of these articles describes the today's State of Mauritania. For the historical kingdom see Kingdom of Mauritania.
aluminium-Dschumhūrīyah aluminium-Islāmīyah aluminium-Mūrītānīyah
Islamic Republic of Mauritania
Flagge Mauretaniens Wappen Mauretaniens
(detail) (detail)
Wahlspruch: “Honneur, Fraternité, Justice”,
“شرف, إخاء, عدالة” (“scharaf, ichā',' adāla”)
frz. and. arab., „honour, fraternity, justice “
office language Arab, national languages are large Arab , Pular , Soninké and Wolof , French working language
capital Nouakchott
system of government Islamic Republic of (military dictatorship)
head of state Ely Ould Mohammed Vall
head of the government Sidi Mohamed Ould Boubacar
surface 1.030.700 km ²
number of inhabitants 3.086.859 (S 2005)
population density 3 inhabitant per km ²
gros domestic product/inhabitant 394 US-$ (2004)
independence from France to 28. November 1960
currency Ouguiya
time belt UTC
national anthem national anthem of Mauritania
Kfz characteristic RIM
Internet TLD .mr
preselection +222
Lage Mauretaniens in Afrika
Karte Mauretaniens

the Islamic Republic of Mauritania is convenient a former French colony in west Africa, at the Atlantic. It borders on the States of Algeria, Mali and Senegal as well as on the territory of the west seeing era (democratic Arab republic seeing era). Mauritania is to a mixing people from Arabs, Berbern and black west African assimilated because of the west edge of the seeing era and is inhabited from originally nomadisch living Mauren. The oil production beginning will offer presumably economic growth prospects to the so far very poor country.

Table of contents


the border to the State of Senegal, drawn by the European Kolonisatoren , forms the Senegal river. On both sides of the river often the same groups of peoples live. Intensive trade and intact cultural relations are to today the rule.


like many developing countries could not set up Mauritania during the first decades of its independence precise population statistics. The statistics of the official counting from December 1976 determined somewhat more than 1.4 million citizen, including a nomadischen population of approximately 513.000. On these data was based also the estimation of 1987 of 1.8 million humans, from whom approximately 50.25% were female. The government has the annual population growth on 1,6% in the seventies estimated, the searches of the United Nations (UN) growth however with 2,9% (between 1975 and 1985) set. With the sentence 2,9% the population of Mauritania should have reached 2000 2.5 million in the year. One generally assumes that this growth rate, which is many lower than that many other African countries, into which nineties rose. The gross - birth rate rose compared with 1965 according to data of the UN into the Achziger years 20. Century of 45,1 per 1.000 to 50,1 per 1.000. The gross number of deaths rate however from 28 per 1.000 in the year 1965 to 20,9 per 1.000 in the year 1980 was reduced. The infant mortality is estimated on 137 per 1.000 birth. The life expectancy was at 42.4 years with men and at 45.6 years with women. Like many developing countries the population of Mauritania is young: in the year 1985 were approx. 72% under 30 years, and 46.4% under 15 years old.

The average population density lay in the year 1987 with 1,8 persons per square kilometer - the lowest level in west Africa. The population is very unequally distributed: The counting of 1976 shows that 85% lived south the 18°-Kreises, east of Nouakchott.

The Mauretanian population experienced dramatic changes due to the drynesses and the migration in and the seventies sixties: In the sixties the pastoralen Nomaden (at that time to a large extent Mauren ) and the established farmers (at that time usually black African) formed more than 90% of the population. Observations showed center of the eighties that only somewhat less than 25% of the population nomadisch and/or. halbnomadisch lived, while the urban population already a population portion of approx. 30% reached. Many other factors likewise contributed to this change of the way of life. Among other things also a plan from the French colonial age contributed to it. It saw resettling before the Nomaden on long-term and to furnish with the freed potential new job supply in mining industry and exporting industries. Some sources estimate the established urban population of Mauritania toward end of the eighties on more than 80% of the total population.

More than any other city reflects Nouakchott, the capital of Mauritania, the problems caused by fast and not controlled urbanisation. At the beginning of as small administrative centre with approx. 30,000 inhabitants in the year 1959 established, reached it already in the year of 1970 more than 40,000 inhabitants and grew in the seventies by 15% to 20% per year; this fast expansion holds also at the beginning 21. Century on: 2005 had the city scarcely one million inhabitant. Only approx. a tenth of the population of the city had entrance to appropriate dwellings in the Achziger years. The lack of water and of dwelling are serious problems. Most of the newcomers land in so-called Kebbas (suburb quarter), which developed in the closer surrounding field of the capital. In the year 1983 a French researcher estimated that more than 40% of the population of Nouakchott in this Kebbas lived and the percentage would continue to rise still.

The government of Mauritania looked for international assistance, in order to master the population problem and to stop the inflow of humans into the cities, by offering all soil and seeds as well as transportation facilities, which would be ready for the return to the rural regions to those. A ambitioniertes misalignment program was accomplished in the year 1985, but considering durable Dürre it was difficult to offer to the population acceptable perspectives for a life on the country.

Regardless of solid unemployment a substantial number of foreigners - more than 15% of the workers in the modern economic sectors - is necessary, in order to cover the demand at qualified workers. At the same time more than 600,000 Mauretanier left their country on the search for occupation in west Africa, in the middle east and in Western Europe.


major item: Ethnien in Mauritania

Mauritania forms the border between white Africa and black Africa. It accommodates population parts Arab berberischer and Black African descent.
The compromise between these cultures is the soul of the Mauretanian nation. The country - also geographical - becomes traditional in accordance with these groups of peoples into the so-called. Pool of broadcasting corporations, partitions aluminium-Bīdān, which meant “country of the white ones” , and pool of broadcasting corporations as-Sūdān, “country of the black ones”. These often used terms are not pejorativ thought however. The organization is more economical/traditional than rassischen origin. Indeed many belong black ones to the nomadischen world, the designation “Mauren” and/or. “Bīdān” applies all for those nomadischen groups, which were culturally arabisiert - regardless of their ethnical origin, thus including the “Mauren” with Black African ethnical background.


as 100% of the population Sunni Muslims malikitischer direction are as good. The Islam is state religion. A Muslim, who crosses to another religion, is punished according to the article 306 of the criminal law because of faith waste (Ridda ) with death, which did not occur so far.

As in 7. Century Arab Krieger banners Islam into the “far west “, which Maghreb carried, changed alive for the commonwealth of nations south the seeing era still nothing. The Islam spread along the handels and caravan routes by the seeing era, remained however over centuries a religion of the “strange dealers”, until also the Oberschicht in the African city communities was interested in this religion and bekehrte to the Islam. Also, as the large realms of west Africa in the 11. Converted century to the Islam and from the Chad lake (Kanem Bornu) and the Niger (Ghana, Songhai, Mali) from the Islam into the area, remained the animistisch coined/shaped life of the Landbevölkerung continued to penetrate. Muslims had - one reports as for instance from the Niger elbow - their own city off the king city, it led their own life within the kingdoms, and if the ruler with its family bekehrte himself to the Islam, then with it not also at the same time islamizing of the entire state was connected.

Islamic influences concentrated on the urban centers, where the religion was exercised by a part of the dominant class and the foreign inhabitants. Toward end 15. Century began then first the nomadischen Kunta - Arabs to preach the theory Islam. Around the center 16. Century began the Qadiriyya - brother shank to spread to which also the Kunta Arabs belonged, the Islam in the entire western Sudan. Only in this time the Islam changed itself of the bare “rule religion” to the religion of the particular, but not-Islamic ruling families governed in old Muslim centers to in 18. Century inside. Then began a reform Islam with the Fulbe and other trunks, which accompanied at the same time with a Ideologisierung and a radicalization.

Today the Islam is considered as connection between the different Ethnien and is the only legitimacy of each law recognized by the people.

Chinguetty is one of the 7 holiest cities Islam, was considered for a long time as the religious center of the whole area and was the meeting place of the pilgrims on their way after Mekka.


major item: History of Mauritania

administrative arrangement

the state is divided into 12 regions and the capital district. The following list indicates the associated capitals apart from the names of the regions in parentheses.

Map with the regions of Mauritania
  1. Adrar (Atar)
  2. Assaba (Kiffa)
  3. Brakna (Aleg)
  4. Dakhlet Nouadhibou (Nouadhibou)
  5. Gorgol (Kaédi)
  6. Guidimaka (Sélibaby)
  7. Hodh Ech Chargui (Néma)
  8. Hodh El Gharbi (Aioun el Atrouss)
  9. Inchiri (Akjoujt)
  10. Nouakchott (capital district)
  11. Tagant (Tidjikdja)
  12. Tiris Zemmour (Zouérate)
  13. Trarza (Rosso)


Eisenerzzug Landesinnere - Nouadhibou; lange Zeit der längste Zug der Welt
iron ore course interior - Nouadhibou; long time the longest course of the world

of Bodenschätze

the most important industry of Mauritania is the dismantling of iron ore.


the railway line, which leads the seeing era from a mine in the north of the country across to the port Nouadhibou, is the most important traffic facility of the country. The course operating here was long time the longest and heaviest of the world. Over 200 railroad cars by up to four locomotives are pulled. The charge: up to 21.000 tons iron ore. The largest enemy of the railroad line is the sand. A sand removing troop is stationed all hundred kilometers, whose task is it to clear the tracks away filled up by the sand again. The sand is so aggressive that the tracks have and also the wearing parts of the course only 1/6 of the normal lifetime.

foreign trade

to be exported in addition fish and fish products.

to public expenditures

between 1991 and 2001 the portion of the public expenditures for

statistic instructions

GROS DOMESTIC PRODUCT 2002: 969Mio. $; material increase 1990-2002 on the average 4.4%. The gainful employment amounted to 2001 within the agricultural range approx. 52,6%. To unemployment however no data of the state were published. The inflation rate amounts to at present approx. 6.2%

on and entry

Straße Nouadhibou-Nouakchott
road Nouadhibou Nouakchott

Mauritania can be attained on the Landweg the west seeing era occupied by the north most simply over Morocco and. The travel distance amounts to from the French border to Nouadhibou about 6,000 km and is in approx. To master 10 days. With exception of approx. 5km no man's land between the Moroccan border and the entry border control to Mauritania is asphalted the entire distance. Those drive on both after Nouadhibou and after Nouakchott is possible on a completely again asphalted road, desert experience is not from emergencies. The far journey of Nouakchott into Senegal becomes problem-free. Detailed travel information is on the Website of the fee consulate of Mauritania in Germany (address see below).

Conditions of entry: European Union citizens need a valid passport as well as a visa for Mauritania. One receives visas at the message from Mauritania, Berlin for approximately 21 euro, in the Mauretanian consulate in Casablanca for approximately 20 euro (200 DH) or directly at the Mauretanian border, likewise for approximately 20 euro. With the journey with the car this is registered at the border into the passport. The entry costs approx. 10 euro (acknowledged), a Carnet de Passage EN Douane for vehicles (February 2006) one does not require at present.


national holiday: 28. November

Web on the left of

coordinates: 15°-27° N, 5°-17° W


  > German to English > (Machine translated into English)