitute the local industry, still face several challenges that prevent their productive development. These challenges could be summarized mainly as follows: the lack of industrial solutions, the high cost of energy, the absence of a medium and long term strategy, the lack of training and means of financing.
    In terms of industrial solutions, the sector has recently seen the creation of companies specializing in the field and which focus, among other things, on the following activities: supply of equipment, design, manufacture, maintenance, and technical assistance.

    These companies provide solutions by exploiting national expertise to offer solutions in the industrial field in Mauritania, at the lowest possible cost, instead of always bearing the costly expenses of foreign consultants and experts. Certainly, the industrial solutions offered by these companies represent a crucial factor for the development of the industry. Indeed, these solutions are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of industrial units, as well as financial profitability. The high cost of energy is also a major concern for the leaders of the sector, despite the great achievements in this field over the last decade, such as large power plants, high voltage lines, and the diversification of sources.

    The other difficulties (absence of a national strategy for industry, lack of academic and professional training, lack of funding) must be taken into account by the State, as priorities necessary to deal with for developing a diversified and sustainable local industry.
    These crucial challenges require the establishment of an accelerated strategy, so that the national industry is up to the competition, particularly after the reintegration into ECOWAS and the launch of the activities of the AfCFTA.

  • June 09, 2021

    The Mauritanian government has adopted, in recent years, several legal measures to limit the presence of foreign workers in operating companies in Mauritania, under the notion of “Mauritanization” of jobs. The law governing the field sets the authorized percentage of foreign workers, for each operator, at less than 3%, to promote the recruitment of Mauritanian labor within companies working in the extractive industries sector.
    This law aims to ensure the maximum impact of the exploitation of natural resources on the national economy, as well as the development of skills and the qualification of the workforce, especially in the industrial sector. An ambitious legal provision, but difficult to put in place, especially because of the requirement of certification of companies and workers, according to the international standards in force in the industrial field. Over the past ten years, the law on “Mauritanization” has caused a disagreement between the state and the two companies TASIAST and MCM, which operate respectively in the gold and copper sectors. While companies prefer the recruitment of international experts in key positions in the production chain, the state considers that Mauritanians meet the criteria but that they only lack experience.

     Thus, they should be hired with foreigners to ensure an easy and smooth transfer of skills in order, for them, to be permanently recruited to positions likely to be “Mauritanized”. In 2016, the government and TASIAST signed a “Mauritanization plan” to nationalize 80% of expatriate positions by 2020, through intensive training and professional supervision to develop the necessary knowledge and experience required for these positions.

    This “Mauritanization” strategy must be put in advance again, in the negotiations which are currently taking place between the government and TASIAST, concerning the improvement of the current agreement and the signing of a new deal for the exploitation of the Temaya mine, located in the same area. The implementation of these measures in the mining sector should help prepare the ground for integrating national skills into hydrocarbon exploitation operations and renewable energy projects that are shaping the future of the market in Mauritania.

  • June 01, 2021

    Safety is the first and foremost concern in heavy, port or industrial work sites, as well as in areas where hydrocarbons and dangerous substances are stored. Indeed, several standards must be observed for the storage of hydrocarbons, hazardous materials, and all operations that may cause dangers to humans or damage the environment. Compliance with all conditions of safety and reliability make it possible to quickly discover faults in underground and above-ground storage circuits, using precise electronic devices.
    Also, in maritime activities, especially in oil and gas works, it is essential to maintain safety measures to detect leaks and avoid environmental risks. These measures and conditions necessary to reduce the risks must be followed by a control, inspection and audit system, under the supervision of a specialized and independent company.

     However, in Mauritania, there is an almost total absence of legal provisions and mechanisms requiring compliance with industrial safety and hydrocarbon storage standards. Most of the oil reservoirs scattered around the country do not comply with security measures, despite the existence of several experienced and specialized companies that offer control and inspection services in the local market.

    And while international companies working in Mauritania, in the industrial field, often respect security measures of their own will, to protect their reputation and their image on the international market, other companies, not having the same strategy, can carry out dangerous activities, without taking into account the burdens of control and inspection, to protect the environment and human life. From now on, it is necessary to implement a national strategy requiring compliance with the safety standards in force, and to require the obtaining of control and inspection certificates, delivered periodically by companies specializing in the field, and accredited by the authorities in charge. This strategy, which primarily protects the interests of companies, also helps to avoid disasters in populated areas, and environmental damage.

  • May 17, 2021

    Like all countries in the world, Mauritania has been affected by the spread of the Covide19 pandemic, especially in the socioeconomic fields. A worrying situation caused by the slowdown in the majority of projects operating in public sector, and by the decrease of industrial and commercial activities in the private sector. The damage caused by this situation was difficult to bear: the collapse of growth from 5.9% in 2019 to -2% in 2020, the rise in inflation from 2.3% in 2019 to 4.1 % in 2021, and the worsening of the current account deficit which rebounded from 10.6% of GDP to 18.5%, during the same period.

     To face this crisis, Mauritania launched an economic stimulus program of 24 billion MRO (nearly 630 million USD), extended over thirty months. The program focuses primarily on social sectors, infrastructure and food self-sufficiency, to create nearly 52,000 job opportunities. Mauritania is relying heavily, for the financing of this program, on the income derived from mining exports, in particular iron, gold and copper which generated 1.450 billion dollars in 2020, with forecasts of a significant increase during this year thanks to the rise in the price of iron and gold.

      In addition, Mauritania will soon be a major producer of natural gas, from the Grand Tortue Ahmeyim (GTA) field, which it shares with Senegal, but above all, the Birllah field, exclusively Mauritanian, and which would be worth around 4 times the declared reserves of GTA.

      The enhancement of the chain of exploitation of these resources (mining and gas) will undoubtedly increase financial income in both the public and private sectors. For the two sectors must work closely to have an inclusive and sustainable strategy capable of insuring the economic recovery.

      This strategy should be based primarily on the creation of factories for processing mining production, on stimulating industrial sectors, qualifying the workforce, continuing training and upgrading the skills of national companies.

       In this context, mining and oil operators must participate in this strategy by promoting local content. This will allow this economic recovery strategy to achieve its objectives in terms of job creation and maximization of benefits in the national economy.

        In recent years, Mauritania has made significant progress in this context, such as increasing the production and distribution of electricity, updating the legal framework, improving the attractiveness of the business climate, as well as the opening of some few establishments dedicated to the training and supervision of national skills.

       It is also necessary to make several decisive commitments in this direction, to add more value to the chain of exploitation of natural resources (mining and gas), in order to gradually transform the national economy from that of rentier state to a productive economy.

  • May 10, 2021

    A major future African gas producer, Mauritania had previously experienced around 20 years of oil production from the Chinguetti field, which was exploited then by the Malaysian operator, Patronnas. An experience which should have been sufficient to set up a national strategy for the development of a “local content”. A strategy aimed at the direct involvement of national economic operators throughout the value chain, by strengthening the industrial services and local skills.
    The concept of “local content”, which appeared for the first time in Great Britain in the 1970s, refers to the direct repercussions in the national economy through industrial activities, the exploitation of local services and goods, and the wages of workers, in addition to the payment of taxes and royalties collected by the country owner of the exploited resource. Despite the significant revenues derived from the exploitation of the Chinguitti field that mauritanian state earned, and which exceeded 600 million dollars, it is worth noting that the “local content” was not present in the exploitation strategy. Obviously there has been no visible impact on the development of national skills or the promotion of local industrial companies. The majority of industrial service providers and operators directly involved in petroleum activities were foreign companies.
    The same holds for most of the skills and expertise used throughout the process, upstream and downstream. Despite their past absence, local companies once again have, now, an opportunity to be directly involved in ongoing projects, as local sub-contractors for the international industrial giants in charge of the execution.

    Currently, as part of the development of the first phase of the Great Turtle Ahmeyim (GTA) field, BP has invested more than $ 4 billion for the execution of the four main components of the project (the breakwater, the sub-engineering marine, FPSO and FLNG), shared between Mauritania and Senegal.
    The development of the first phase of the GTA project should be an opportunity for skills training and experience transfer; so that the national companies could be sufficiently prepared to participate actively in the 2nd and 3rd phase of the exploitation of the field. Industrial activities in the development of the project must be shared, in an equitable manner, between Mauritanian and Senegalese companies, in accordance with the agreements signed between the two countries.
    At present, the comparison between the sites in the two countries shows that the subcontracting entrusted to Mauritania is still mainly limited to the field of logistics, unlike that entrusted to Senegal.

    The national strategy for the development of local content, which will be put in place by the Gas Project Negotiation Support and Institutional Capacity Building (PADG) project, should put forward a mechanism for financing local industrial companies and maintain a training program for companies and the qualification of the workforce.
    Certainly, it is important to strictly demand the participation of national companies in all the activities of international companies working in the field of hydrocarbons.
    Moreover and in addition to the logistics component, the new strategy should focus on the promotion of industrial services linked to the oil business, as a major factor in the development of local content. Concretely, this strategy should allow the national companies in question to take a larger share of the “cost oil”, and thus facilitate the integration of the sector into the national economy.

  • May 04, 2021

    As part of its vision of continuous modernization, CARAVAN GROUP is launching a new strategy focused on several axes. This customer-oriented strategy aims to offer innovative solutions to customer demands, in the sectors of hydrocarbons, mining, water, industry in general and port operations works.

    Diversified industrial solutions

    The new strategy emphasizes customer support and follow-up, by providing industrial solutions, with the professionalism of experts, while offering a variety of industrial supplies, in accordance with quality requirements. In this context,


    CARAVAN GROUP has built a workshop for the design, manufacture and industrial installation.
    This is a workshop for metal fabrication, machine tools and painting workshop, which will allow customers to follow the progress of the work during the execution phase.
    In addition, the workshop will be used for the training and qualification of technicians.
    In terms of the supply of industrial equipment, CARAVAN GROUP represents internationally renowned brands, to ensure rapid delivery and competitive prices, with the option of a guarantee of maintenance and necessary technical support. CARAVAN GROUP also offers solutions for quality control and technical assistance in industrial projects, as well as support services in logistics.


    Distinguished brand platform

    CARAVAN GROUP aims to be a mauritanian leading company, of international reference, which ensures the satisfaction of its employees, by being an active player in the economy of the African sub-region.
    The values ​​of the company are mainly:
    -continuous training.

    A new visual identity

    CARAVAN GROUP has a new visual identity, with the modernization of the logo and its associated elements, to reflect the new vision of innovation in industrial solutions.
    This new identity illustrates the company’s mission and vision, as well as its ambition to be a benchmark in the industrial market, at national and sub-regional level.
    The new logo consists of:
    -The name of CARAVAN;
    -The two symbols: gear and light bulb;
    -The company’s slogan: INDUSTRIAL SOLUTIONS.
    The two symbols are the gear that refers to industry and the light bulb which alludes to ideas and solutions. These two elements resume the slogan which defines the field of work of the company.


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