Mauritania is a country of the Sahel (a belt across Africa between the arid Sahara to the north, and the humid savannas to the south). Ninety per cent of the country is Saharan Desert. Approximately one quarter of the population of the country resides in Nouakchott, Mauritania's capital city, which is situated on the Atlantic coast. The overall population is approximately 4.8 million. Although a former French colony, Arabic is the official language. Fula, Soninke, and Wolof are also recognised as national languages, representing three of the four ethnic groups that make up the population.
Mauritania has an abundance of natural resources including iron ore, gold, copper, gypsum and phosphate. Extractive commodities make up 75 per cent of Mauritania's total exports (exploration for oil is ongoing), with fishing making up another 20 per cent. The nation's coastal waters are said to be among the richest fishing areas in the world.
Australia is accredited to Mauritania through our Embassy in Paris, while Mauritania is accredited to Australia from their Embassy in Japan.
Economic and trade information
- Before you travel, visit smartraveller.gov.au
- Australian Passports Office
- Visa information
Heads of Government
Embassies and consulates
- The Australian Embassy in France is responsible for Mauritania