Economy of Mauritania

Economy of Mauritania Last updated on Thursday 22nd April 2010

The Mauritanian economy is predominantly pastoral, with mining and fishing increasing in importance. Mauritania depends heavily on foreign aid. In 1999 the gross domestic product, which measures the total value of goods and services produced in the country, was $957,893,030, or $370 per inhabitant.

Traditionally, Mauritania's economy was based on livestock in the north and the agricultural development south along the Senegal River.

The production of iron ore since 1959, copper since 1967 and the industrialisation of fishing in the 1980s have brought a fair degree of growth in the 20 years after independence was gained in 1960.

The state formerly depended on iron ore exports for most of its budget revenues, but now it is divided equally between mining and fishing.

Severe drought has often affected the economy of Mauritania. As a result of the drought of 1982-4, a third of the population now lives in the urban centres throughout the country.

According to the World Bank in 1992, Mauritania's Gross Domestic Product was $1.08 billion, its GNP per capita $530 and its International reserves stood at $65 million.

Inflation Rate at Consumer Prices

10% (1999).
Unemployment Rate

25% (estimate 1998).
Labour Force by Economic Sector of Activity

Agriculture 57%, Industry and Services 43% (estimate 1999).
Nominal Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

1,058 billion (1999).
Real Gross Domestic Product Growth Rate

3% (1999).
Gross Domestic Product G.D.P. per capita

US $ 450 (estimate 1999).
Industries

fish processing, mining of iron ore and gypsum.
Agricultural products

dates, millet, sorghum, root crops; cattle, sheep; fish products.
HDI (Human Development Indicator, UNDP figures 1999)

within the 174 countries selected in the Human Development Report 1999 of the UNDP Mauritania is ranked 149.
Total External Debt

US $ 2.5 billion (1997).
Major Trading Partners

Imports France 26%, Spain 8%, Germany 7%, Benelux 7% (1997), Exports Japan 24%, Italy 17%, France 14%, Spain 8% (1997).
Major Export Products

fish and fish products, iron ore, gold.
Major Import Products

machinery and equipment, petroleum products, capital goods, foodstuffs, consumer goods.

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