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Mauritania

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Facts & Figures

President: Muhammad Ould Abdel Aziz (2009)

Prime Minister: Moulaye Ould Mohamed Laghdaf (2008)

Land area: 397,837 sq mi (1,030,400 sq km); total area: 397, 953 sq mi (1,030,700 sq km)

Population (2014 est.): 3,516,806 (growth rate: 2.26%); birth rate: 31.83/1000; infant mortality rate: 56.06/1000; life expectancy: 62.28

Capital and largest city (2011 est.): Nouakchott, 786,000

Monetary unit: Ouguiya

More Facts & Figures

Flag of Mauritania
Index
  1. Mauritania Main Page
  2. Mauritania Gains Independence
  3. Multiparty Democracy and Economic Improvement
  4. Racial Tensions Continue
  5. Steps Toward Democracy

Mauritania, three times the size of Arizona, is situated in northwest Africa with about 350 mi (592 km) of coastline on the Atlantic Ocean. It is bordered by Morocco on the north, Algeria and Mali on the east, and Senegal on the south. The country is mostly desert, with the exception of the fertile Senegal River valley in the south and grazing land in the north.

Government

Military rule. The legal system is based on Islam.

History

Mauritania was first inhabited by blacks and Berbers, and it was a center for the Berber Almoravid movement in the 11th century, which sought to spread Islam through western Africa. It was first explored by the Portuguese in the 15th century, but by the 19th century the French had gained control. France organized the area into a territory in 1904, and in 1920 it became one of the colonies that constituted French West Africa. In 1946, it was named a French overseas territory.

Next: Mauritania Gains Independence
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