This Economic Development Document summarizes Mauritania’s Strategy for Accelerated Growth and Shared Prosperity (SCAPP) for 2016–30. The first five-year phase of the SCAPP will complete projects under way and lay the foundations for a new, politically more peaceful Mauritania, with infrastructure put in place to support growth and encourage development of the country's natural resources. Steps will be taken to complete the reforms needed to improve the business climate and promote the private sector. In the second five-year period, the economy will be more diversified and competitive, with the real rate of growth averaging at about 10 percent a year. The third five-year phase will consolidate Mauritania's “new look” and the economic growth will exceed 12 percent a year.

Abstract

This Economic Development Document summarizes Mauritania’s Strategy for Accelerated Growth and Shared Prosperity (SCAPP) for 2016–30. The first five-year phase of the SCAPP will complete projects under way and lay the foundations for a new, politically more peaceful Mauritania, with infrastructure put in place to support growth and encourage development of the country's natural resources. Steps will be taken to complete the reforms needed to improve the business climate and promote the private sector. In the second five-year period, the economy will be more diversified and competitive, with the real rate of growth averaging at about 10 percent a year. The third five-year phase will consolidate Mauritania's “new look” and the economic growth will exceed 12 percent a year.

I. Summary of the Strategy for Accelerated Growth and Shared Prosperity

The Strategy for Accelerated Growth and Shared Prosperity (SCAPP) prepared by the Mauritanian Government upon completion of the PRSP (2001–15) covers the period 2016–30, which corresponds to that of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The strategy was formulated with the participation of the various actors involved, namely the Sectoral Technical Committees (CTS) at the ministerial department level, representatives of the decentralized administrations, representatives of national and local elected officials, civil society, the private sector, academics, youth, women, Mauritanians living abroad, contacts, and Technical and Financial Partners (TFPs). Once the process was completed, two volumes were drafted: (i) A social, economic, institutional, and environmental diagnostic assessment of the country; and (ii) Strategic Guidelines and Action Plan 2016–20 of the SCAPP. Following are the principal conclusions and guidelines of the two volumes.

Social, economic, institutional, and environmental diagnostic assessment

1. A comprehensive and objective analysis was conducted of the country’s socio-economic, institutional, and environmental situation. It served to identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and constraints to be taken into account in formulating the SCAPP, which aims to promote robust, inclusive, and sustainable growth that will generate jobs, enhance social development and strengthen governance.

2. Evaluation of the PRSP (2001–2015) pointed to significant achievements, including macroeconomic stabilization which, in an often difficult international environment, managed to restore equilibrium in the major macro-financial accounts. Thus, annual growth averaged 4.5 percent, inflation was kept, on average, to under 5 percent, and, on the fiscal front, there was a marked increase in extractive industries-related revenue. Thus, over the past six years and thanks to ongoing collection efforts, government revenue from domestic sources almost doubled.

3. The poverty rate likewise fell consistently over the period of the PRSP (from 51 percent in 2001, to 46.70 percent in 2004, 42 percent in 2008 and 31 percent in 2014). This reduction, which was particularly marked between 2008 and 2014, was for the first time accompanied, despite the growth of the population, by a decline in the absolute number of persons living in poverty from 1.4 million to fewer than 1.1 million.

4. In addition, the adoption and implementation of a private sector development strategy led to a large number of reforms that helped to improve the business climate and, hence, our country’s international standing, according to the “Doing Business” rating.

5. In addition, there were major investments in health infrastructure (building, refurbishing, and equipping of hospitals, creation of health schools), especially in the past five years, which have led to some successes in fighting disease (HIV/AIDS, epidemics, tuberculosis and malaria).

6. As regards education, notable progress was made thanks to the implementation of major local school and college construction and expansion programs. At the same time, a special effort was made to boost technical and vocational education, tripling enrollment capacity. Parallel to those efforts, significant steps were taken to enhance the quality of education. In higher education, new universities and specialized institutions were established, providing twice as many students with enhanced professional skills.

7. With respect to governance, several constitutional amendments were enacted following a consensus-building process among the actors involved. They led to far-reaching changes in the country’s institutional landscape. In public finance, reforms were undertaken that substantially improved tax administration and public expenditure management. The adoption and implementation of an anti-corruption strategy also did much to change people’s attitude toward public resources. There were also in-depth reforms of the civil status registration system, accompanied by the introduction of biometrics.

8. Despite these achievements, some real challenges remain, including, in particular, the insufficient diversification of the economy, insufficient private sector capacity, a relatively untrained workforce, limited access to primary health care services in general and maternal and child health care in particular. In addition, there are other challenges relating to education and a mismatch between the education/training provided and the needs of the job market, which exacerbates youth unemployment and renders young people more vulnerable to extremism. Greater efforts are also needed in the following areas: poverty reduction, social cohesion, social protection and access to basic services (safe water, electricity,..), especially in rural areas. Further challenges remain with respect to environmental governance, particularly as regards reduction of the risk of disasters and of hazards related to climate change and to the development of off¬shore oil and gas projects. To address those challenge over the next few years, Mauritania will pursue the Strategy for Accelerated Growth and Shared Prosperity (SCAPP). Following is a description of its vision, objectives and Action Plan.

Vision, objectives and Action Plan of the SCAPP

9. The Strategy’s forward-looking vision, entitled “The Mauritania we want by 2020,” is based on the values of Sunni and tolerant Islam, social cohesion and peace, equity and solidarity, national unity, justice and democracy, transparency and human rights within a good governance framework. The vision strives for robust, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, aimed at satisfying all citizens’ basic needs and enhancing their well-being.

10. To get there, three convergent “levers” or pillars constitute the strategic objectives selected to bring about that growth capable of generating a prosperity shared by all:

Strategic Lever 1: Promoting robust, sustainable and inclusive growth

11. The idea is to generate the conditions for robust, sustainable and inclusive economic growth through structural transformation of the economy and society in such a way as to facilitate: a) the emergence and strengthening of wealth- and employment-generating sectors capable of ensuring social inclusion and satisfying domestic demand, especially through private initiatives and innovation; and b) enhancement of the country’s export capacity and its ability to attract foreign direct investment (FDI).

Strategic Lever 2: Developing human capital and access to basic social services

12. This lever aims above all to develop human capital by raising the quality of, and access to, education and health care and the other basic social services, and by strengthening social protection.

Strategic Lever 3: Strengthening governance in all of its dimensions

13. Governance will be strengthened in particular by consolidating the rule of law and democracy, social cohesion and equity, security, the observance of human rights, effective economic, financial and environmental stewardship, and decentralization.

14. This vision is both ambitious and realistic. Accordingly, the first five-year phase of the SCAPP will, in addition to consolidating progress already made, complete projects under way and lay the foundations for a new, politically more peaceful Mauritania, with infrastructure put in place to support growth and encourage development of the country’s natural resources. Against that backdrop, steps will be taken to complete the reforms needed to improve the business climate and promote the private sector. During this phase, economic growth will average approximately 5 percent a year. Human capital will be committed to the transformation process. In the second five-year period, the economy will be more diversified and competitive, with the real rate of growth averaging around 10 percent a year, with more competent and motivated human resources. The third five-year phase will consolidate Mauritania’s “new look”. Economic growth will exceed 12 percent a year, thanks to the more competitive and inclusive economy transformed by accumulation of productive capital, a reduction of the informal economy and greater resilience.

15. Under the first Action Plan (2016–2020), the three levers of the SCAPP will be applied to 15 strategic areas, broken down into 59 priority interventions in the form of reforms, programs, projects, or significant actions. This Action Plan will cost US$10.5 billion. Of that, US$5.5 billion has still to be raised, to be added to the US$3 billion in financing that is already available. A further US$2 billion, to be raised in connection with Private-Public-Partnership (PPP) projects, would be added to those US$8.5 billion.

II. Presentation of the Strategy for Accelerated Growth and Shared Prosperity

Outline of the Presentation

A broadly participatory process

Actors:

Central, devolved and decentralized administrations, national and local elected officials, civil society, private sector, academics, women’s and youth networks, trade union confederations and technical and financial partners

And for the first time, Mauritanians abroad are involved.

Sharing and validation

Through inter-regional workshops and one national workshop, as well as meetings of competent bodies (Technical Committee to Combat Poverty, Expanded Consensus-Building Committee (CEC) and this Inter-Ministerial Poverty Reduction Committee (CILP)).

II. Social, economic, institutional, and environmental diagnostic assessment

B. Economic Dynamics: Overview, Strengths, Weaknesses, Challenges and Opportunities
D. Conclusions of the Diagnostic Assessment and Lessons learned for strategic choices
E. A few key indicators and figures
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III. Vision underlying the Strategy for Accelerated Growth and Shared Prosperity (SCAPP) The Mauritania we would like to see in 2030

V. The 2016–2020 priority plan of action and its strategic projects

In the first Plan of Action (2016-2012), the three levers of the SCAPP will involve:

VI. Macroeconomic and fiscal framework

Two possible scenarios for trends in the Mauritanian economy during the First Five-year Plan of the SCAPP:
Costs and financing
  • ♦ The cost of the first Action Plan amounts to US$10.5 billion,

    • ■ US$5.5 billion of which has to be raised;

    • ■ US$3 billion is already available;

    • ■ US$2 billion is to be raised from Public-Private Partnership projects.

  • ♦ Itemized costs of interventions and projects: See Table 1.

VIII. Implementation risks

Table 1:

Spending and Financing Strategy for the Priority Action Plan 2016–2020

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Islamic Republic of Mauritania: Economic Development Documents
Author: International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.